Mexican officials announced plans this week to deploy approximately 6,500 of its national guard troops at 12 checkpoints near the country’s southern border. The move comes in response to nearly 400,000 Central American and other migrants who entered the nation in the last three months on journeys to the U.S. Mexico City also discussed plans to deport approximately 2,500 migrants per day.
“We are going to establish a regular, orderly, and secure migration with human rights and human protection,” National Institute of Migration (INM) Commissioner Francisco Garduño Yáñez said during an interview with Mexico’s official news agency, Notimex. The commissioner stated that Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrand is coordinating the operation.
Garduño Yáñez told the Mexican news agency that nearly 400,000 migrants from Central America and other countries entered the country in the past three months. The officials said this “cannot continue to be allowed.”
The report from Notimex states that in addition to Central American migrants, they have also seen a rise in migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Garduño Yáñez said one of the goals is to stop the crossings from Guatemala into Mexico via rafts or boats. He said there will be no more massive and anarchic border crossings as seen in the recent past. He pledged that those who are currently in camps and wish to be returned to their home country will be assisted by the Mexican government.
For those who do not wish to return home, the commissioner said, “We will see what conditions they are in and see if the law allows them to stay. Otherwise, they will be deported.”
Earlier this week, Breitbart News reported that Central American migrants began returning home in the midst of the government’s increased emphasis on border security and immigration.
“What they’re doing is having an effect because they’re detaining a lot of people, but it’s not going to stop,” Tomas Leyva, a Salvadoran migrant told the Associated Press. “[In El Salvador] they say ‘better killed by the gringos than by the gangsters.’”
The interviewed migrant was preparing to leave on a raft to Guatemala with the intent to return later, once enforcement slowed down. The increased enforcement effort by Mexico followed President Donald Trump’s stated plans to place tariffs on Mexican imports into the U.S.
The INM commissioner said Mexico will also send about 2,000 national guard members to the northern border with the U.S. where camps of migrants await any opportunity to enter the U.S. He said the guardsmen will “invite the migrants to return to their countries of origin with assistance from the government.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced plans to restrict bus travel in his country to people with proper identity documentation, Proceso reported. The president solicited the assistance of the public and transportation companies.
“And in this, [we’re] also asking for the cooperation of the transportation companies and the cooperation … of the citizens because we will be needing — I hope for everyone’s understanding — to ask for identification for the purchase of bus tickets,” the president said during a news conference on Wednesday. “Then … for the people to show their ID so that there is more control — because they used that as an excuse for the threats of imposing tariffs among other things.”
AMLO also announced a shakeup of the INM and Customs. He said there were irregularities at the INM and “acts of corruption” in Customs. “We are cleaning institutions that were very spoiled. One of these institutions is Migration; the other, Customs,” the president stated.
Commissioner Garduño Yáñez expanded on this during his interview with Notimex, stating that immigration agents reported for corruption have been arrested and are being made available to appropriate law enforcement.