AP: Mexican Majority Supports Crackdown on Migrant Caravans

A Mexican National Guardsman stands guard at Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. (AP Photo: Idalia Rie)
AP Photo: Idalia Rie

The Associated Press reports that Mexican citizens are expressing support for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s crackdown on Central American migrants. The report indicates that Mexican grew weary of the repeated migrant caravans moving through their towns in 2018 and 2019.

“The truth is that it is a problem for everyone. It’s better that they be sent back to their countries,”  Jorge Parada Leon, a Mexico City message delivery worker told the AP. “Crossing Mexico the way they do is dangerous, a lot of them have died … they should fix the problems they have in their home countries.”

A Mexican government worker expressed that López Obrador “should focus on the people instead of being compassionate with the migrants who come from other countries. He should support the (Mexican) people. And the others? Well, let their governments take care of their own people.”

Initially, the Northern Triangle migrants were welcomed by the Mexican population, the AP reported. Polling indicated a near 50-50 split on whether the country should stop the caravans from entering Mexico without proper documentation. Now, 61.5 percent of those polled support stopping the migrants and only 33 percent opposed stopping them. As for asylum for the migrants, those supporting their remaining in Mexico with asylum fell from 48 percent in October to 37 percent in June. Those opposed to the asylum issue rose from 38 percent to 57 percent.

The AP also reported that President López Obrador’s approval rating has held fast at about 66 to 72 percent after he implemented the immigration crackdown in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of tarriffs.

“A few days ago we were able to overcome a possible economic and political crisis, by means of an immigration agreement that requires us to be stricter in enforcing immigration laws,” The Mexican president said after coming to an agreement. “We have established a relationship of respect and friendship with the people and government of the United States and this has allowed us to avoid confrontation that wouldn’t benefit anyone.”

“Mexican police, soldiers and National Guard are raiding hotels, buses and trains to round up migrants, creating scenes of weeping Central American mothers piled into police vans along with their children and overflowing detention centers with deplorable conditions,” the AP opened in their article.

It seems even those who support the immigrants also support the president’s immigration crackdown, the AP continued. Shelter manager Rev. Alejandro Solalinde told the reporter, “someone had to impose order on the border.” His experience in running shelters in southern Mexico allowed him to experience the chaos caused by hundreds of Central American migrants crossing the country’s southern border without regulation. He blamed the caravan organizers for the current lack of support for the migrants in Mexico.

“They were irresponsible in bringing migrants to the northern border and exposing them to risks in such a brutal way. They herded the migrants up to the border and caused a big international problem between the two countries,” Solalinde expressed.

Mexico’s crackdown on migrants appears to be having some positive effects on the U.S. southwestern border. Unofficial reports leaked from CBP to some media outlets indicate the apprehension of illegal border crossers by Border Patrol agents may have dropped by as much as 30 percent in June.


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