Mexican Newspaper: Authorities Getting Tougher on Migrants as Tariffs Loom

Mexico southern border
Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty

Negotiations between Mexico and the United States continue over President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs if the Mexican government does not help stem the flow of migrants and drugs coming across the U.S. border, but authorities in that country are already starting to step up their security operations.

The Mexico Daily News reported on Wednesday that new checkpoints on Mexico’s southern border have been set up and security officials have raided hotels and guesthouses in Tapachula and Chiapas near the Guatemalan border.

The newspaper reported: 

The federal government has tightened security at Mexico’s southern border after pressure from United States President Donald Trump to do more to stop migration flows into the U.S., but authorities failed to stop a new migrant caravan entering the country on Wednesday.

As many as 1,000 Central Americans crossed the Rodolfo Robles international bridge between Tecún Umán, Guatemala, and Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, this morning, overwhelming immigration agents.

Other migrants who had already crossed the Suchiate River on rafts joined the caravan members and together they began the 30-kilometer journey to Tapachula. Forces have been deployed to Metapa, about 15 kilometers from Tapachula, where they intend to stop the caravan.

The newspaper updated its report later on Wednesday and said security officials rounded up 600 of the migrants in Metapa and then transported them to an immigration office to assess their status. The newspaper reported the other 400 or so migrants escaped.

“Military police are also guarding the Siglo XXI migrant detention center in Tapachula, where there have been several riots and mass escapes in recent months,” the Mexico Daily News reported.

Federal police have also been deployed to prevent migrants from getting on the train, known as the La Bestia or the Beast, that travels north toward the U.S. border.

John Sanders, acting commissioner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had detained more than 680,000 illegal migrants in the past eight months.

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