Donald Trump wants a wall on America’s southern border to keep illegal immigrants out. But, the Financial Times reports, for people such as Rosa, whose husband, mother, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews were murdered in her native Honduras by gangs who then tried to recruit her 14-year-old son, Mexico already acts as a formidable barrier.
Zero net immigration of Mexicans into the US and an 82 per cent fall in people caught trying to cross the US-Mexico border in the past 10 years means that most would-be immigrants detained there are Central Americans. Even without Mr Trump’s fortress frontier, Mexico finds itself under increasing pressure to stem the migrant tide near its source — its own southern border.
“Mexico has become a wall for migrants,” said Sister Magdalena Silva, co-ordinator of Cafemin, a privately run shelter in Mexico City that takes in refugee families, including Rosa’s. “The current policy is to arrest migrants to stop them from getting to the US border.”
The UN estimates 400,000 Central Americans cross illegally into Mexico each year and as many as half of those are fleeing violence. The majority are quickly deported back to dangerous homes.
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