On the Suchiate River dividing Mexico and Guatemala, it sure looks easy to cross north without papers.
A young, mustachioed man is pulling a makeshift raft across the quiet river via two ropes connecting the countries. The crossing costs 4 quetzales, 10 pesos or 50 U.S. cents. The raft captain says that nearby migration officials rarely intervene.
But the impression that Mexico is lax on migrants disappears as you head just a little north.
“They put up lots of checkpoints,” says Gustavo Rivera, a bus driver shuttling between Mexico’s southeastern border and the nearest city, Tapachula. “Immigration [agents], federal police, soldiers, local police. I don’t get many migrants on the bus anymore because of the checkpoints.”
President Trump singled out a group of families from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador heading to the United States as evidence that “Mexico is doing very little, if not nothing,” to stop immigration. But Mexico has actually assembled an aggressive enforcement strategy, with U.S. backing.
The strategy tightened up in 2014, shortly after American officials declared a crisis over the arrival of large numbers of Central American children at the U.S. border. The U.S. began funding Mexico’s immigration crackdown with the Southern Border Plan.
Rather than amassing troops on its border with Guatemala, Mexico stations migration agents, local and federal police, soldiers and marines to create a kind of containment zone in Chiapas state. With roving checkpoints and raids, Mexican migration agents have formed a formidable deportation force. Since the Southern Border Plan launched, Mexico has deported more than half a million Central Americans, including almost 82,000 last year, according to data from Mexico’s Interior Department. Since 2015, Mexico has deported more Central Americans annually than U.S. authorities have, in some years more than twice as many.
It’s such an effective force that even some government officials try to give migrants workarounds.
more recommended stories
Altars exhibition will return to the tourist corridor of Calle 59, in Campeche
CAMPECHE, (October 23, 2021) .- After canceling.
Guides will participate in “alternative tourist tianguis” in the park of Santa Ana in Mérida
They will offer new attractions to.
Ticul Hospital will be ready in 2023, says Mauricio Vila
Merida, Yucatan, (October 23, 2021).- The.
KFC restaurant in eastern Mérida catches fire
Mérida, Yucatán, (October 23, 2021).- This.
Migrants change their course, leave Chiapas bound to Mexico City
Around three thousand migrants left Tapachula,.
Germany issues travel alert to Mexico after killings of foreigners in Tulum
The alert is in addition to.
Man is shot and wounded just a few steps from Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen
Quintana Roo, (October 23, 2021).- The.
Shootings, fires, and blockades, at least 3 injured in Matamoros, Tamaulipas
In Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México a series.
Oaxaca Giant ‘Alebrijes’, conquer New York City with their magic
The giant alebrijes placed in New.
Bomb Cyclone – Atmospheric River coming to blast the Western US
A series of potent storms is.