MAPASTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – Amid pressure from Washington, Mexico is backpedaling on promises of better treatment for Central American migrants, leaving hundreds stranded in unsanitary camps near its southern border and allegations of irregular detentions.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised more humane treatment for Central American migrants when he took office in December. His left-leaning government issued thousands of year-long humanitarian visas in January, giving migrants legal access to jobs and the right to travel to the United States.
However, caught off guard by a surge in arrivals, Lopez Obrador’s administration is resorting to old tactics based on tough law enforcement.
Mexico has halted the liberal visa policy and ramped up detentions of migrants heading north, government data shows, following criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump of a jump in the number of Central American asylum seekers reaching the U.S. border in February.
Trump, who is expected to make border security central to his 2020 re-election bid, has vowed to limit trade with Mexico if it does not help slow immigration.
While Lopez Obrador’s government has said it will not react to “threats”, sources familiar with Mexican policy, who asked not to be identified, said near-daily U.S. government pressure had led the interior and foreign ministries to push the National Migration Institute (INM) for tougher action.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Unreleased INM data, reviewed by Reuters, showed that it detained 12,746 undocumented migrants for registration in March, up by nearly one-third from February and two-thirds from January.
The agency also suspended its humanitarian visa program on Jan. 28, after issuing some 13,000, mostly to Central Americans arriving that month in the southern border state of Chiapas, site of most migrant arrivals.
A few visas were issued in February but none since, said an INM official in Mexico City, who was not officially authorized to speak to media and asked to remain anonymous.
more recommended stories
Owner of California car dealership beaten to death in Cabo, Mexico
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Prosecutors in.
5 Mexico Beaches on International Living’s World’s Best List
Most people who dream about retiring.
Mexico’s Lopez Obrador ratings slip: to 70% approval
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s President.
Walmart will supply Central America from distribution center in Kanasín, Yucatán
The president of the National Chamber.
Cozumel east coast severely affected by tons of sargasso
The east coast of the island.
“Sun at the zenith” – Thursday in Merida: objects and people will not have a shadow
The phenomenon of the sun at.
Racist Kellyanne Conway to reporter: ―”What’s your ethnicity?”―
Kellyanne Conway prides herself on her.
Outrage over Trump’s racist tweets
WASHINGTON D.C (Agencies/CNN) – Outrage over.
Las Coloradas: The Unbelievable Pink Lakes of the Yucatan (VIDEO)
Hidden away on the tip of.
Mototaxis: the most dangerous means of public transportation in Mérida
During the first half of the.