A report in Mexico News Daily notes the massive increase in the numbers of Mexicans migrating to the U.S. It is not breaking news to Americans following news reports about the record-breaking number of migrants flooding the southern border but it is interesting that Mexican officials are acknowledging the crisis. That is something that President Biden refuses to do. This is not the seasonal surge in migration seen in years past. This is a whole new level of migration found at the border.
The number of Mexicans attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border has risen to a level not seen since 2008. According to Mexico News Daily, 147,000 Mexicans were detained by U.S. border patrol agents in the first three months of 2021. This number is about the equivalent of two-thirds of all arrests of Mexicans by CBP in 2020. If this trend continues – and there is no indication that it will not continue – it is estimated that 590,000 Mexicans will be detained by CBP this year. For reference, in 2008, more than 600,000 were detained.
The current situation is a reversal of the trend in recent years. The spike in the number of Mexicans not going through legal immigration channels is a reversal of the decrease in migration numbers seen in recent years. In 2017, for the first time ever, the number of Mexicans returning to Mexico from the U.S. exceeded the number of Mexicans crossing the border. A migration expert notes that CBP arrests of Mexicans in March were more than four times higher than the level seen in recent years.
“In March, for example, border patrol captured 171,000 people, of whom 68,000 were Mexicans. … What we have seen in other years is [the detention of] 15,000 Mexicans [per month],” she said.
Rendón attributed the surge to economic factors related to the coronavirus pandemic as well as displacement caused by violence.
In the almost 2 1/2 years since President López Obrador took office, about 776,000 Mexicans have been detained by the CBP, meaning that arrests during the six-year term of the current government are on track to exceed the number recorded during the 2012–2018 presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, during which about 1.15 million Mexicans were intercepted.
This is not good news for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He gave an interview in 2019 in which he spoke of his “dream” of reaching a point when Mexicans would no longer need to migrate to the U.S. for work. His hopes of Mexicans remaining in Mexico have not been achieved. A newspaper columnist notes that Mexicans have the same problems in their country they have always had – among them poverty and a lack of job opportunities. The pandemic contributed to Mexico’s problems, too.
“About four of every 10 migrants detained on the [United States] southern border in recent weeks are of Mexican origin,” Krauze wrote, adding that “the grave trend” threatens to undo gains made over the past decade during which migration of Mexicans to the U.S. recorded negative numbers.
“The consequences of the pandemic have been particularly harsh in Mexico, where the government has failed in the containment of the health emergency and in the management of the economic crisis. The explosion in poverty in the country has the same consequence as always: the people go to where there is … the possibility to survive,” he wrote.
President Lopez Obrador is being pressured to work quickly by Mexican officials. His government has failed to continue lowering the trend of migration seen during the Trump administration. Biden’s confusing messaging around illegal immigration has added to the crisis.
One solution Lopez Obrador is working on is that of gaining control of Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. He announced Tuesday that 12,000 officials have been deployed to southern Mexico to deal with the increase in migration from that country crossing into Mexico. There is particular emphasis on discouraging Central Americans from bringing children with them.
Speaking after the White House said Mexico had 10,000 troops on its southern border with Guatemala to contain migration, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a regular news conference that flows of migrant children were at unprecedented levels.
Ebrard and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador both expressed concern that children were being used by human smugglers to make it easier for migrants to transit Mexico, and urged Central Americans to desist from the practice.
“This is serious,” Lopez Obrador said.
People smugglers often advise migrants to send children on the journey north to take advantage of protections afforded to minors, officials say.
Monday the White House claimed that Mexico’s commitment to deploy personnel for security as the border crisis at the U.S. border continues to grow. Mexico’s foreign minister said the the officials deployed to the border with Guatemala include National Guard members, national migration authority staff, and health and welfare officials. He said the Mexican government had been working in various southern states to tackle the crisis. Ebrard wants the U.S. to “do something” in Central American countries. We know what that means – send money, right? That solution hasn’t stopped illegal migration in past years, there is no reason to think it will be a magic bullet this time around, either. As long as there is incoherent messaging coming out of the Biden administration over immigration policies and specifically actions on illegal immigration, nothing will change. Biden signed an executive memo declaring a freeze on deportations in his first days in office, as well as increasing approval of the number of legal asylum claims. Despite the court challenges to Biden’s actions, including his dissolution of the Remain-in-Mexico agreement, Central Americans and Mexicans hear messages of encouragement to just come and cross the U.S. border and they will be allowed to stay. That includes sending innocent young children with coyotes and human traffickers to be dumped and abandoned at the border.
We’ve never seen trafficking of minors on this scale,” he said, noting the government needed to boost infrastructure and facilities for looking after migrant children.
“This is what we told the Americans, this is what Mexico is doing, but it’s not enough, you need to do something in Central America,” Ebrard added, reiterating that the region needed developmental aid to stem the departure of people.
Biden’s border crisis isn’t just a border security issue for the U.S., it is a humanitarian crisis for the U.S. and all the other countries involved, too. This is not a seasonal migration. Joe Biden owns this mess.
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