Sunday, June 16, 2019  
 
 
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Mexico Vows Migrant Crackdown, Aid     06/16 09:39

   Mexican President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador said Saturday his country must 
help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases 
security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route 
to the U.S.

   MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador said 
Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, 
even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing 
through Mexico on route to the U.S.

   Mexico plans to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops by Tuesday to its 
southern border with Guatemala to slow the arrival of migrants and The 
Associated Press saw Mexican soldiers with black National Guard armbands 
stationed just north of the Guatemalan border on Saturday.

   A checkpoint near Ciudad Cuauhtemoc in southern Chiapas state was manned by 
nearly 10 soldiers with black armbands together with federal police and 
immigration officers. The officials pulled at least two suspected migrants 
lacking required documents from vehicles.

   At another checkpoint just north of Comitan in Chiapas, about a dozen 
apparent National Guardsmen drove around backroads in the rain and dark, 
looking for migrants but not finding any. The AP followed them in another 
vehicle.

   Mexico's president has walked a fine line between enforcement and 
humanitarian overtures for migrants since he took office on Dec. 1. Initially 
his administration issued thousands of transit visas for safe passage through 
Mexico, only to clamp down shortly after with stepped up detentions and 
deportations.

   "The truth is that there is a great humanitarian crisis in Central America 
and many people out of necessity have set out to look for a life in the United 
States and they pass through our territory," said Lpez Obrador, speaking in the 
northern state of Chihuahua.

   Lpez Obrador said the refusal to help foreigners in need is 
"anti-Christian," adding that "we can't turn our backs on them."

   He is lobbying for international development aid to help Central Americans 
stay in their countries of origin. He said Saturday that 80 percent of the 
migrants crossing through Mexico, and toward the U.S., are from Central America.

   Mexico has offered refuge to migrants with credible fears as thousands 
remain in the country while they await court dates for asylum petitions in the 
U.S. The understaffed and underfunded Mexican refugee commission faces a 
backlog of cases.

   But in recent months, police and immigration have stepped up enforcement in 
southern Mexico, setting up highway checkpoints, raiding a caravan of mostly 
Central American migrants and trying to keep people off the northbound train 
known as "the beast."

   At the same time, Mexicans have grown increasingly intolerant of the large 
numbers of migrants passing through their country in an attempt to reach the 
U.S.

   A June poll in Mexican newspaper El Universal showed that Mexicans are less 
receptive to allowing undocumented migrants to come in, or to stay on 
permanently as refugees, than they were in October, when caravans with 
thousands of Central American migrants were winding their way north.

   A majority of Mexicans that participated in the survey said they favor 
barring entry to migrants who try cross into Mexico without visas, and a 
majority now say that Mexico should not offer them refugee status.

   Mexico's southern border is porous and difficult to patrol, with dense 
jungle and rivers.

   On Friday, a sociologist who served as Mexico's immigration chief resigned 
and was replaced by the country's director of prisons. Foreign Relations 
Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said an additional 825 immigration agents will be sent 
to the southern border next week.

   Alejandro Murat, governor of the southern state of Oaxaca, applauded the 
stepped up enforcement and controls. "For the first time, there will be order 
on the southern border that will allow us to have the identity and control of 
who is in the national territory," said Murat Friday.


(KA)

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN