A group of 2,000 migrants bound for the U.S. border was blocked and apprehended by Mexican authorities in the latest move indicating Mexico is delivering on promises to help defend North America from mass migration.
A large group of migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America had begun a journey from Tapachula, which lies on the border of Mexico and Guatemala.
However, after only about 24 miles, they were prevented from continuing north.
“Around 500 members of Mexico’s National Guard military police in helmets and tactical vests blocked the highway on both sides, according to a Reuters witness, and some pursued migrants who fled into neighboring fields,” Reuters reports.
“Officials from Mexico’s national immigration institute detained most of the group, putting them on buses back to Tapachula. About 150 migrants decided to return on foot.”
Activists called the operation a “human hunt” and claimed it was an “exercise in cruelty” to wait until the migrants had become too tired to resist being loaded into transports and returned to their starting point.
In June, Mexico deployed thousands of troops to crack down on the flow of migrants in response to major economic penalties threatened by the Trump administration.
Since then, migrant apprehensions at the U.S. southern border have been falling rapidly.
In September, Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan commended Mexico for their cooperative efforts, but called on them to “do more.”
Morgan explained Mexico had created a “new national guard within their country,” deploying 10,000 troops to their southern border with Guatemala and 15,000 troops to their northern border with the U.S.
“Even though Mexico has… joined the United States, as well as our Northern Triangle partners, and really stepped up as true partners and really are really seeing this as a regional crisis, and they have stepped up in unprecedented ways — we need them to do more. We need Mexico to do more,” Morgan stressed.
“Mexico needs to continue to work with our intelligence folks to use information, share intelligence, and develop target enforcement actions at strategic locations in their country,” he continued. “So they are stepping up in unprecedented ways, but we need them to continue to sustain that, and we need them continue to do more.”
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