Mexico is building a ‘wall’… on its southern border (to keep illegal immigrants out). Perhaps even more ironic, The FT notes that the Obama administration is coy about its role in Mexico’s crackdown but is sending $75m in equipment and training to help stop Central Americans from crossing illegally into Mexico… in other words, US Taxpayers funded a Mexican wall to keep immigrants out.
The UN estimates 400,000 Central Americans cross illegally into Mexico each year and as many as half of those are fleeing violence. But as The FT reports, Mexico already acts as a formidable barrier for many…
Zero net immigration of Mexicans into the US and an 82 per cent fall in people caught trying to cross the US-Mexico border in the past 10 years means that most would-be immigrants detained there are Central Americans. Even without Mr Trump’s fortress frontier, Mexico finds itself under increasing pressure to stem the migrant tide near its source — its own southern border.
“Mexico has become a wall for migrants,” said Sister Magdalena Silva, co-ordinator of Cafemin, a privately run shelter in Mexico City that takes in refugee families, including Rosa’s. “The current policy is to arrest migrants to stop them from getting to the US border.”
Unlike in the US, Mexico has broadened asylum laws to recognise that fleeing violence of the kind practised by the street gangs of Honduras and El Salvador can classify someone as a refugee. But the odds are still stacked against asylum seekers: Mexico deported a record 175,000 Central Americans last year, up 68 per cent from the previous year and nearly two-and-a-half times the number deported by the US.
“By the end of the year we estimate we could have as many as 8,100 individuals seeking asylum in Mexico,” almost all from Central America, says José Sieber, the head of protection in Mexico for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. That is more than double last year’s number.
Finally, and perhaps interestingly, guess who is funding this ‘wall’ of deportation…
The US is coy about its role in Mexico’s crackdown but is sending $75m in equipment and training to help stop Central Americans from crossing illegally into Mexico.
Hosting Mr Trump two weeks ago, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that “making Mexico’s border with our friends and neighbours in Central America more secure is of vital importance for Mexico and the US”.
Physical wall or legal wall… it appears Mexico agrees with Donald Trump that better walls make better neighbors… we just wonder what he thinks about Americans paying for it.