Mexico says it has complied with a 90-day deadline from the U.S. to reduce the flow of migrants through its territory, but activists say Mexico’s crackdown has only forced migrants into greater desperation and more illicit, dangerous routes.
Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard is to give a final report on Mexican government efforts Friday, three months after threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on Mexico unless it cracked down on hundreds of thousands of mainly Central American migrants arriving at the U.S. border.
The figures appear to bear out Mexico’s position. The number of migrants detained at the U.S. border has fallen from 133,000 in May to 95,000 in June and 72,000 in July. Mexico has reinforced security on its porous southern border and set up checkpoints on highways leading north, deploying 21,600 police and troops across the nation.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador is a leftist who took office Dec. 1 promising better treatment of migrants, but he has instead made the fight against migrant trafficking his own cause. In recent weeks, he has seldom cites the U.S. pressure and depicts the crackdown on migrants as a struggle to defend Mexican laws. For example, his administration has taken a tough line against hundreds of African migrants waiting in the southern city of Tapachula for transit visas that Mexico no longer hands out.