Mexico has deployed 15,000 soldiers and National Guardsmen at the U.S.-Mexico border and is detaining migrants who attempt to illegally cross.
The Mexican government’s actions aim to meet President Donald Trump’s demands that the country help slow the influx of migrants entering the U.S. from Mexico, AFP reports.
“We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country,” Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said at a press conference.
Sandoval confirmed the governing is now detaining migrants at the border, AFP reports.
“Given that (undocumented) migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities” at the National Migration Institute, he continued.
Earlier this month, Mexico committed to deploying 6,000 National Guardsmen to its southern border to control immigration, but only a fraction have actually been deployed, according to the New York Times.
Trump gave Mexico an ultimatum last month, threatening to place a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports starting on June 10 unless illegal immigration from Mexico into the U.S. was stopped.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed clearly that he was not interested in a trade war with the U.S., and sought to reach a deal with Trump through negotiations. “We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference earlier this month.
“We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue,” he continued.
On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2019
The Mexican government has been criticized for its treatment of detainees at the northern border since an AFP photographer reported Mexican National Guardsmen forcefully apprehending two women and a little girl in Ciudad Juarez last week.
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