We first heard some rumbling about this in early December. Mexico’s new president was looking to shut down the procession of illegal immigrant caravans and improve relations with the United States by hardening their own southern border. But could he do it? Was the United States going to help?
Looks like we have our answer. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO) has announced yet another move to show he’s serious about border control. Once again, we’re not talking about Mexico’s border with the United States, but their own southern border with Guatemala, where the vast majority of illegal immigrants heading for the United States cross over into his country. They don’t have the time, money or resources for an actual wall (yet), but the government is stationing federal troops at hundreds of common crossing points to shut down the flow as much as possible. (Seattle Times)
The Mexican government says it will put guards at some 370 illegal crossing points along the country’s southern border with Guatemala.
Mexico’s interior secretary has not set a date for accomplishing the task of securing the porous border.
Olga Sanchez Cordero said the crossings “will be guarded and controlled to prevent the entry of undocumented people.”
Currently, migrants cross along almost the entire length of the Usumacinta River that separates the two countries.
AMLO has quite the task ahead of him. Covering 370 crossing points sounds like a very good start, but the entire border is relatively easy to cross as compared to some of the more harsh, desert stretches of the American border. And how many troops can be permanently stationed down there at each point? A small platoon will be able to turn back or arrest individuals or single families looking to cross, but what about the next caravan? If there are only a dozen or so federal agents, they will be quickly overwhelmed by more than a thousand migrants.
There’s a second question to consider here. If closing off the border between the United States and Mexico is either racist or “immoral” (as Nancy Pelosi claims), then isn’t the Mexican government just as culpable by doing this? I can’t wait for the breathless editorials from the Washington Post and the New York Times describing what a heartless racist AMLO is.
Of course, to make any real progress in shutting down the flow of illegal immigrants, we need to address the violence, poverty and massive government corruption in both Guatemala and Honduras which causes many of their citizens to flee. That job became even tougher this week after the government of Guatemala announced that they were withdrawing from the UN corruption commission which toppled some of their previous leaders. If the government of Guatemala is so corrupt that they won’t even participate in an effort to clean up their own act, it’s difficult to see how we’re going to make any headway in this battle.
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