It’s not a physical wall. Rather it’s more like the EU’s bribery scheme in which the EU pays Turkey €3 billion to halt the flow of refugees heading to Greece.
“The current policy is to arrest migrants to stop them from getting to the US border,” says a coordinator for a shelter in Mexico City. The majority are quickly deported back to dangerous homes.
Donald Trump wants a wall on America’s southern border to keep illegal immigrants out. But for people such as Rosa, whose husband, mother, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews were murdered in her native Honduras by gangs who then tried to recruit her 14-year-old son, Mexico already acts as a formidable barrier.
Rosa, who asked for her full name not to be used, fled with her two teenage sons only to find herself trapped in a political controversy that the US Republican candidate has put at the heart of his campaign.
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.”
The UN estimates 400,000 Central Americans cross illegally into Mexico each year and as many as half of those are fleeing violence. The majority are quickly deported back to dangerous homes.
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.
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”.
After months in detention, Rosa and her sons were denied asylum. No official reason was given and Mexico’s refugee authorities did not respond to interview requests.
Help For Trump
This timely story will undoubtedly help Trump. It highlights the blatant hypocrisy of the Obama administration, and Mexico as well, doing everything to prevent Central American migrants from staying in Mexico or reaching the US border.
The US then grants asylum to those who make it. Lovely.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock