It seems President Donald Trump’s refusal to allow migrants to illegally enter the U.S. has sparked a move by Mexico to close its own border.
But the government of incoming Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador isn’t focusing on the shared border with its American neighbor to the north. Instead, illegal entries at its southern border with Guatemala will be closed off by the government, Mexico’s top security official said Wednesday, according to The Washington Times.
Despite the thousands who crossed that southern border in migrant caravans in the last months – with many breaking through a border fence into Mexico in October – Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero noted that was “no longer an issue.”
“Do you know why it is no longer an issue? Because in five days this administration solved the issue, five days,” she said, according to The Times. “The United States was impressed.”
Sanchez Cordera was referring to the first week since Obrador took office on Dec. 1, launching stricter policies to combat the problem of illegal immigration. The leftist president spoke with Trump on Wednesday about issues including migration.
“In respectful and friendly terms, we spoke about the migration issue and the possibility of implementing a joint program of development and job creation in Central America and our country,” Lopez Obrador tweeted Wednesday.
Hoy conversamos por teléfono con el presidente Donald Trump. En términos respetuosos y de amistad, tratamos el tema migratorio y la posibilidad de aplicar un programa conjunto para el desarrollo y la creación de empleos en Centroamérica y en nuestro país. pic.twitter.com/6BHVGBIZH2
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) December 13, 2018
Illegal crossings at the border between Mexico and Guatemala, especially over the Suchiate River which runs much of the course, will end with the new administration, Sanchez Cordera noted. While the U.S.-Mexico border runs nearly 2,000 miles, the southern border with Guatemala is only 540 miles long.
The new administration’s goals are admirable in light of Trump’s strong stand on border security and illegal immigration into the U.S. despite the clamoring by Democrats who contend that America has an obligation to care for asylum-seeking migrants – the majority of whom are not reportedly fleeing persecution.
Mexico’s incoming administration has been working to improve conditions at shelters in the northern border city of Tijuana where the Central American migrant caravan was being housed, bringing in a myriad of respiratory infections and other illnesses and causing residents to call for their government to do something.. A “Christmas at Home” campaign was even launched in an effort to get migrants to return to their own home countries for the holiday.
But future potential immigrants from Mexico’s southern neighbor had better “get in line” if they want to enter Mexico, in comments that sound familiar to Trump supporters.
“In the south, there will be only one entry, on the bridge,” Sanchez Cordera said. “Anyone who wants to enter illegally, we are going to say: ‘Get in line and you can enter our country.’”
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