President Donald Trump has touted the deal reached with Mexico to stem a flood of illegal immigrants flowing to the U.S. in return for indefinitely suspending tariffs and has praised the Mexican government over the agreement reached last year.
“We’re very happy with the job they are doing,” the president said in the Oval Office in July, while speaking with reporters.
The dividends of that deal were seen this week when another caravan out of Central America was confronted by Mexican authorities — there was no shortage of cameras on hand to record the encounter.
A harrowing video making the rounds on Twitter purports to show Mexico’s military clashing with a large group of migrants in southern Mexico.
Video is by Edgar Hernández of @Reforma. Bravely done
— Emily Green (@emilytgreen) January 24, 2020
Reporting from Frontera Hidalgo, a town on the Mexico-Guatemala border, Reuters reported that Mexican authorities detained 800 migrants who illegally entered their country on a trek to the United States.
More from the news agency:
The National Migration Institute (INM) said it had transferred 800 migrants, some of them unaccompanied minors, to immigration centers where they would be given food, medical attention and shelter.
If their legal status cannot be resolved, they will be returned to their home countries. The INM also said it was looking for another 200 migrants who had remained in the area.
Reuters also reported “security forces with riot shields corralled migrants, including families with small children, after they had entered Mexico across the Suchiate River from Guatemala” — which appears to be a reference to the video seen above.
The migrants were reportedly the largest group to try to enter Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reached an agreement with Trump.
The 800 migrants were part of a 4,000-strong caravan trying to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border, according to the National Review.
Those assisting the migrants claimed the caravan successfully entered Mexico and was making its way north.
The caravan has advanced into Mexico and is walking towards Tapachula. Military is following but not stopping anyone. COMAR and Human Rights are handing out Mexican Asylum Papers. pic.twitter.com/zPRc0Nta8r
— Tapachula Migrant Solidarity (@SolXxtap) January 23, 2020
Another video showed a large number of migrants crossing a river to make their way into Mexico.
This morning the caravan asked the Mexican government for permission to pass. The Mexican government said no. Now, many from the caravan have gone down from the border bridge and are crossing the river into Mexico pic.twitter.com/PhbfpjbhAJ
— James Fredrick (@jameslfredrick) January 20, 2020
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who praised Mexican officials, said there have been “acts of reported violence by some involved in this caravan,” adding that Homeland Security personnel are on the ground and assisting Mexican efforts.
I commend the Government of Mexico for maintaining the integrity of their border, despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter. Read my full statement here: https://t.co/4xshcF6sVo pic.twitter.com/TWuQGXmWll
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) January 22, 2020
“I commend the Government of Mexico for upholding their commitment to increased security and law enforcement at their southern border,” Wolf said in the statement.
“The efforts by the Mexican National Guard and other officials have thus far been effective at maintaining the integrity of their border,” he added, “despite outbreaks of violence and lawlessness by people who are attempting to illegally enter Mexico on their way to the United States. DHS is monitoring the caravan closely, we have dozens of personnel on the ground in Central America assisting local immigration and security officials, which have already led to hundreds of individuals being stopped, apprehended and sent back to their home countries.”
As for the violence, a video shared on Twitter shows the two sides clashing, with the Mexican military being forced to defend itself.
— Carlos Mendoza (@_Cmendoza) January 20, 2020
Wolf was clear that if “any members of the caravan reach the U.S-Mexico border, they will be processed accordingly and quickly removed, returned or repatriated.”
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