Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Mexico cracks down on migrants, after pressure from Trump to act


They arrived at dusk, dressed for combat, pouring from government vehicles. A phalanx of military and police personnel swarmed a small hotel in the center of Tapachula, this scrappy city near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. Their target: undocumented migrants.
Agents rushed door to door, hauling people away, while migrants shouted or ran out the back, scampering over the rooftops of neighboring homes, witnesses said.
It was one of several raids here last week to sweep up migrants, part of a broad Mexican crackdown against the surge of Central Americans and others streaming toward the United States. In recent weeks, the Mexican authorities have been breaking up migrant caravans and setting up round-the-clock roadblocks along common routes north.
Detentions and deportations in Mexico are multiplying quickly, sowing fear among the many thousands of Central Americans and others crowding the migrant shelters and budget hotels here in southern Mexico, most of them hoping to reach the American border.
“So scary,” said one Cuban migrant at the hotel. “The fear never goes away.”
The Mexican government has been under intense pressure from President Trump to block the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants trudging north each month. With the American authorities unable to stop illegal immigration into the United States, Mr. Trump has taken aim at countries in the region — including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the origins of most of the migration — threatening punishment unless they to do more.

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