The Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Martha Bárcena has lauded the new approach as being successful.
President Donald Trump’s plan to force Mexico to stem the flow of migrants across the southwest border of the U.S. appears to be working.
Border arrests, a metric for illegal crossings, plummeted to 51,000 in August, according to preliminary government figures obtained by POLITICO Wednesday, down more than 60 percent since a peak in May. And border watchers say it’s largely because of an agreement Trump struck with Mexico in June. Mexican authorities, backed by the newly formed National Guard, are now cracking down on migrants traversing Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, monitoring river crossings and stopping buses carrying migrants from Central America through Mexico. At the same time, the U.S. is making tens of thousands of asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their applications are considered.
The decline in border traffic — if sustained — could amount to a major victory for Trump as he heads into the 2020 election. Perhaps more important, the experimental measures taken by his administration could reshape immigration enforcement for years to come.
“I think that they are getting exactly what they said they would get, by forcing the hand of Mexico,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Chicago-based pro-migrant group Alianza Americas. “But the question is, ‘Is it sustainable?’”