Putting an end to undocumented immigration has been a top priority for President Donald Trump in his first month in office. He’s taken a hard line against Mexico, insisting the country pay for his proposed wall along America’s southern border—a demand that the nation has repeatedly rejected. That strategy carries risks for Trump, because he’ll probably need Mexico’s help if he wants to achieve his border security goal.
Despite Trump’s assertion that Mexico is sending “bad hombres” to the U.S., most of the people crossing the southern border came from other countries. That’s a significant change from 2000, when the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended a record 1.6 million people, and most came from Mexico. While Mexico’s border with its own southern neighbors is only about one-third the length of the almost 2,000 mile frontier between Mexico and the U.S., it’s often the entry point for refugees from the “northern triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador seeking asylum in the U.S.