Mexico sends home more migrants as Trump ramps up pressure

4/24/2019 – Reuters

WECVN3TFJ4I6TJUYFKHYBDE47MBy Anthony Esposito

Mexico has returned 15,000 migrants in the past 30 days, a senior government official said on Tuesday, pointing to an uptick in deportations in the face of pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to stem the flow of people north.

Speaking at a news conference, Tonatiuh Guillen, head of the National Migration Institute, did not say where those people were returned to, but the majority of migrants moving through Mexico are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Guillen said that 11,800 people had been returned in the first 22 days of April. That compares with 9,650 for all of April last year.

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Mexican police detain hundreds of Central American migrants

4/23/2019 – The Hill

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(Moises Castillo/Associated Press)

By Zack Budryk

Mexican officials on Monday detained hundreds of Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border, according to The Associated Press.

Police detained up to 500 migrants traveling with a caravan of about 3,000 in Pijijiapan, a town in the southern state of Chiapas, according to the AP. They targeted isolated groups of people at the end of the procession as they stopped to rest in the shade, according to the news service.

Several pickup trucks loaded with detainees were driven to buses presumably bound for immigration stations, according to the AP.

A previous caravan of migrants headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, leading to President Trump and other Republicans repeatedly invoking the specter of the caravan in an attempt to drum up support for stricter immigration restrictions. U.S. officials fired tear gas on a group of migrants attempting to breach a Tijuana border fence in January.

Migrants anxious after Mexican authorities raid caravan

4/23/2019 – The Washington Post

PIJIJIAPAN, Mexico — Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S. are finding a much tougher trek than those in previous caravans, meeting unwelcoming townsfolk and a surprise raid by Mexican police and immigration agents who detained hundreds in Mexico’s south.

While their compatriots were been taken into custody Monday, hundreds of other migrants scrambled away into the brush along the highway in Chiapas state to elude authorities.

Many had already learned they would not be received in towns with the same hospitality that greeted previous caravans, and now they know they won’t be safe walking along the rural highway either. Mexican authorities say they detained 367 people in the largest single raid on a migrant caravan since the groups started moving through the country last year.

Oscar Johnson Rivas fled up a mountain when officers converged on the caravan and spent six hours hiding in the thick vegetation before carefully making his way back to the highway with others. Some migrants, including women and children, remained in hiding without food.

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Latest migrant caravan moving toward US has little Mexican support: report

4/22/2019 – The Hill

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UPI Photo

By Chris Mills Rodrigo

The latest migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S. border has limited support from Mexico, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

The group of Central Americans moving toward the U.S. this weekend are reportedly receiving less aid from Mexico’s local governments than previous caravans.

Members of the caravan that moved to the U.S. in October and became a central component of President Trump‘s messaging for the 2018 midterm elections benefited from help in Mexico.

Those migrants received food and shelter from town governments, churches and passersby, according to AP.

Significant pressure from the U.S. has changed that, with the Mexican government reportedly urging local officials to not provide assistance.

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FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico

4/22/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border into New Mexico.

The arrest came two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the group of illegally detaining migrants and New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation.

Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

“We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), blaming his arrest on political pressure from Lujan Grisham.

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Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

4/22/2019 – The Washington Post

QBEF2MTD5II6TPZE3NFZ7NRKUI.jpgBy Sonia Perez D. | AP

MAPASTEPEC, Mexico — Madison Mendoza, her feet aching and her face burned by the sun, wept as she said she had nothing to feed her 2-year-old son who she’d brought with her on the long trek toward the United States.

Mendoza, 22, said an aunt in Honduras had convinced her to join the migrant caravan, which she did two weeks ago in the capital of Tegucigalpa. The aunt said she’d have no problems, that people along the route in Mexico would help as they did for a large caravan that moved through the area in October.

But this time, the help did not come. The outpouring of aid that once greeted Central American migrants as they trekked in caravans through southern Mexico has been drying up. Hungrier, advancing slowly or not at all, and hounded by unhelpful local officials, frustration is growing among the 5,000 to 8,000 migrants in the southern state of Chiapas.

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Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint

4/19/2019 – The New York Times

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Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Simon Romero

ALBUQUERQUE — A right-wing militia group operating in southern New Mexico has begun stopping groups of migrant families and detaining them at gunpoint before handing them over to Border Patrol agents, raising tension over the tactics of armed vigilantes along the border between the United States and Mexico.

Members of the group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, filmed several of their actions in recent days, including the detention this week of a group of about 200 migrants who had recently crossed the border near Sunland Park, N.M., with the intention of seeking asylum. They uploaded videos to social media of exhausted looking migrant families, blinking in the darkness in the glare of what appeared to be the militia’s spotlights.

Professed militias have long operated along the border with attempts to curb the flow of undocumented migrants into the United States. But targeting the recent influx of families, who are legally allowed to request asylum and often quickly surrender to Border Patrol agents, is raising tension with human rights activists in this part of the West.

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