Mexico’s other border

09/23/16 Financial Times

fence at borderThe UN estimates 400,000 Central Americans cross illegally into Mexico each year and as many as half of those are fleeing violence. As pressure builds for measures to stem the flow of migrants, the FT’s Jude Webber tells one woman’s story. Visit FT.com for more on the story.

Read more…

Struggles, Not Protection, Greet Central American Refugees in Mexico

19/09/16 The Wire 

immigrationOn September 19 and 20, world leaders will convene at the UN General Assembly for the first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migration. Although focusing primarily on the refugee crisis in Syria, the summit provides an opportunity to reflect on a humanitarian crisis that persists in southern Mexico.

In the summer of 2014, 70,000 Central American children arrived at the US-Mexico border, seeking refuge from the life-threatening conditions they faced in their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Read more…

Mexico builds its own wall against migrants

09/14/16 Financial Times

migrantsDonald Trump wants a wall on America’s southern border to keep illegal immigrants out. But for people such as Rosa, whose husband, mother, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews were murdered in her native Honduras by gangs who then tried to recruit her 14-year-old son, Mexico already acts as a formidable barrier.

Rosa, who asked for her full name not to be used, fled with her two teenage sons only to find herself trapped in a political controversy that the US Republican candidate has put at the heart of his campaign.

Read more…

Mexico reclaims migrant-shuttling ‘The Beast’ railroad concession

08/23/16 Reuters

migrants1Mexico’s Communications and Transport Ministry said on Tuesday it had taken over a concession to a southern railroad, whose trains are known locally as “The Beast,” which thousands of Central American migrants have used to hitch rides to the United States.

The ministry scrapped the concession, which had belonged to the Ferrocarriles Chiapas-Mayab rail company, on the grounds of “public interest, public usage and national security,” it said in a statement, without elaborating.

Read more…

Mexico is already the immigration ‘wall’ some politicians want

08/01/16 Los Angeles Times 

us mex flagMexico is a critical partner,” President Obama reminded reporters during a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on July 22, “and is critically important to our own well-being.” The two presidents praised not only their countries’ immense cross-border trade but also bilateral collaboration on energy, the environment and counter-narcotics. Left unmentioned in their opening remarks was another crucial way Mexico is helping its northern neighbor: as a buffer between the U.S. and Central America’s Northern Triangle, where gang violence, chronic corruption and endemic poverty drives hundreds of thousands from their homes each year.

Read more…

Mexico’s other border

06/14/2016 MSNBC

migrantesAlong the cocaine corridor that cuts north out of Central America, drug cartels are no longer the primary targets for Mexican police.

Migrants – many young men, mothers and children – are the nation’s new persons of interest.

An unprecedented number of Central Americans have been rounded up, arrested and deported by Mexican authorities over the last two years, part of a new crackdown on migration along the country’s southern border.

The result has effectively outsourced a solution to the United States’ most pressing concerns for its own borders. As deportations in Mexico rose, illegal border crossings in the U.S. dipped.

Read more…

Now or never: Trump’s ‘wall’ talk sparks migrant rush on U.S.-Mexico border

3/1/16 Reuters

Us-mexico-borderGang violence and poverty have for years pushed Mexicans and Central Americans north to the United States, but recently a new driver has emerged: the anti-immigrant tone of leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

From the slums of Central America to close-knit migrant communities in U.S. cities, Trump’s rise to the front of the Republican pack has not gone unnoticed and is partly behind a spike in the numbers of migrants trying to enter the country, including children traveling without guardians.

Interviews with migrants, people smugglers and officials show many migrants are trying to cross now instead of facing tighter policing and new policies to halt illegal immigration if Trump or another Republican wins the Nov. 8 election.

Read more…