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NPR Reports On Mexico’s ‘Formidable Deportation Force’ On Guatemalan Border

National Public Radio (NPR) reported this week on Mexico’s “formidable deportation force,” an effort that has resulted in “more than half a million Central Americans” deported since 2014 and “almost 82,000 last year.”

While Mexican authorities often complain about U.S. border security efforts, a program initiated under the Obama administration actually “began funding Mexico’s immigration crackdown with the Southern Border Plan” in 2014, resulting in the enhanced border security efforts on the Mexico-Guatemala border.

The strategy used, however, is different.

“Rather than amassing troops on its border with Guatemala,” NPR writes, “Mexico stations migration agents, local and federal police, soldiers and marines to create a kind of containment zone in Chiapas state. With roving checkpoints and raids, Mexican migration agents have formed a formidable deportation force.”

And the results have been solid. According to NPR’s James Fredrick, “Since 2015, Mexico has deported more Central Americans annually than U.S. authorities have, in some years more than twice as many.”

Interestingly, while Mexican border authorities are cracking down on illegal immigration on their southern border, some local governments seem to be circumventing the law to help migrants — actions not unlike that of American “sanctuary cities.”

“We often tell migrants to travel at night,” says Ana Carolina Rodas, who runs the state government’s local migration assistance office in Ciudad Hidalgo, the small town that abuts the Guatemala border. “There are fewer migration officials or checkpoints at night, so it’s less likely they’ll be detained and deported.”

Of course, liberals south of the border don’t like Mexican border enforcement efforts either.

“Today the Mexican government is hunting migrants without sympathy, even though the exact same thing is happening to Mexicans at the U.S. border,” Priest César Cañaveral, head of migrant outreach for the Catholic Church’s local diocesehe, told NPR. “The border security measures here in Chiapas are even harsher than on the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Mexico’s speedy deportations have raised concerns of advocacy groups like the Washington Office on Latin America that potential refugees are being sent home before they have chances to claim asylum or report crimes committed against them in Mexico.

The Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian believes this development in Mexico will only gain steam if America cracks down on illegal immigration.

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