Mexico’s deployment of National Guardsmen and other ground troops on the U.S.-Mexico border has already begun to disrupt the movement of migrants.
The inflow of Central American migrants into the U.S. has been stunted following the deployment of several thousand ground troops on Mexico’s northern and southern borders, The New York Times reported Monday.
The troop deployment was brought on by a deal struck between the Trump administration and the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in response to President Donald Trump’s trade ultimatum. The deal was reached after Trump threatened to place a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports coming into the U.S. if the Mexican government did not do its part to stop illegal border crossings.
“The flow has very substantially slowed down,” Trump said on June 20, acknowledging Mexico taking quick action to secure the border.
“It’s already had a big impact,” he continued.
Store vendors in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, say that over the last two weeks they have seen a steep drop in business from Guatemalan migrants, resulting from Mexico’s security efforts along its southern border, the Times reported. (RELATED: Mexico Has Deployed 15,000 Troops To The Border, Is Now Detaining Illegal Migrants)
“The people are scared to come because they fear that the government will come and take their merchandise,” a vendor in Ciudad Hidalgo known as Mary said, according to the Times. Mary reportedly asked for her last name to be withheld from the Times report due to fear of persecution.
Guatemalan store owner Silvia Avaja, 30, said she is hesitant to travel to Mexico to purchase goods due to the new border security measures. She says that she has heard the Mexican authorities are beginning to seize black market goods from border crossers, according to the Times.
Undocumented immigrants have most severely felt the impact of the upgraded border security measures, now facing “a more impenetrable Mexico,” the Times says.
The Mexican government mobilized 6,500 troops on its southern border and nearly 15,000 additional troops on its northern border, Defense Minister Gen. Luis Cresencio Sandoval González said in a press conference Monday.
Assistant foreign secretary Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga said last week that 40% of the total border deployment would be allocated to Mexico’s southern border.
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