Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan applauded the Mexican government for stopping and turning around a migrant caravan that was headed for the U.S.
A caravan of around 2,000 migrants set foot from the southern Mexican city of Tapachula over the weekend, heading northward toward the U.S. border. However, about 20 miles into their journey, they were greeted by hundreds of Mexican national guardsmen and military police who forced them to turn around.
“This is an example where Mexico has stepped up. I mean, they really are acting as true partners, seeing this as a regional crisis,” Morgan, who has been leading Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for several months, said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.” “This is another example where Mexico is stepping up and doing exactly as they promised they would.”
The CBP chief said in May when the border crisis was near its peak, U.S. authorities were witnessing 40 to 50 “large groups” of migrants in a single month, but in September, they only experienced one. Morgan said the change was a direct result of Mexico’s work to crack down on illegal immigration.
The Mexican government has dramatically stepped up efforts to control illegal immigration through its country since it struck a deal with the Trump administration earlier in 2019. Shortly after President Donald Trump threatened to slap Mexican imports with a 5% tax rate, their government agreed to a number of concessions to stem the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. As part of the agreement, Mexico has deployed thousands of its national guard troops across its border.
Mexico has also agreed to hold thousands of asylum seekers who are waiting for their claims to be processed in the U.S. immigration court system. The program, known as Migrant Protection Protocols, has sent more than 51,000 asylum seekers back over the southern border.
The result has been a substantial decrease in the number of migrant family units reaching the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We’re working with them together, law enforcement to law enforcement. We’re sharing intelligence on the smuggling organizations and the routes they’re using, and they’re just using that intel and applying good law enforcement techniques and they’re identifying where these caravans are starting, and they’re interdicting them, they’re stopping them, turning them around,” Morgan continued. (RELATED: Clinton-Appointed Judge Rules Trump’s Emergency Funding For Border Wall Unlawful)
The caravan that was stopped over the weekend included an array of migrants from Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Authorities wearing helmets and tactical vests prevented them from traveling any farther north. Many of migrants were put on buses that took them back south to Tapachula, a city that has served as a major hub for migrants waiting for transit passes to reach the U.S.
“We are absolutely making progress. Again, the last 120 days, the last four months, we’ve reduced apprehensions by 65%,” Morgan said.
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