As Biden administration dithers over migrant 'crisis' Mexico deploys 9,000 troops to stop people reaching US border

Mexico Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said the country's military has set up almost 350 immigration checkpoints along three main routes to Mexico -- Gulf, Central and Pacific


                            As Biden administration dithers over migrant 'crisis' Mexico deploys 9,000 troops to stop people reaching US border
Mexican National Guard soldiers and immigration officers patrol near the border fence with the United States (Getty Images)

With the Joe Biden administration facing more immigration challenges at its southern border with Mexico, the country has also stepped up measures to ensure that the crisis is managed before it spirals out of control. It has been learnt that Mexico has deployed 8,715 troops to its southern and northern borders to stop migrants reaching the US-Mexico border from Central America. A massive surge of illegal immigrants aiming to enter the US through Mexico under the Biden administration which has been perceived to be more welcoming has put the new president under pressure. 

On Monday, March 22, Mexico Secretary of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval said in a news conference that his country’s military has set up nearly 350 immigration checkpoints along three main routes that go to Mexico -- the Gulf, Central and Pacific, DPA news agency cited Sandoval as saying. 

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The Biden administration though has stopped short of calling the situation at the border a crisis, it has sent two top officials to Mexico and Guatemala this week to discuss the growing number of US-bound migrants. The two officials are Roberta Jacobson, a former US ambassador to Mexico who now serves on Biden’s National Security Council and Juan Gonzalez, the council’s senior director for the region. It was notable that Sandoval’s announcement came in the wake of Washington’s decision to send the officials. Roberto Velasco Alvarez, Mexico Director for North American Affairs, announced on social media that two US officials were set to meet their Mexican counterparts on Tuesday. 

Asylum seekers wait for bottled water at an immigrant camp on December 09, 2019 in Brownsville, Texas, across the river from the border town of Matamoros, Mexico. (Getty Images)

White House reveals Biden plans to stop migrants

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also confirmed on Monday that the Biden administration has plans to specifically discuss ways to stop migrants heading for the US from the Northern Triangle nations. Responding to a reporter’s question, she said: “Part of our objective as Roberta Jacobson conveyed … was that we need to work in partnership with these countries to address the root causes in their countries to convey clearly and systematically, that this is not the time to travel.”

“The State Department has placed an estimated 17,118 radio ads in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras since January. Twenty-one in Spanish, Portuguese, and six indigenous languages. These ads played on 33 radio stations reaching an estimated 15 million individuals,” Psaki added, revealing the White House’s bigger plan to deal with further surge of illegal immigrants.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Getty Images)

“A total of 589 digital ads and paid search, display, and social media, supporting the ongoing migration campaign in Northern Triangle countries have reached more than 26 million people since Inauguration Day,” the press secretary said, adding that the ads have been seen by over 70 million people.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said in a statement that the Mexican government was set to conduct operations on the southern border to safeguard the rights of migrant minors from various Central American countries who are used by criminals to reach northern Mexico and ensure their safety. The deployed Mexican troops are supposed to stop “non-essential” travel, spread of the coronavirus and protect the children who are used by the smugglers.  

Mexican officials recently said that the hard immigration policies of former president Donald Trump made it easier for them to handle the migrants' challenge while ‘Migrant President’ Biden’s asylum policies have given a boost to illegal immigration and organized crime.

In June 2019, Mexico had deployed nearly 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the country's northern part to stop the flow of the immigrants across the US border. 

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