Northern Mexico newspaper calls for border wall in south; government steps up enforcement

While Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has come under pressure from Mexican officials since June 2015 for derogatory comments about America’s southern neighbor and his proposal for a border wall, an editorial in El Mañana, a popular news publication based in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, calls for Mexico City to commission the construction of a wall on the country’s southern border with Guatemala.

Translated into English, the editorial entitled, “Yes to the Border Wall … but in Mexico’s south”, argues that immigration flows from Central to North America have caused more problems for Mexico, in part because migrants detained in the U.S. are usually deported to Mexican border towns and not back to their country of origin.

Going as far as to say, “Trump’s idea for a border wall is a good one”, El Mañana argues that poor immigrants from Central America are contributing to Mexico’s crime problem.

“Many of these migrants when they are unable to find an honest way of life turn to robberies, kidnappings, extortion, and in the worst cases join the ranks of organized crime,” the editorial board wrote on July 24.

According to the United Nations, 400,000 Central Americans enter Mexico illegally every year. In 2015, 175,000 migrants from the region were deported by the Mexican government.

While a border wall has not yet been publicly discussed by top Mexican officials, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced in August that his government will take control of the country’s railroad system, currently managed by a private company, in order to step up illegal immigration law enforcement.

Central American migrants have turned to climbing atop train cars heading north to ultimately reach the United States, but often are derailed in Mexico.

After an irregular entry into Mexico near Ciudad Hidalgo, to move north through the country, to the US border, many Central and South American migrants begin their journey in Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, the railhead of the freight train known as 'La Bestia' (The Beast), climbing atop of the rail cars, exposed to the elements and extortion by criminal gangs lying in wait along the route. Vendors sell food, water and cardboard pallets to lie on for the journey.

Central and South American migrants board a freight train in Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico. (photo courtesy

The Mexican transportation department plans to use patrolmen and install security equipment along the railroads to capture Central Americans crossing the southern border illegally.

While Mexico City steps up its effort to curtail migration flows, some in the U.S. are complaining that Washington isn’t keeping up with its southern neighbor in controlling the border.

In an interview with Fox News earlier in September, Border Patrol agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, Hector Garza, claimed 80 percent of illegal immigrants caught crossing the U.S. border are released and allowed to remain in America.

“We do not have enough vehicles for our agents to patrol with, we do not get the manpower that we need,” said Garza. “Through executive orders and prosecutorial discretion . . . Most of the people that we apprehend end up getting released into the country.”


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