Mexico has sent approximately 15,000 troops to the U.S. border in efforts to control the flow of migrants to the U.S.
“We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country,” Mexico’s Secretary of Defense Luis Sandoval said at a joint press conference with Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as reported by Agence France Press (AFP) on Monday.
“Given that (undocumented) migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities,” Sandoval added.
Lopez Obrador previously deployed 6,000 troops earlier this month to Mexico’s southern border.
“The policy is a shift from previous practice. The Mexican security forces have long detained undocumented migrants as they travel in the country, but had not typically stopped them from crossing the US border in the past,” AFP noted.
Mexico’s military deployments was condition agreed upon by the nation’s leaders in exchange for avoiding tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration.
President Trump had threatened tariffs after multiple calls on Mexico to block the flow of migrants from Central America, which have been overwhelming the U.S.-Mexico border.
The two nations agreed upon a deal on June 7, which granted Mexico a period of 45 days to demonstrably reduce the flow of migrants.
….stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
U.S. border officials apprehended more than 144,000 migrants at the southern border in May alone – an increase of 278 percent compared to May 2018.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Tuesday morning, “Mexico is keeping its promise & now sending 15,000 troops to border to help with crisis. Meanwhile Dems won’t fund beds for migrant children. Mexico continues to do more than Congressional Dems to secure our border, and its time for them to STEP UP!”
Mexico is keeping its promise & now sending 15,000 troops to border to help with crisis. Meanwhile Dems won’t fund beds for migrant children. Mexico continues to do more than Congressional Dems to secure our border, and its time for them to STEP UP! pic.twitter.com/D1Nuw9jiZ9
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) June 25, 2019
Over the weekend, Pence credited Mexico for doing “more to secure our border in 10 days than Democrats in Congress have in 10 YEARS.”
Mexico has done more to secure our border in 10 days than Democrats in Congress have in 10 YEARS. The time to put Americans first is now, we must act to fix the crisis on the border! pic.twitter.com/rKMyUPCYd3
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) June 23, 2019
In April, Mexico claimed to have deported more than 15,000 U.S.-bound migrants that month alone, but noted but thousands more migrants were on the way.
They also estimated 300,000 migrants enter Mexico each year, some coming from as far away as India.