Mexico deploys 15,000 troops on US border to stop migration

Tue 25 Jun 2019 05:10 GMT | 09:10 Local Time

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Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense announced that nearly 15,000 troops would be sent to the country’s northern border with the United States in a bid to stem the flow of migrants into the US, for which Washington has attempted to hold Mexico City accountable, Sputnik reports.

"In the northern part of the country we have a total deployment of 14,000, almost 15,000 units between the National Guard and the Army," Mexican Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters Monday at a joint press conference with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

"If we left it completely in the hands of the National Institute of Migration it wouldn't be possible," he added. "That's why we're providing support; it's a strategy being pursued on both borders."

"Given that migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities” at Mexico’s National Migration Institute, Sandoval said.

The number represents a substantial increase from an earlier pledge to send 6,000 soldiers to the 1,954-mile-long border. The secretariat has also deployed an additional 2,000 troops along its southern border to compliment the 4,500 stationed on the borders with Guatemala and Belize.

Earlier this month, Washington and Mexico City hammered out an 11th-hour deal to avoid the imminent imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods entering the United States. Trump said the purpose of the 5% tariff, which would have escalated another 5% each month until it reached 25%, was to compel Lopez Obrador to take decisive action to solve what Trump has identified as a national emergency: the steady flow of migrants to the US from Central America.

Under the June 7 deal, Mexico has 45 days to demonstrate increased border enforcement, or the tariff regime will begin.

According to statistics provided by US Customs and Border Protection, in Fiscal Year 2019 the agency has apprehended 593,507 people on the US-Mexico border.

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