September 10th marked three months since the governments of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and Donald Trump reached an agreement through which Mexico undertook to take measures to lower the level of migration that crosses its territory to reach the United States. According to data from the United States government, the number of arrests on its southern border has dropped, with a 56% reduction in migration flows in the last 90 days.
The two governments consider that this reduction is due to the change in migration policy in Mexico, which has included the deployment of the National Guard in the border areas, as well as a change of rules for migrants from Africa and Asia, as it allowed them to travel to the northern border with authorization. These changes have generated extreme concern on the part of national and international civil organizations, as well as the United Nations, since they have implied a resurgence of migrant human rights violations.
However, the Trump administration has said it is not satisfied with what has been achieved so far, noting that the number of arrests at its border in August was 65,000, the highest figure for this month that has been recorded in the last five years. An officer of the Department of Homeland Security, who spoke with the Washington Post, noted that they want to lower the level of migration to where it was in the first months of President Trump, or less than 20,000 monthly detentions.
The current agreement also includes another aspect that has generated controversy, the United States policy called “Remain in Mexico”, which makes migrants have to wait during their asylum process in Mexico. The United States also continues to press for Mexico to agree to play a Safe Third Country role, which would force migrants passing through Mexico to apply for asylum in this country, instead of continuing to the United States. For its part, the AMLO government has been clear in its rejection of an agreement of this nature.
The United States has already signed a Third Safe Country agreement with Guatemala, and has implemented a law that prevents applying for asylum in the US to anyone who has traveled through Guatemala. Considering that Guatemala is one of the countries where more migrants leave for the United States for reasons that include the violence of organized crime, it makes little sense to send migrants to seek asylum in Guatemala. A US judge revoked this immigration rule by saying: “We do not see how anyone can read this record and think that (Guatemala and Mexico) are safe countries.”
For more information in Spanish:
SRE ha detenido 56% del flujo migrante a EU El Universal, 7 de septiembre de 2019.
A tres meses del acuerdo migratorio que le evitó a México una guerra comercial con EEUU pero le acarreó problemas humanitarios Infobae, 7 de septiembre de 2019.
EU no está satisfecho con estrategia migratoria de México: TWP El Universal, 6 de septiembre de 2019.
For information in English:
Mexico won’t be safe third country for asylum seekers: Ebrard Reuters, 9 de septiembre de 2019.
Mexico’s crackdown on migrants is stalling, U.S. officials say ahead of talks next week The Washington Post, 6 de septiembre de 2019.
Trump’s Safe Third Country Agreement With Guatemala Is a Lie Foreign Policy, 30 de julio de 2019.
For more information from SIPAZ: