WATCH: US and Mexico reach agreement on border crisis and tariffs
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I was once hesitant about the tariff President Trump intended to impose on Mexico.
As I have ALSO mentioned, it seems that I was wrong to doubt it. (I wasn’t, however, wrong to question it. I legitimately believe we have a right and a duty as American citizens to question anything our elected officials are doing.)
It seems the threat of a tariff was the fire Mexico needed under their butt to start doing something about the flow of migrants coming in through their country.
According to the Washington Examiner:
Mexican military deployed throughout the country as part of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s vow to do more to apprehend migrants headed to the United States, have officially begun targeting foreigners who have hitched rides aboard a freight train known as “The Beast” to get to the U.S.-Mexico border, local media reported Sunday.
Apparently, migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador have been using the train as a way up to the American border.
Mexican National Guard held up the “La Bestia” train in an unpopulated area near Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, a city north of the Mexico-Guatemala border, where migrants have been crossing into the country.
The operation marked the first of its kind since López Obrador and President Trump reached a deal late Friday, in which the U.S. would hold off on tariffs against Mexican imports if the government did more to prevent people from traveling through the country.
“The National Guard was placed on one side, moment that was taken advantage of by more than 200 migrants who got off the train and fled,” Nataniel Hernández Núñe, director of the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center, told El Universal.
A vast majority of the migrants stopped got away, however.
Many “hid in the bush, so only 25 were arrested,” Hernández said.
The train was headed to Oaxaca, a state located northwest of Chiapas. From there, the train riders would have hopped onto another freight train.
Mexico’s Institute for National Migration has previously said migrants who illegally entered the country and do not have temporary visas allowing them to travel through will be deported because they are in the country without legal permission.
And while the laws have remained largely unenforced, the practice of riding freight trains to the border has been illegal since 2014.
Migrants have used freight trains at a lower rate in recent years compared to how popular it was around 2014 and 2015, when unaccompanied children and families began climbing aboard the trains to avoid paying smugglers to get them to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexican authorities in 2014 declared it illegal to ride on the trains when the practice became widespread. Until this weekend, the move has gone largely unenforced.
I’m glad to see steps are being taken, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done.