Today the 90-day period that Trump gave Mexico to stop migrants is over. What happens now?
Since Central American migrant caravans last year they began to arrive at the border of USAthe administration of the president, Donald Trumphas been mounting pressure on the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorfor stop the flow of migrants.
Was the threat of tariffs on all Mexican importswhich could have had detrimental effects for both economies, leading to to the agreement of June 7.
As part of the negotiation, Mexico promised to strengthen its controls to contain migrants entering and crossing the country irregularly. He also pledged to accept and provide basic services to asylum seekers sent back to Mexico through the “Remain in Mexico” program (Remain in Mexicoin English) to await the process that takes place in the US courts.
The only concrete promise Washington made, aside from millions of dollars in aid to Central America, was to expedite the processing of asylum applications.
Did they meet their commitments?
Mexico has deployed 21,600 soldiers and National Guard personnel to try to control their borders and migrant routes. In addition, it increased checkpoints throughout the country and established a coordination center in the northern city of Monterrey, the government said this month. It has also moved thousands of asylum seekers from its northern border to the south, presumably for their safety.
The United States is setting up tents along the border to hold hearings via videoconference to speed up the asylum process.
What has changed?
Amid the tariff threat, López Obrador replaced the head of the country’s immigration agency, Tonatiuh Guillena sociologist and academic, for Francisco Gardunothe country’s prison chief.
AMLO (for the acronym of the Mexican president) also appointed the secretary of foreign relations, Marcelo Ebrardin charge of immigration policy. The Mexican government says it is cracking down on migrant smuggling networks.
Human rights organizations have denounced the harassment of migrants that accumulates on the northern and southern borders of Mexico, increasingly desperate due to the lack of information. The groups have denounced the excessive use of force by police and soldiers who, in theory, cannot enforce immigration law.
For his part, The United States has dramatically increased the number of asylum seekers returning to wait in Mexicoespecially along the eastern border between Texas and the very dangerous Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
The “Remain in Mexico” program is being used in this area without opposition from Mexico, although international organizations have raised concerns about the backlog of migrants, security issues, and the lack of information and services for migrants.
US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April and Trump has made it even more difficult for non-Mexican migrants to seek asylum at the border between the two nations.
Trump sent US officials to Central America to push for deals that would make it harder for migrants to cross his territory. so far alone Guatemala has signed but not enacted the policy.
Are governments satisfied with their achievements?
Trump has made positive comments about the efforts of Mexico, whose government has also expressed its satisfaction.
Ebrard boasted that the flow of migrants has decreased, even without a so-called “safe third country” agreement., which would require those crossing through Mexico to seek asylum there first. The Critics say that Mexico has effectively adopted that policy without a formal agreement.
In the United States, civil society organizations have challenged most of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration measures in the courts.
In Mexico, similar organizations have denounced the harsh measures adopted by López Obrador. However, in some parts of Mexican society, there is a growing backlash towards migrants and some were happy that the administration changed its open arms policy.
What could happen now?
Ebrard plans to travel to the United States in the coming days to evaluate the agreement. If both countries are satisfied, business as usual is likely, even though the growing number of migrants waiting in Mexico could rise significantly.
If Washington does not believe that the achievements have been enough, Trump could resort to the threat of tariffs again.