UPDATED 6:43 AM PT – Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Mexico’s Interior Minister –Olga Sanchez — is shedding light on the state of the migrant crisis.
“It’s estimated that in the first three-months of the year around 300,000 migrants have crossed Mexico to reach the United States in an irregular fashion,” she stated. “Yes, there has been a change in the flow of migrants entering our country on a permanent basis.”
President Trump has made it a priority to stem this flow of migrants across the southern border. The White House wants asylum seekers who arrive at Mexico’s U.S. land border to apply to stay in Mexico or, in other words, request protection from the first safe country they encounter.
“Throughout all stages of the transition (in the current government), we will not accept an agreement for being a safe third-country,” announced Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. “This is Mexico’s clear position and this idea (for such an agreement), I don’t know who planted it, but we will not accept it — we do not agree on that.”
The foreign minister has repeatedly expressed opposition to becoming a third-party nation for migrants seeking U.S. asylum, the majority of which are running from gang violence and poverty.
“Let us go in peace. There is a war, we are suffering with our children for a better future. It’s not fair that our wings are being cut. It’s not fair.” — Laura Flores, Honduran migrant
Amidst pressure from Washington, Mexico’s president is backpedaling on his campaign promises of better treatment for Central American migrants. Government data shows hundreds of migrants have been left stranded in unsanitary camps near the border. Resources are strained due to the number of new arrivals overwhelming the system.
“It’s not just Cubans, but also people from Africa, from Haiti, from Central America, from South America. Help us find a solution. Mexico’s National Immigration Institution cannot continue to violate human rights, they are being violated. They (immigration officials) don’t give us any information about which stage of the (immigration) process our family members are at.” — Manuel Villanueva, Cuban migrant
Mexico has tightened visa policies and ramped-up migrant detentions in the country’s own effort to stem the flow of migrants heading north.