Mexico to Meet With 19 Countries for Plan to Counter Illegal Immigration

June 21, 2019 Updated: June 25, 2019

A Mexican government official said their country would meet with 19 other countries in the coming weeks to try and gather support for a plan to stem the flow of illegal immigrants entering the United States.

The upcoming meetings are another solid sign Mexico is stepping up on their promises to curb illegal migration, as the United States deals with a rising influx of illegal aliens, most of whom are traveling through Mexico from Central America.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard made the announcement at a June 21 press conference. Tens of thousands of mostly Central American migrants have been passing through Mexico to reach its northern border with the United States.

“We already have 19 countries we will meet in the next couple of weeks so that this plan and its actions will grow,” Ebrard said during the president’s regular morning news conference. “Now it is about developed countries participating.”

Ebrard said Mexico was investigating a network of human smugglers—including that of unaccompanied minors, which he said was on the rise—and the financing of these operations. U.S. border security officials say an unknown number of these units use fraudulent birth certificates to fake family ties.

Under current U.S. law, authorities can only hold illegal alien families for 20 days. As a result, those who claim asylum as families are released into the United States shortly after apprehension. Officials said in May that they are piloting a rapid DNA-testing program at the border to help combat the problem.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that their country would evaluate the results of the deal it had reached with the United States to avoid punitive U.S. tariffs on Mexican goods.

“We want a good relationship with President [Donald] Trump,” Obrador reiterated, adding that he had seen a willingness from Trump to come to an agreement.

Previously, Obrador met with El Salvador’s new president, Nayib Bukele, in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula to launch a development plan aimed at stemming illegal migration.

Mexico’s government has also begun deploying some 6,000 National Guard agents to support police and soldiers on immigration enforcement as stipulated in the agreement with Washington. U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended almost 600,000 illegal aliens on the southern border this fiscal year, according to the latest Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

Days ago, Trump applauded Mexico for its recent efforts to curb illegal immigration.

“Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people… long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress,” Trump said on multiple Twitter posts.

“They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!”

Last Sunday, Mexico’s government said it detained almost 800 illegal immigrants who were crammed in four trucks in eastern Mexico, one of the highest numbers of migrants detained by the country in recent months.

In a June 15 statement, Mexico’s National Migration Institute said it detained 791 illegal immigrants who were discovered in trucks that were stopped in the eastern state of Veracruz. The institute is a government agency tasked with controlling and supervising migration in Mexico.

The announcement confirmed earlier reports that such a mass apprehension had occurred.

The detentions come just a day after the United States said it had doubled the number of asylum-seekers it sends back each day to Mexico from El Paso, Texas, according to a Mexican immigration official.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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