High-Level US-Mexico Discussions on Rising Migrant Flow at Border

by Sophia Chen
US-Mexico border talks

A senior American delegation is scheduled to confer with the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Wednesday. This meeting is perceived as an effort to encourage Mexico to intensify its actions against the escalating number of migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border.

President López Obrador has expressed his readiness to assist. However, he also emphasized his desire for advancements in U.S. dealings with Cuba and Venezuela, notable sources of migration, alongside increased developmental aid for the region.

Both nations are under considerable pressure to formulate a successful agreement, especially after previous measures such as restricting direct entry into Mexico or deporting migrants proved ineffective in curbing the migrant wave. Reports indicate that up to 10,000 migrants per day have been detained this month at the U.S. southwest border.

The United States has faced challenges in processing the influx of migrants at the border and accommodating them in northern cities. The situation intensified last week when the U.S. temporarily shut down two critical railway crossings in Texas, reallocating border patrol agents to manage the migrant surge.

Furthermore, another non-rail border crossing in Lukeville, Arizona, remains closed, with partial suspensions in San Diego and Nogales, Arizona. These closures, according to U.S. officials, were necessary to redistribute staff to assist in migrant processing.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has suggested that these border crossings might reopen if Mexico offers additional support. “Secretary Blinken will explore solutions to the unparalleled irregular migration in the Western Hemisphere and discuss collaborative strategies for border security challenges with Mexico, including measures that could lead to the reopening of essential border entry points,” his office declared before Wednesday’s meeting.

Mexico has already deployed over 32,000 military and National Guard personnel, nearly 11% of its total force, to enforce immigration laws. The National Guard now apprehends more migrants than criminals. However, this approach’s limitations were evident on Tuesday when National Guard officers did not intercept a caravan of approximately 6,000 migrants, predominantly from Central America and Venezuela, as they passed through Mexico’s main inland immigration checkpoint in Chiapas, near the Guatemala border.

In previous instances, Mexico allowed such caravans to pass, hoping they would exhaust themselves on the long journey. No caravan has ever traversed the entire 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) to the U.S. border. However, strategies like forcing migrants to trek through the jungle-clad Darien Gap or detaining them from passenger buses in Mexico are no longer effective.

Migrants have found alternate routes. The number of migrants boarding freight trains through Mexico has surged to the extent that one of the nation’s major railroad companies suspended services in September due to safety concerns.

The U.S. delegation may propose more assertive measures, such as police raids to remove migrants from railway cars, reminiscent of actions Mexico undertook a decade ago.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and homeland security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall will also participate in the discussions.

The U.S. has demonstrated that border issues quickly become a mutual concern. The closures of Texas railways significantly disrupted freight movement between Mexico and the U.S., affecting both countries’ economies.

President López Obrador acknowledged U.S. demands for more stringent controls at Mexico’s southern border and the impeding of migrant transport via trains, trucks, or buses. In return, he seeks more developmental aid for migrant-origin countries and a reduction or elimination of sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela.

“We are committed to helping and facilitating agreements with other nations, particularly Venezuela, in this context,” stated López Obrador. He also called for addressing U.S.-Cuba relations, proposing a bilateral dialogue between the two countries.

“This meeting isn’t solely about containment strategies,” he added. “We are looking at a broader dialogue.”

According to Mexican authorities, about 680,000 migrants were detected traversing through Mexico in the first 11 months of 2023.

In May, Mexico consented to accept migrants from countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, who the U.S. had turned away for not adhering to new legal procedures for asylum and other migration forms.

For more on this and other Latin American and Caribbean news, visit https://bigbignews.net/latin-america.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about US-Mexico border talks

What is the main purpose of the upcoming US-Mexico meeting?

The primary aim of the US-Mexico meeting is to discuss strategies to manage the surge of migrants at the U.S. southwestern border and explore collaborative solutions for border security challenges.

How has the US responded to the migrant surge at the border?

In response to the migrant surge, the US has temporarily closed several railway and non-rail border crossings to redistribute border patrol agents to manage the influx and has struggled to process and accommodate the large number of migrants arriving at northern cities.

What are Mexico’s conditions for assisting the US in managing the migrant crisis?

Mexico is willing to assist the US but seeks progress in US relations with Cuba and Venezuela and demands more development aid for migrant-origin countries.

Has Mexico deployed forces to deal with the migrant situation?

Yes, Mexico has deployed over 32,000 military troops and National Guard officers, about 11% of its total forces, to enforce immigration laws, focusing more on detaining migrants than criminals.

What challenges are highlighted in the migrant caravan scenario in Mexico?

The inability of the Mexican National Guard to stop a large caravan of migrants, and the ineffectiveness of previous strategies like exhausting the migrants or detaining them from buses, highlight the challenges Mexico faces in managing the migrant flow.

What are the economic impacts of the border closures between the US and Mexico?

The closure of Texas railway crossings has significantly disrupted freight movement between Mexico and the US, affecting the economies of both countries, particularly in sectors reliant on cross-border freight.

What is Mexico’s stance on US demands regarding migrant movement control?

Mexico acknowledges the US demands for stricter controls at its southern border and impeding migrant transport but, in exchange, seeks more aid for migrant-origin countries and a change in US policy towards Cuba and Venezuela.

More about US-Mexico border talks

  • US-Mexico Border Talks Overview
  • Strategies for Managing Migrant Surge
  • Economic Impact of Border Closures
  • US-Mexico Relations and Diplomacy
  • Mexico’s Military and National Guard Deployment
  • Migrant Caravan Challenges in Mexico
  • US and Mexico’s Collaborative Border Security Plans
  • History of US-Mexico Immigration Policies
  • Impact of US Policy on Cuba and Venezuela
  • Global Migration Trends and Responses

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JohnDoe December 27, 2023 - 9:08 am

interesting read but I think there’s more to it, like how will this affect the local communities at the border?

TravelerJoe December 27, 2023 - 10:20 am

Was in Mexico last month, the situation is more tense than it seems in the news.

Mike_in_TX December 27, 2023 - 3:50 pm

I’m from Texas and the railway closures are a big deal here, it’s not just about migrants, its our jobs too.

AnnaB December 27, 2023 - 7:10 pm

this article makes it sound simple, but these are complex issues, need more depth I guess.

BorderResident December 27, 2023 - 8:39 pm

living near the border, I see this every day, it’s a tough situation, both sides need to work it out fast.

GaryPolitics December 27, 2023 - 11:31 pm

Lopez Obrador’s stance on Cuba and Venezuela is interesting, how will US respond, any thoughts?

Sally94 December 28, 2023 - 1:29 am

so Mexico is really stepping up with the military, huh? that’s a big move, wonder how it’ll pan out.


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