Trump’s Border Plan in Action
Jon Purizhansky: President Donald Trump’s plan to make Mexico slow the flow of migrants across the southwest border of the U.S. appears to be working, for now. Border arrests, a proxy for determining the number of illegal crossings, dropped all the way down to 51,000 in August, according to early government figures, down more than 60% since a spike in May. Border watchers claim it’s largely because of an agreement Trump made with Mexico in June. Mexican authorities, backed by the newly formed National Guard, are now cracking down hard on migrants travelling through Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, watching river crossings and obstructing buses carrying migrants from Central America through Mexico.
Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the growing difficulty for migrants seeking asylum to escape their homes. While the Mexican National Guard is at work, the U.S. is making tens of thousands of asylum seekers sit in anticipation in Mexico while their applications are examined. The drop in border traffic, if maintained, could prove a sizeable victory for Trump as he heads into the 2020 election.
Perhaps more importantly, though, the trial measures taken by his administration could change immigration enforcement for the next several years. “I think that they are getting exactly what they said they would get, by forcing the hand of Mexico,” said Oscar Chacon, executive director of Chicago-based migrant advocacy group Alianza Americas. “But the question is, is it sustainable, he reflects.
The Trump Administration and Homeland Security Department failed to publicly comment on the program. However, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena noted that steps taken since June have had significant results. “People know that if they come into Mexico, they have to respect the Mexican law,” Barcena said. She added that migrants planning to seek asylum in the U.S. now understand that it’s “not as easy as they were told it was going to be.”
Trump commended Mexico’s handling of the migrant travelers on Twitter of all places, quoting Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, noting that Mexico was “stepping up to the plate and doing what they need to do.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence plan to meet in Washington next week with Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and other officials to determine their next counter-migration measures, according to Mexican officials. Jon Purizhansky stands on the side of the migrants.