The left has been more than critical of the Trump administration's handling of illegal alien families along the border, yet reports out of Mexico describe that country's immigration system as "racist" and "militarized."
Tony Payan is director of the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute, and he's seen first-hand how Central American migrants and their children are treated in Mexico.
“The children are not allowed to go to school, they're not allowed to go out in the streets, they're just detained,” says Payan. “So there are these very large warehouses and facilities where Mexico is retaining these people.”
He's never seen anyone tortured, at least physically.
“Being detained without due process, without the ability to see an agent expeditiously could be interpreted as a sort of torture.” For the most part says Payan, illegal aliens in Mexico are simply stuck contemplating whether to return home to the violence they're trying to escape.
Mexico deported more than 78,300 Central Americans to their home countries in 2017, according to the government's immigration department. From January to April 2018, Mexico's deportations of Central Americans have increased more than 50 percent, to almost 35,000, compared with the same period last year.
However, Payan warns the U.S is in for a big surprise after Sunday's elections in Mexico, where the favored candidate has vowed to relax the country's current immigration enforcement.
“If the Lopez Obrador administration decides not to cooperate with the United States on immigration, not to detain Central Americans at all, you will see the number of Central Americans at ports of entry triple in number,” he says.