Mexico Has 'Border Wall' Of Its Own

While progress continues on a physical wall being built on the U.S. southern border, there is a "virtual wall" of sorts to the south. Earlier this year, Mexico's president--at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump--agreed to deploy thousands of troops to their southern border to halt the flow of migrant caravans from Central America. The result has been a notable decline in illegal border crossings into both Mexico and the U.S. "Our (border) apprehensions have gone down 60 percent since Mexico got on board with President Trump's insistence that they help us out, and in Mexico apprehensions have declined something like 70 percent," says Jessica Vaughan with the Center for Immigration Studies.

Indeed, U.S. officials have touted the reduced border apprehensions in recent months, and President Trump praised Mexico specifically in his recent speech to the UN for its "great cooperation" and "showing us great respect" in helping on the border. "Mexico's realization that it was in their best interest to cooperate with the United States (on border security) is serving the same purpose as a wall would," says Vaughan.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken some heat from migrant rights activists and other liberal groups for his border crackdown, but recent polls show most of his country supports him. A poll last summer conducted by the Washington Post showed a majority of Mexicans support deporting migrants and are against increased migration through their country. "Citizens of Mexico are not interested in having smuggling organizations bring all these people through and enrich themselves, while worsening public safety," says Vaughan.

Vaughan is pleased that Mexico has stepped up at a time when President Trump has had trouble getting U.S. lawmakers to support funding a border wall. "The reality is that Mexico has been more cooperative and more helpful in solving our border crisis than the U.S. Congress has been," she says.

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