Mexico has deployed 8,715 troops to its southern and northern border to prevent migrants from the Northern Triangle countries from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, as the United States faces a surge of illegal immigrants from Central America.
The Mexican military has set up 347 immigration checkpoints along three main routes in Mexico—the Gulf, Central, and Pacific, Mexico Secretary of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval said during a news conference on Monday.
Sandoval’s announcement comes as the Biden administration is sending a delegation to Mexico to discuss the ongoing immigration crisis.
Although the Biden administration has refused to use the word crisis to describe the surge of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration’s top two officials will travel to Mexico and Guatemala this week to speak with officials about how they can help stem the surge of migrants arriving at the southern border.
Roberta Jacobson, the Obama administration ambassador to Mexico who now serves on President Joe Biden’s National Security Council, and Juan Gonzalez, the council’s senior director for the region, are meeting with their Mexican counterparts on Tuesday, Mexico Director for North American Affairs Roberto Velasco Alvarez said on Twitter Monday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Monday that administration officials plan to specifically discuss how to stem the tide of migrants traveling to the United States from the Northern Triangle.
“Absolutely,” Psaki said in response to a reporter’s question.
“Part of our objective as Roberta Jacobson conveyed … was that we need to work in partnership with these countries to address the root causes in their countries to convey clearly and systematically, that this is not the time to travel.”
She proceeded to detail the administration’s larger plan to decrease illegal immigration with advertising aimed at would-be-illegal immigrants from the Northern Triangle and Mexico.
“The State Department has placed an estimated 17,118 radio ads in Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras since January. Twenty-one in Spanish, Portuguese, and six indigenous languages. These ads played on 33 radio stations reaching an estimated 15 million individuals,” she said.
Psaki continued, “A total of 589 digital ads and paid search, display, and social media, supporting the ongoing migration campaign in Northern Triangle countries have reached more than 26 million people since Inauguration Day,” Psaki said, adding that the ads have been seen by 73 million people.
The troops in Mexico are also being stationed to help stem “non-essential” travel, the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and protect children who are being used by smugglers to enter the United States.
“The Mexican government will carry out … operations on the southern border to protect the rights and safety of migrant minors from several Central American nations who are used by criminal networks as a passport to reach northern Mexico,” Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM) said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) this week announced a more than 100 percent month-over-month increase in February in two categories of illegal immigrants—family units and unaccompanied minors.
CBP statistics show that, in February, agents apprehended a total of 100,441 illegal immigrants along the southern border—a 28 percent increase compared to January.
Isabel Van Brugen contributed to this report.