Thursday, June 13, 2024

Over 100,000 migrants entered Mexico since November

More than 100,000 migrants have entered Mexico between the beginning of November and early December, according to figures given this week by the head of the country’s National Migration Institute (INM).

Many of the migrants are from Africa, INM Commissioner Francisco Garduño said, part of the escalating flow of foreigners seeking to reach the United States.

Mexico's INM director Francisco Garduño
National Migration Institute director Francisco Garduño has promised vehicles and aircraft will patrol border areas to attempt to reduce the number of migrant crossings into Texas. (Gob MX)

“We are facing a global phenomenon of an anthropological and morphological nature,” Garduño said at a Wednesday night meeting in Coahuila.

The northern state shares approximately 560 kilometers (348 miles) of border with Texas, including the heavily trafficked international crossings between Piedras Negras, Coahuila, and Eagle Pass, Texas.

Earlier this week, a railroad bridge between the two locations was shut down by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who are redeploying personnel to assist in the detention of migrants.

In September, CBP halted crossings at one of the area’s vehicle bridges for the same reason.

Such closures, combined with other factors, such as the INM suspending deportations of undocumented migrants due to a lack of resources, mean more migrants are now staying longer on Mexican soil — an  issue addressed at the meeting that included Garduño, Coahuila Governor Manolo Jiménez Salinas and officials from the National Defense Ministry (Sedena).

Currently, there are more than 121,000 migrants gathered in Piedras Negras waiting to cross into the United States, said Oscar Pimentel González, interior minister for Coahuila. He said migrants have  come to prefer Piedras Negras over other places for crossing into the U.S.

Garduño stated that there has been  a considerable increase in the number of migrants coming into Mexico in recent months. In September, 96,542 new migrants were counted (more than double the 43,329 reported for September 2022) and October’s total was 92,908 (compared to 52,218 in October 2022).

The 100,000 number cited for November-December of this year includes only the first few days of December, he added.

Concentrations of migrants in cities such as Piedras Negras are also being preyed upon by criminal organizations. (Cuartoscuro)

For the period of January through October, the Ministry of the Interior noted the number of migrants in the country increased 71% over the same period in 2022, and statistics registered since then will push it even higher.

Garduño promised increased surveillance and a greater allocation of personnel, vehicles and aircraft to assist in transferring migrants out of Coahuila or returning them to their home countries, as needed.

He also said the INM has begun working with train operator Ferromex to reinforce operations aimed at preventing migrants from traveling on freight trains, especially in southern and central Mexico.

General Eufemio Alberto Ibarra Flores, commander of Mexico’s 11th military zone, headquartered in Torreón, Coahuila, emphasized the need to halt criminal activities associated with the exploitation of migrants in border-crossing towns such as Piedras Negras.

“We are committed to doing what is necessary and more,” Flores asserted.

The meeting in Coahuila occurred the day before a telephone call between President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Joe Biden in which they agreed to “additional enforcement actions” at the U.S.-Mexico border to slow attempted migrant crossings into the United States.

With reports from Milenio and Excelsior

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