President Obama met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. They did not disclose any new understandings on immigration or anti-drug efforts. That means they may have not talked about Mexico’s dilemma in dealing with migrants coming over its southern border.
Migrants are coming through Mexico on their way to the United States. Most of them come from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Officials say the primary reasons for this movement are the massive amount of violent crime and the poor economies in those Central American countries. One young man said, “Everybody wants to get out.”
Arrests of these undocumented workers more than doubled across the Mexican-U.S. border, from 46,997 in 2011 to 94,532 in 2012.
Many who do not make it to the U.S. are becoming agricultural workers in Mexico, working at lower pay rates than Mexicans.
For the United States, the problem is more than people trying to enter the country without legal papers. It is about drugs, guns and possibly even terrorists heading north.
Mexican authorities have mixed feelings about the issue. Many see humane treatment of migrants as the right thing to do. Migrants often cross the border under the eyes of officials. They go across rivers and climb aboard freight trains.
There are hard policy choices for authorities in the U.S. and Mexico. Whether the U.S. helps Mexico with its border security and/or helps Central American countries with their crime and economic problems.
Mexico said it is increasing its border patrol activities.
On a recent afternoon on the Mexican southern border, there were no or few officials in four of the eight checkpoints on a major highway. At one crossing at the Suchiate River, smugglers and migrants passed under the noses of officers above.