Migrants love US, but fear Mexican border patrol

Evelio Contreras/CNN
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The rust-colored barrier soars into the cloudless blue sky, a solid and almost impassable marker of the border between Mexico and the United States. But then it stops, when the rough, hilly terrain becomes a mountain, or a large boulder blocks the way.

These are the spots well known by human smugglers, who bring migrants in vans, show them the gaps, tell them to head north and to call 911 if they can’t find US Border Patrol officers to hand themselves in.

A few months ago, sometimes hundreds of people would come through every day, ending up in the backyards of Americans living near San Diego, who could do little but point the way onwards.

But now there are patrols from the Mexican Army and National Guard along with immigration officers, looking to stop the migrants from reaching the US.

It’s having an impact, according to David Pérez Tejada, of Mexico’s Migration National Institute, the government unit that regulates entry and exit to the country. “What we have seen is a drop down from what we were seeing in December or January, where we had figures of 1,600 per day of irregular crossings. Right now, we are probably half of those figures, like 800, 900,” he said.

With both the US and Mexico having presidential elections this year, and with immigration and security high on the list of concerns for both populations, this apparent turnaround could become touted as progress by either administration. And any uptick could be seized upon by opponents.

Increased patrols are visible on the Mexican side of the border wall both in urban, congested areas of Tijuana, and inland, amid the scrub and boulders of Ejido Jacumé.

When officers on the Baja California side come across migrants, they take them into custody, referring to the apprehensions as “rescues.”

The migrants do not want to encounter the Mexican authorities as they will be taken to Tijuana, and then hundreds of miles further to Mexico’s southern border to be processed for deportation, if they have no right to be in the country.

But whereas on the US California side, the travelers are willing, even happy, to run toward border agents – often so they can start asylum proceedings – here it is a different story.

Read more at CNN.com



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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!