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Illegal Immigration Slows Under Trump as Migrants Say They'll Wait Out His Term in Mexico Before Trying Again

01-23-2020
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TAPACHULA, MEXICO – Almost a million migrants have entered the US via the southern border in the past 12 months. Further south, hundreds just this week waded across the Suchiate River into southern Mexico in a new test of President Trump's controversial Central America policy called "Remain in Mexico" designed to keep them away from the US border.

That strategy has slowed the rate of migrants streaming over the border, and arrests have fallen 94 percent since the policy was enacted in May of 2019. 

CBN News recently traveled to Mexico to talk with those who hope the policy – and the president who made it – will soon be voted out of office.

We spoke with a 26-year-old Honduran who wanted to remain anonymous. He was deported from the United States several years ago. When he tried to return, he got stuck in Mexico. 
 
"We haven't had any answers from the immigration," he told CBN News. "There's no way we can get work, there's no way we can have like a work permit. So we're basically stuck with no money, no information whatsoever about what's going on with our paperwork, and we're just signing and waiting."
 
The Trump administration has put the burden of the migrant crisis back on Mexico, and what that means is that Mexico is taking a much stronger stand against illegal migration.
 
Manuel Zepeda, a Tapachulan businessman says the policy has stopped them. "I mean, the Mexican policies are not as easy now, it's getting harder for them to get the visa for traveling in Mexico."
 
The small fishing village of Barro de San Jose on Mexico's Pacific coast is one of the places where immigrants are getting in, according to the Mexico Federal Police. They use boats to get around the roadblocks so they can make it illegally into the United States. 

But this technique has had some negative consequences. Just a few months ago, several African migrants washed up dead on the shore north of Barro de San Jose. It shows the lengths that these migrants are willing to go to try to make it to the US border.
 
"The answer to migration? There is no answer. It's a phenomenon throughout the whole world. They're just running out of their countries because there's nothing for them there," Zepeda said.
 
Another caravan is reportedly starting in Honduras, and it may pass through Tapachula in the next few days. The rumor on the street is that it may be made up of many of those who were deported from the first caravan in 2018.
 
"My idea is to go to Tijuana, and in Tijuana, I'm going to try and go ahead and make a living until Trump leaves office," the deported Honduran migrant said. "Once he leaves office hopefully everything is going to go back to normal or the situation is going to get better for immigration laws and we're going to go ahead and try to get up there."

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