Will Mexico Continue Holding the Line Against Illegal Immigration for the Next U.S. President?
Since last year, President Donald Trump has worked with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador to reduce the number of migrants arriving in the United States from Central America and other parts of the world. The initial indication is that this seemingly unlikely partnership has yielded some positive results. However, their goal to limit the number of illegal entries and illegitimate asylum claims at the Southwest border could potentially be in jeopardy with Joe Biden projected to be the next President of the United States by the Associated Press.
President Lopez-Obrador has not faltered yet on his commitment to prevent third-country nationals from using his country as a transit nation to get to the United States. However, Joe Biden has promised to undo most of President Trump’s efforts to keep illegal aliens from entering the U.S.
Since last summer, Mexico has activated its National Guard to help immigration agents prevent illegal migrant entries at the Mexico-Guatemala border. The results have led to a decline in unlawful border crossings both in the U.S. and Mexico. Additionally, the added reinforcements along Mexico’s southern border have been instrumental in dismantling U.S.-bound migrant caravans.
At the beginning of 2019, Presidents Trump and Lopez-Obrador implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” which is another critical component of the decline of migrants at the Southwest border. Under the policy, foreign nationals seeking asylum in the United States must wait in Mexico until their immigration court hearing date. This procedure has foiled the “catch and release” policy that allowed migrants to stay in the United States as they await their hearing date. Many migrants disappear into the interior of the United States and never return for their asylum hearing. Again, Biden has vowed to dismantle this program.
According to Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies, the MPP has proven itself in deterring migrants from filing dubious asylum claims. As migrants from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras learn of the unlikelihood of receiving asylum and living in the United States based on economic claims alone, many are opting to return to their home country rather than wait in Mexico. Removing this program would almost certainly encourage many of these migrants to re-establish their dubious asylum claims.
President Trump has kept his promise to require Mexico to do its part in halting illegal immigration to the United States. American and Mexican citizens would all benefit greatly if these efforts are continued. The next president of the United States ought to secure Mexico’s continued support in combating unlawful migration. After all, like Americans, Mexican citizens have experienced the negative consequences of mass migration to their country. The advantages of having a secure border and strong immigration policies should be a priority for both leaders, because it benefits the citizens of both countries.