According to Agence France-Presse, Mexico’s Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said that Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 troops to its northern border to increase border enforcement, part of a deal to avert U.S. tariffs on Mexican goods.
Sandoval held a joint press conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as he said:
“We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country.’’
AFP also reported that Mexico had previously announced its plans to deploy 6,000 national guardsmen to its southern border with Guatemala, but its plans to beef up security on its border with the United States had not previously been disclosed.
The Defense Minister also said that the Mexican forces were detaining migrants that try to cross the border.
“Given that undocumented migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over to the authorities,’’ said Sandoval at Mexico’s National Migration Institute.
Mexican security forces have not historically detained migrants at the border with the United States, and its government has been criticized after a photo last week depicting heavily armed national guardsmen stopping women and a child from crossing the Rio Grande, the AFT reports.
According to The Hill, President Donald Trump issued a threat that he will hit Mexico with tariffs if they do not take steps to secure the border. Under the agreement between the two countries, Mexico has 45 days to demonstrate increased border enforcement.