Mexican government officials are bracing to accept more illegal migrants than they likely can handle in order to meet their end of a deal with the Trump administration.
As many as 70,000 illegal immigrants in the U.S. are expected to be sent to Juarez, Mexico, this year, according to the chief of the Chihuahua State Population Council who spoke to the Washington Post.
Over 200 illegal immigrants were booted to the Mexican border town on Thursday, doubling the amount from the day before.
The number of illegal immigrants sent to Juarez is only expected to keep climbing, with as many as 500 migrants from El Paso, Texas, to begin arriving daily in the next few weeks.
The surge of illegal immigrants heading out of the U.S. and back to Mexico is a break from past protocol.
Mexico has only accepted about 10,000 migrants border-wide this year.
However, per an agreement reached with the White House, their government has agreed to accept a dramatically higher number of U.S. asylum seekers, keeping them within Mexican borders while they wait for their claims to be processed in U.S. immigration courts.
Mexico has also significantly stepped up immigration enforcement.
Around 1,000 Mexican agents have already been deployed to the country’s northern and southern borders, according to the National Migration Institute.
The nation’s government plans to have as many 6,000 National Guard troops stationed at its border with Guatemala, a choke-point for U.S.-bound migrants from Central America.
The efforts appear to be making progress. Mexican authorities were able to apprehend 791 illegal migrants hiding in tractor-trailer trucks on Saturday — a massive haul.
“They’re sending us all back,” Julio Alberto Lopez said to the Washington Post. Lopez, a 45-year-old Guatemalan who thought he could successfully enter the U.S. illegally if he brought his son, was promptly sent back to Juarez after getting apprehended. “I thought they would give me a chance, with my son.”
However, it’s yet to be seen if Mexico has the resources to handle the vast amount of illegal immigration. Widespread corruption and a lack of infrastructure could prove calamitous.
There are roughly a dozen migrant shelters in Juarez with the capability of holding 1,500 individuals — a fraction of what the the city is expected to begin detaining. Additionally, illegal migrants are claiming that Mexican law enforcement officials were accepting bribes to pass through to the U.S. border — $15 to $20 per person.
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