Migrants a responsibility for both countries

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Migrants a responsibility for both countries

Stemming the stream of Haitian migrants — many of whom have lived in South America for years — into the United States needed to be a shared burden for both the US and Mexico, Ken Salazar, the new US ambassador to Mexico, said Saturday.

“It is a very significant issue for both countries, it’s a significant issue for the Western Hemisphere,” Salazar at a press conference in Mexico City.

Last month thousands of Haitians flooded into the United States seeking asylum, causing chaos in the small border town of Del Rio, Texas after they camped out under a bridge.

After initially being caught flat-footed, the Biden administration moved to deport them, though the effort has not proceeded smoothly.

And the administration is increasingly relying on Mexico to thwart migrants from Central America but also places such as Haiti, Reuters reported.

Salazar also urged a partnership between the two countries to fight the Fentanyl epidemic and allow agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to operate in Mexico.  Last year the Mexican government removed immunity from US agents operating in the country.

The ambassador’s remarks on Haitian immigrants come just a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to discuss migration issues.

Migrants, many from Haiti, at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 21, 2021.
Migrants, many from Haiti, at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 21, 2021.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File

During a press conference in Mexico City, Blinken — echoing Vice President Harris’ remarks in Guatemala earlier this year — bluntly warned Haitians against illegally coming to the US.

“The journey is profoundly dangerous and it will not succeed, and we are working to make sure that people understand that,” Blinken said.

“Unfortunately, one of the things that’s happened is various groups are spreading false information about what possibilities exist for those coming to the United States irregularly and trying to misinform people that they will be able to enter the United States,” he added.

US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar speaks during a news conference in Mexico City on Oct. 9, 2021.
US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar speaks during a news conference in Mexico City on Oct. 9, 2021.
AP Photo/Fernando Llano

Yet migrants from across South and Central America continue to remain undeterred.
On Thursday Mexican officials yanked a staggering 652 migrants off trucks at the border with the United States, including hundreds of unaccompanied children — one of the largest human smuggling operations in recent memory, local officials said.

Border officials stopped three trucks in the crime-ridden Mexican state of Tamaulipas when they heard voices coming from inside sealed containers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The migrants, mostly from Guatemala, were only discovered and freed when X-rays revealed their presence inside. Four men have been detained and are being questioned by Mexican authorities.

Migrants, many from from Haiti, stand in line to board a bus that will transport them to another shelter on their journey through Panama, trying to reach the United States, in Lajas Blancas, Darien province, Panama, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.
Haitians stand in line to board a bus that will transport them to another shelter on their journey through Panama, trying to reach the United States on Oct. 1, 2021.
AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco

The migrants were taken to a local processing facility while Mexican authorities could figure out their legal situation. Migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua were also found among the detained.

“This has no precedent in recent years, as far as I can remember,” said Luis Alberto Rodriguez, a spokesman for Tamaulipas, told The Journal. “The kids are calm. They are apparently unaware of the situation, of the hardships they are going through.”

On Friday Mexican authorities announced that at least nine of those migrants had tested positive for the coronavirus but said their symptoms were mild.
Desperate migrants often pay local gangs thousands of dollars to facilitate the risky trips across the border.

With Post Wires

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