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Mexico ramps up deportation checkpoints close to its own southern border

Mexico is reportedly cracking down in illegal immigration at its own southern border. In recent months, President Donald Trump has been outspoken in saying that Mexico hasn't done enough. (Image source: YouTube screencap)

Mexico has reportedly dedicated more resources to protecting its own southern border from illegal immigration into the country.

A bus driver, Gustavo Rivera, who shuttles passengers between Mexico's southeastern border and the city of Tapachula in the Mexican state of Chiapas, said there has recently been a noticeable change in immigration enforcement.

"They put up lots of checkpoints," he said. "Immigration [agents], federal police, soldiers, local police. I don't get many migrants on the bus anymore because of the checkpoints."

Authorities in Mexico began paying more attention to their porous southern border a few years ago. After the United States Border Patrol discovered in 2014 that they were apprehending more non-Mexican illegal immigrants than Mexicans at the border of the U.S. and Mexico, American leaders put pressure on their southern neighbor to stop the flow of migrants travelling from conflict-riddled Central American countries.

In recent months, President Donald Trump has been outspoken in saying that Mexico hasn't done enough. He tweeted in April, "Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S. They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!"

Trump later added, "Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large 'Caravans' of people enter their country. They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border laws."

Responding to tweets from Trump, Mexico's foreign ministry released a statement saying, "Under no circumstances does the government of Mexico promote illegal migration," and that "the Mexican immigration authorities have proceeded to offer refuge in some cases, as well as other necessary protective measure."

The ministry added that Mexico "does not make immigration decisions for the United States or any other nation."

But Mexico has also received criticism for cracking down too hard on migrants at the southern border. The priest in charge of the Catholic Church's local diocese in Chiapas near the border of Mexico and Guatemala, said, "Today the Mexican government is hunting migrants without sympathy, even though the exact same thing is happening to Mexicans at the U.S. border. The border security measures here in Chiapas are even harsher than on the U.S.-Mexican border."

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