Mexico will not militarize its southern border to prevent Central American migrant caravans from moving through the country on their way to the United States, said Mexican Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero, according to The Hill.
Why is this an issue? President Donald Trump has threatened to completely close the border between the United States and Mexico if Mexico doesn't do more to stop the large groups of illegal immigrants that travel through the country to the U.S. seeking asylum or illegal entry.
"Mexico must use its very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the USA," Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!"
Mexico must use its very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the USA. O… https://t.co/9hPatAY92M— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1553978190.0
How is Mexico responding? Sanchez Cordero stated Mexico's intention to "regulate and provide security to migrants from Central America," The Hill reported, saying Mexico's government is "not repressive."
After President Trump made the border closing threat, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador did not take part in a war of words, saying "we're not going to argue" and expressing a desire to maintain a good relationship with the U.S.
Lopez Obrador's passive response drew criticism from political opponents in Mexico. National Action Party leader Marko Cortes called Lopez Obrador's attitude "submissive, timid and cowardly."
What if the border is closed? A border closing would have a significant impact on trade between the two countries, and would also hit the nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies that have factories in Juarez.
"Mexico is a significant trading partner with the United States and an even greater percentage with Texas," said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo. "We can't afford that."