The Mexican government rolled out steps Friday to prevent illegal crossings at its border with Guatemala as the U.S. faces a burgeoning crisis of Central American migrants at its southern border.
Mexico’s National Migration Institute, part of the country’s Interior Ministry, announced that various resources, including drones and militarized police, will be deployed to monitor points of entry on its southern border. Restrictions will also be placed on nonessential travel, including tourism, to comply with COVID-19 health guidelines.
The institute claimed the measures are being implemented to protect minors who are crossing the border, noting that 4,180 accompanied and unaccompanied people under the age of 18 have illegally crossed the border with Guatemala between Jan. 1 and March 18.
The body specifically placed blame at the feet of gangs and so-called “guides” who are allegedly informing migrants it is easy to make it to the U.S.
The restrictions will be in place for a month, though they can be renewed.
The announcement comes as the U.S. grapples with a surge of attempted crossings at its southern border with Mexico.
The Biden administration has continued turning away most migrants, though it has allowed unaccompanied minors into the U.S.
More than 14,000 minors who traveled to the U.S. without their families are currently in federal custody, an official said Thursday, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasMore than 14,000 migrant children in US custody: official Republicans call for hearing on border surge Biden to send surplus AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Mexico, Canada MORE said this week that the number of attempted crossings at the U.S. southern border is expected to reach its highest level in two decades.