Officials in several Central American countries have said that Donald Trump’s victory in the recent presidential election has prompted a new surge in migrants from their countries headed toward the U.S. border. The migrants, who fear that Trump will follow through on his promises to secure the border and to deport illegal immigrants, hope to enter the United States and apply for asylum before the new president takes office on January 20.
The story was reported by the Reuters news service, which quoted a statement from Maria Andrea Matamoros, Deputy Foreign Minister of Honduras. “We’re worried because we’re seeing a rise in the flow of migrants leaving the country, who have been urged to leave by coyotes telling them that they have to reach the United States before Trump takes office,” said Matamoros. “Coyotes” is the name given to criminals who smuggle people for profit.
Reuters also interviewed Carlos Raul Morales, Guatemala’s foreign minister, who said people were leaving Guatemala in large numbers before Trump becomes president.
“The coyotes are leaving people in debt, and taking their property as payment for the journey,” said Morales.
Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico’s deputy interior minister for migration, told Reuters the day after the U.S. presidential election that Mexico is prepared to lobby the U.S. Congress or use other “legal means” to oppose Trump’s plan for blocking remittances being sent home by Mexican citizens living in the United States. Trump has suggested impounding those remittances as one way to pay for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants.
The foreign ministers of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala met in Guatemala City on November 21 to plan a strategy to protect migrants from their countries living in the United States.
At the meeting, the foreign ministers asked the Mexican government for assistance in creating a migrant protection network, to act in a liaison capacity between the countries and U.S. authorities, and to meet regularly for regional talks.
Mexico and Guatemala announced plans to expand immigration services at their many offices in the United States.
In a joint statement directed the illegals in the United States, the nations of the “Northern Triangle” — El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — said:
The foreign ministers made a call to Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans, to continue observing and respecting the laws of [the United States], to stay calm and not make hasty decisions that endanger their personal safety, carry the necessary documents and approach their consulates for services and consular protection.
Mexico is apparently offering diplomatic services to nationals of those nations in the United States, according to the Spanish news site El Pais, which stated: “The Northern Triangle countries will rely on ... Mexico [to serve] its nationals in the 50 consulates [it has] in the United States.”
A report in the Washington Examiner on November 25 summarized the above strategy being planned by Mexico and the “Northern Triangle” nations as follows:
Foreign ministers of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras met this week to address concerns about President-elect Trump's plan to deport illegals, mostly those with criminal records. Their goal: Calm the fears of illegals, help them avoid deportation, and keep the flood of money they send home going.
As Mexico and the Central American countries plan to help illegal aliens in the United States from south of the border, representatives of several groups that have advocated for legal status for illegal immigrants met with Obama White House officials last week to lobby for the release of thousands of Central American women and children who have been detained for entering our nation illegally.
As we reported in our article posted on November 22, a Bloomberg report cited the Women’s Refugee Commission and the American Immigration Lawyers Association as being among the groups whose representatives met with Obama administration officials. The report stated that one of the issues discussed was the fate of about 4,000 Central American detainees who crossed the border illegally after fleeing violence in their home countries. The detainees have been housed in detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, some for more than a year, as they wait for immigration officials to process their asylum applications.
Immigration advocates asked the president to either end the practice of detaining families altogether or to direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to release families on their own recognizance after issuing them a “notice to appear” before a judge.
During fiscal year 2016, the United States detained nearly 410,000 people along the border with Mexico, a number that is up by about one quarter from the previous year. The vast majority of these illegal migrants came from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for attorney general confirms that he intend to follow though on the tough stand on illegal immigration that was a cornerstone of his campaign for the White House.
During his time serving as a senator, Sessions has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on the subject of the Obama administration’s loose immigration policies and lack of border enforcement.
“Instead of removing illegal immigrants, the President has expended enormous time, energy, and resources into settling newly arrived illegal immigrants throughout the United States,” Sessions wrote in a January 2015 “immigration handbook” for Republicans.
Sessions has repeatedly blamed the non-enforcement and amnesty policies of the Obama administration for the uncontrolled surge invasion of illegal aliens coming across our borders. In response to that surge, he posted a statement on his Senate webpage on June 3 carrying the headline: “President Obama is personally responsible for ‘rising crisis’ at border.” His message began:
The rising crisis at the border is the direct and predictable result of actions taken by President Obama. He and his Administration have announced to the world that they will not enforce America’s immigration laws, and have emphasized in particular that foreign youth will be exempted from these laws. The world has heard the President’s call, and illegal immigrants are pouring across the border in pursuit of his promised amnesty. President Obama is responsible for this calamity, and only by declaring to the world that our border is no longer open — and that the law will be restored — can this emergency be stopped.
There is little wonder that illegal aliens in the United States and potential illegal border crossers still in their home countries have seen the handwriting on the wall and are worried that the free pass across U.S. borders will end, come January 20.