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Mexico's migration mistake

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By Jorge G. Castaneda

MEXICO CITY ― Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration railroaded Mexico into agreeing to take "unprecedented steps" to curb irregular migration and human trafficking across its borders. The deal ― the implementation of which will be evaluated this month ― is shameful for Mexico and the United States alike.

The discord over migration did not originate with Trump. In the summer of 2014, then-U.S. President Barack Obama responded to a surge in unaccompanied minors reaching the U.S. border by requesting that then-Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto send forces to Mexico's border with Guatemala to stem the flow. Pena complied, though Mexico never received anything in exchange, and the number of migrants reaching the border declined.

But the tensions escalated significantly under the Trump administration, not least because, by late 2017, the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border was again skyrocketing.

In early 2018, the U.S. was reportedly apprehending some 50,000 migrants ― especially from Central America, but also from Cuba and Africa ― per month, compared to about 20,000 per month in 2015-2016.

Trump's own attempts at solutions had little impact. His promised border wall remains far from built. His policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border was met with such an outcry that he had to reverse it, though children continue to be kept in appalling conditions. Mass deportations proved a weak deterrent as well.

For a president who won his position partly on the promise to slash immigration at........

© The Korea Times