Mexico has doubled its migrant detentions and sent 10,000 troops to its southern border, according to White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, as Washington relies on state governments to support delay arrivals at the US border.
According to Reuters, Mexico conducted compliance operations in March to round up illegal immigrants transiting towards the US border, as well as increased its efforts along its border with Guatemala.
The operations include members of the National Guard, a militarized police force, along with soldiers and members of the navy and immigration officials. Mexico said on March 22 that it had close to 9,000 troops from the defense ministry, Navy and National Guard on its northern and southern borders.
According to a Mexican National Guard officer stationed in the region, the force’s regular arrest rate has more than doubled in recent weeks.
Guatemala mobilised security forces to halt a convoy of refugees heading to the United States in January, shortly before US President Joe Biden took office, and Guatemalan government officials have promised to keep up the pace. Honduras has sent troops to respond to a small migrant caravan heading to the United States over Easter.
Earlier, White House aide Tyler Moran stated that the Biden administration had reached agreements with Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala to station more troops along their borders.
Moran appears to be referring to the deployments in March.
The Mexican government said in a statement that it will retain existing troop levels at its borders.
According to the Guatemalan presidency, border defence efforts were initiated last year. When asked whether Guatemala and Washington had reached an agreement on troop deployment, a spokesperson said, “There is no deal signed in this sense.”
Honduran Defense Minister Fredy Santiago Diaz said his country was considering its options on border troop numbers.
A recent delegation to Washington did not address the deployment of further soldiers, but Honduras will take U.S. calls to reduce migration into account if they did, he told local radio.