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Central American migrants crossing into Mexico face violent clashes with military; U.S. pushes enforcement efforts

mexico military-migrants clash
An image from video shows migrants clashing with the Mexican military along Mexico's southern border.

FRONTERA HIDALGO, Mexico -- Violent clashes have broken out in Mexico between migrants and military forces after a caravan headed north from Central America met the Mexican National Guard at the same time the U.S. government is looking to strengthen immigration enforcement in Latin America.

Mexican National Guard troops were recorded forming a shield wall against migrants crossing the river that forms the Mexico-Guatemala border to the south. Mexican enforcement actions have been increasing after President Trump threatened tariffs on Mexico  if immigration was not controlled.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced sharp criticism over this immigration crackdown.

“I have information that the National Guard has acted well,” Lopez Obrador said in his news conference Friday.

Video footage from Thursday showed Mexican National Guard troops using tear gas and shoving migrants onto the floor as their shield wall advanced.

U.S. Homeland Security’s second-in-command Ken Cuccinelli held a news conference Friday where he explained the U.S. is ramping up plans to train enforcement officers in Central America.

“Sharing the kind of experience and expertise that we’ve had screening for gang members, documents reviews, and how to provide emergency medical care to those in crisis and all doing that in the context of regulating immigration,” Cuccinelli said.

These are only some of the steps they’re taking. Cuccinelli said they are also expanding the safe third country agreements, where migrants asking for asylum in the U.S. can be sent somewhere else for their petition. They want to expand this beyond Guatemala.

“Over in Honduras DHS is currently working with the Departments of State and Justice to finalize the asylum cooperative agreement that we’ve been working on in Honduras with the goal of beginning operations as soon as next week,” Cuccinelli said.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Julio-Cesar Chavez

Julio-Cesar Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter.


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