Border Crisis Leads to Record Detentions – in Mexico

In Fiscal Year 2021 (October 2020 – September 2021), 1.7 million illegal aliens were encountered along the United States’ southern border, an all-time high for unauthorized crossings. President Biden’s border policies were undoubtedly responsible for the record-breaking encounters. Unfortunately, our southern neighbor is enduring similar adverse consequences spurred by the American president’s immigration policy.

Between January and November of 2021 – less than a full year –  Mexican immigration authorities detained 256,526 illegal aliens, the highest number of apprehensions recorded by Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM) since 2005, when INM agents detained 240,269 unlawful migrants. The data also show Mexico’s 2021 figures have already surpassed the apprehension totals made in 2017 (93,846), 2018 (131,445), 2019 (182,940), and 2020 (82,369).

While Mexico’s immigration enforcement has helped reduce the flow of unlawful migration to the United States, it has come at a cost. The increase in illegal immigration across Mexico has stretched INM’s personnel and resources to effectuate deportations. For example, of the 256,526 apprehended migrants, only 40 percent have been deported so far compared to the 82 percent repatriation rate of the past four years.

To supplement the limited number of immigration agents, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has activated his nation’s National Guard to aid with enforcement duties. However, the reinforcements have not been enough to quell the growing number of third-country nationals heading north to the United States, as countless migrants have joined caravans that have overwhelmed police blockades.  

Additionally, according to the Mexican news outlet Milenio, the influx of U.S.-bound migration has stretched municipal and state budgets, prompting these governments to request the Mexican federal government for adequate funds to address the influx of migration in their jurisdictions.

President Biden’s scrapping of sound immigration policies in the United States has turned Mexico into a transit point for migrants across the globe, worsening conditions for a country he claims to want to help.

While our southern neighbor works overtime to curb U.S.-bound illegal immigration from Central American countries, the Biden administration refuses to remove the magnets it created that draw large numbers of illegal aliens across Mexico and eventually into the United States. Rather than relying on foreign governments for immigration enforcement, President Biden should reinstate the directives that mitigated unauthorized migration across both our countries throughout the Trump administration.

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