New video from Mexico’s border with Guatemala shows a chaotic scene as scores of officers with the Federal Police and National Guard detain dozens of African men in Tapachula.
Ruptly, an “international video news agency,” posted the video early Wednesday.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) June 19, 2019
“Guards deployed at southern border after #Trump migrant deal,” the message read.
The footage shows several dozen African men, many of them shirtless, as they shouted, snapped their fingers, and waived at the camera as they sat and mulled about near a border gate, as about the same number of National Guard and Federal Police stood decked out in riot gear, including helmets and bullet-proof vests.
At least one man in the video appears to be a translator, working to relay messages from the shouting mob.
The video seemingly confirms a deal with Mexico negotiated by President Trump is working to halt the flood of illegal immigrants through Mexico into the United States, a crisis that escalated over the last year, initially with migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
More recently, a wave of thousands of African migrants have traveled to Central America to exploit the situation and America’s asylum laws.
President Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods imported by Mexico if the country’s leaders didn’t do more to help curb the flow of illegal immigrants heading north, which prompted Mexican officials to send thousands of National Guard members to the country’s southern border, crack down on financial networks supporting the migrant caravans, and agree to allow migrants to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.
“Sad when you think about it, but Mexico right now is doing more for the United States at the Border than the Democrats in Congress!” Trump tweeted last week.
The Associated Press reported on the drastic increase in illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Sudan, and other African countries in recent weeks.
“Officials in Texas and even Maine are scrambling to absorb the sharp increase in African migrants. They are coming to America after flying across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and then embarking on an often harrowing overland journey,” according to the news service.
“In one week, agents at the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector stopped more than 500 African migrants found walking in separate groups along the arid land after splashing across the Rio Grande, children in tow.
“That’s more than double the total of 211 African migrants who were detained by the Border Patrol along the entire 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border in the 2018 fiscal year.”
Thousands of African migrants are already in the U.S. and many are on their way to Portland, Maine, where the city offers financial assistance and other support catered to Africans. Many are first bused to San Antonio, Texas, where a Swiss reporter recently confronted several to learn more about their journey. But the migrants didn’t want to discuss how they arrived at the U.S. border or who funded their trip, though the Swiss reporters said several were witnessed by aid workers counting rolls of $100 bills, The American Mirror reports.
The AP reports many fly from Africa to Ecuador or other countries that don’t require a visa, then walk for four months through South American mountains and jungles to dangerous drug trafficking routes through Central America and Mexico.
Many are now sitting at the border separating Mexico and Guatemala, where a migrant from Cameroon named Mbi Deric Ambi told the AP he and others have been waiting for weeks to get through.
Ambi said the men at the border are waiting for officials to call their name to collect a travel document, and he’s been waiting for six weeks.
“We just have to be patient,” he said, “because there is nothing we can do.”
Sympathy for the poor migrants in Mexico, meanwhile, is quickly wearing thin.
The Catholic News Service reports:
Last fall, locals in southern Chiapas state welcomed the caravans of migrants crossing into Mexico from Guatemala and carrying on northward to the U.S. border. They offered everything from food and drink to clothing and shoes to the caravan travelers, who often included children.
Parishes throughout the Diocese of Tapachula mobilized to meet the needs of thousands of mostly Central American migrants — many fleeing violence, poverty and drought. Sister Bertha’s congregation, the Guadalajara-based Missionaries of the Resurrected Christ, tended to the wounds of weary migrants in a mobile medical clinic.
But many locals no longer welcome migrants in Chiapas. Municipal governments, meanwhile, have shunned them by blocking access to town squares, where members of caravans often slept and sought basic services. Local government officials complain of being forced to shoulder security, sanitation and cleanup costs.
“People no longer respond to the immigration issue,” Father Cesar Canaveral Perez, director of migrant ministries in Tapachula, told the news site. “(They) no longer help out. It’s to the point that in parishes we no longer ask for assistance for migrants.”
Sister Bertha Lopez described the “climate of apathy” that’s taken hold.
“If (people) see some migrants, they close their stores,” she said.