…from the NY Times….
….In an apparent show of force meant to prove to Mr. Trump that they were working on the problem, hundreds of Guatemalan police officers and homeland security agents conducted raids last week throughout the country on those suspected of human smuggling. And on Wednesday, the nation’s interior minister said that the country was looking into revising an agreement that allows for the free movement of its Central American neighbors.
In the week since Mr. Trump announced his tariff threat on Twitter, administration officials have said the Mexican government must secure its own border with Guatemala, through which many migrants travel on their way to the United States. They have demanded that Mexican officials crack down on transnational gangs that facilitate migrant travel. And they have insisted that Mexico agree to take in all of the asylum seekers who would otherwise claim refuge in the United States.
But officials have provided few other specifics about how Mexico could meet those goals quickly enough to stave off Mr. Trump’s anger. Mexico has already tried to secure its own southern border and has long fought transnational gangs.
In the past six months, the Mexican government has deported more than 80,500 migrants back to their homes in Central America and elsewhere, according to government data. During the same period, Mexican authorities detained about 400 people accused of trafficking migrants. And nearly 25,000 migrants applied for refuge in Mexico in the first five months of 2019.
“The Mexican government could interdict more migrants for sure, but they can’t just flip a switch and turn off the flow,” said Kevin Appleby, a veteran expert on migration.
In Mexico, there is popular support for treating Central American migrants humanely, and many Mexicans do not want to see President Andrés Manuel López Obrador bow to the wishes of his counterpart in the United States.
“He’s between a rock and a hard place. He doesn’t want to be seen as being a toady to the United States,” said Doug Massey, a professor of sociology at Princeton University and a director of the Mexican Migration Project. “He doesn’t want to violate the human rights of Central Americans, who after all are simply escaping terrible conditions.”
Carlos Heredia, a professor at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas in Mexico City, said Tuesday that whatever action Mexico takes to prevent migration into the United States, it was unlikely to satisfy the president.
“If there is any logic to the way that President Trump handles policy, it’s that he likes conflict,” Mr. Heredia said. “I don’t think that there is a way to please Trump.”
Others said that it would take time for Mexico to make the changes the Trump administration was requesting.
“This is not going to happen in seven days,” said Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States. “You can’t enforce your way out of a migration crisis.”….