Immigration Enforcement Mexico

Mexico’s Harsh Tactics to Cut Out Immigration

“I would rather cross the Darien Gap 10,000 times than cross Mexico,” says Yeneska García, as she sits in a migrant shelter in Mexico. Since fleeing Venezuela in January, the 23-year-old had trekked through the Darien Gap jungle dividing Colombia and Panama, narrowly survived being kidnapped by a Mexican cartel and waited months for an asylum appointment with the United States that never came. She finally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in May, only to have American authorities expel her. 

In the photos on AP World News article, García is seen holding a bag with Venezuelan ID, an inhaler and an apple. These are some of her only possessions that she has remaining. She is surrounded by others, who also have plastic bags, all holding very few possessions. With pressure in the U.S increasing, Mexican authorities are employing a simple but harsh tactic: wearing migrants out until they give up.

The ‘Mexican model of human mobility‘, is the name of the plan to address immigration in North America. The plan will prioritize Mexicans who are already in the United States, but will also help migrants who are passing through Mexico after emigrating from their countries in search of the American dream.

The plan mentions the establishment of safe, orderly and regular routes of labor mobility that allow the inclusion of more migrants in the Mexican economy and coordinated actions for the humanitarian management of migratory flows, the same principles already listed in 2018, but does not provide details of how it will be done.

Some believe that Mexico’s tactics are a way to appease the U.S., which has pressured Latin American nations to help slow migration while failing to overhaul its own immigration system that most Americans agree is broken. 

With President Biden’s new order, more people are being sent back to Mexico.“Mexico is the wall…What will we do when even more people arrive? Every time the United States does something to reinforce the northern border, we automatically know tons of people are coming to Villahermosa,” said Josue Martínez, a psychologist at Villahermosa’s only migrant shelter, Peace Oasis of the Holy Spirit Amparito. The small shelter has been scrambling since Mexico’s government began pushing people back two years ago. Last month, it housed 528 people, up from 85 in May 2022.

Migrants walk or take buses north toward Mexico City, where they can request an appointment to seek asylum in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s app, CBP One. However, most never make it far enough north for the app’s location requirement. At certain checkpoints, armed soldiers pull migrants off buses and round up those walking along roads and in surrounding mountains.

Of two dozen migrants interviewed by the AP World News Team, all said they were extorted by law enforcement or Mexican migration officials to continue on their journeys. After dishing out hefty sums two or three times, families had nothing. They were then taken by bus back south, where most were left on the streets.

Venezuelan Keilly Bolaños says she and her four children have been sent to southern Mexico six times. The 25-year-old single mother wants asylum so her 4-year-old daughter can get treatment for leukemia, unavailable to her in Venezuela. Days earlier, she was captured in the northern state of Chihuahua, where she said members of the military beat her in front of her crying children, then loaded them onto a bus for the two-day journey to Villahermosa.

“How can you run when you have four children? You can’t,” Bolaños said. The family slept on cardboard boxes alongside other migrants outside Villahermosa’s bus terminal.“I know that all this struggling will be worth it some day,” she added.

She plans on continuing her journey, now for the seventh time. After being taken off of a bus, one group of migrants begged authorities to help them get back to Venezuela shortly before being sent back south. “

We just want to go to the embassy in Mexico City. To go back to Venezuela,” 30-year-old Fabiana Bellizar told officials, after being returned from northern Mexico a day earlier. “We don’t want to be here anymore.”  After being taken off of a bus, one group of migrants begged authorities to help them get back to Venezuela shortly before being sent back south. 


Madison Vilardo | Immigration Correspondent

My name is Madison Vilardo, I am a third year at Plattsburgh State University studying Criminal Justice, Sociology, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Social Justice. I am extremely passionate about social justice especially in terms of the law. I am wanting to research certain laws and use what I have found within my research to help reform certain parts of the law. This is extremely significant because the law has been biased and unfair for way too long now, and change needs to happen. I am so excited to start this journey, and to learn new ways of bringing reform to this country through laws.