Spooked by Trump, Central American immigrants turn to Mexico, by Lizbeth Diaz

Maybe Trump won’t even need to build a wall. From Lizbeth Diaz at news.trust.org:

The number of people applying for asylum in Mexico has soared by more than 150 percent since Donald Trump was elected president

TENOSIQUE, Mexico, May 5 (Reuters) – Cradling her newborn son in a steamy migrant shelter near the Guatemalan border, Concepcion Bautista says she still plans to reach the United States, but will linger in Mexico to see how U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies play out.

Bautista fled Guatemala after gang members threatened to kill her and seized her home, demanding money to give it back.

Her ultimate goal is to reunite with her father and two sons up north, but for the time being, she believes applying for asylum in Mexico is smarter than trying to break into Trump’s United States.

“I’m not going back to Guatemala,” the 39-year-old said at the shelter in the southern Mexican city of Tenosique. “I have faith that we’ll be able to cross but for now, at least, I’m staying in Mexico.”

The Trump administration has pointed to a sharp decline in immigrant detentions in the first few months of this year as a vindication for the president’s tough immigration policies, which have sent shudders through immigrant communities across the continent.

Mexican asylum data and testimony from migrants in Tenosique suggest that although fewer Central Americans are trying to enter the United States, plenty are still fleeing their poor, violent home countries, with many deciding to stay longer in Mexico, which has traditionally been a transit country.

The number of people applying for asylum in Mexico has soared by more than 150 percent since Donald Trump was elected president, Reuters reported last month, while some Mexican immigrants would rather set up in Canada than the United States.

Between Trump’s election in November and March, 5421 people applied for asylum in Mexico, up from 2148 people in the same period a year earlier, Mexican government data shows.

To continue reading: Spooked by Trump, Central American immigrants turn to Mexico

 

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