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Migrants waiting in Tijuana to cross to the United States to seek asylum. Photo: Cuartoscuro
Migrants waiting in Tijuana to cross to the United States to seek asylum. Photo: Cuartoscuro

Despite U.S. intimidation, immigrant presence at Mexico border increases

All of the aggressive policies of the Trump Administration have not been enough to break the will of thousands of people who continue to attempt to cross the U…

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On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security released the numbers of detainees at the border. Around 52,000 people were apprehended in the month of May alone, and the figures have been growing steadily for more than three months.

Despite the militarization of the border, the policy of "zero tolerance" announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the aggressiveness of the presidential discourse, the immigrant impetus has only strengthened.

The phenomenon is curious considering the number of immigrants trying to cross the border had decreased significantly during the first year of this administration, which, according to the New York Times, was "the lowest rate in forty years."

As Trump's government’s first-year numbers have been used by the president and his advisers as "metrics" to praise his strong anti-immigrant measures, this increase has resulted in strong tensions within the White House, according to the Times, and some administration officials have said that "the department is not doing enough to reduce the number of illegal crossings.”

Despite efforts to intimidate immigrant families with the risk of separation, the data shows that by the end of May, "around 11,000 immigrant children" are in the custody of the government, according to the Washington Post. This represents an increase of "more than 20% with respect to the previous month."

The majority of travelers come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and the areas with that have experienced the greatest traffic of migrants are those surrounding the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas and the southern part of the state of Arizona.

The department has argued that the increase could be a side effect of "years of political inaction," said spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton. "It is also clear that it will take more than just the actions of the administration (to counteract transit)."

However, the effect of the Refugee Caravan at the beginning of the year and the wave of victorious Democratic candidates in the primary elections in recent months have shown that there are many ways to resist the nationalism and isolationism of this government.

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