A councilwoman in San Juan del Rio, Mexico, recently expressed concern over the growing number of Central American arrivals, particularly those who make their way to and through her municipality.
Aidee Mellado Resendiz, a councilwoman for the Humanist Party, warned that the municipality of San Juan de Rio does not have the capacity to accommodate the growing number Central American migrants who illegally migrate to and through Mexico in search of work.
These migrants come to the municipality and beg for money at street intersections, creating various problems. The councilwoman explained that these intersections are often used by Mexican nationals to look for work, and she fears the migrants will take over these areas and displace locals. Councilwoman Resendiz also took issue with migrant families exposing their children at intersections as they asked for money.
Furthermore, Resendiz noted that the growth in Central American migrants could result in the formation of small criminal cells:
Those migrants who are passing through [need to] do just that — pass through. We do not want them in San Juan del Rios, and not for any other reason other than that we do not have the capacity to host migrants at the moment. Small criminal cells can form. ... If they are migrants ... they pass through and nothing else. We do not want them to start taking over the crossroads and then start displacing Mexicans that also look for work at the same intersections.
There have been various incidents in which local police had to intervene as a result of altercations involving the Central American migrants.
In addition to expressing her concerns, the councilwoman reflected that there is a local shelter where the migrants can receive food support and a place to sleep. She stressed that it is important for citizens to share this information with migrants they encounter: "They do not need to expose themselves on street intersections to ask for food or water when there is already a specific place for them ... you have to inform them that there is a shelter for migrants or Mexicans that are passing through and transit through our municipality. It is a comfortable, dignified place where they can meet their needs."
The concerns expressed by the local Mexican official are not singular to San Juan del Rio. In fact, they are concerns and issues faced by the United States as well: the displacement of American workers, the absorption of migrant youth into illicit activities by gangs such as MS-13, and a limited capacity to absorb an unlimited number of immigrants (legal and illegal).