Mexico Responds to U.S.-Bound Caravan

By Kausha Luna on April 3, 2018

Over Easter weekend, a caravan of Central Americans making their way north to the U.S.-Mexico border caught the attention of the media and President Trump. Many, including President Trump, criticized Mexico for its inaction. In turn, the Mexican government published a press release addressing the caravan. Below is a translation of the press release:

The Mexican government confirms its commitment to working together to address the phenomenon of migration

Joint Statement SRE-SEGOB - Mexico's migration policy is defined in a sovereign manner and through this it seeks to ensure that migration occurs in a legal, safe, and orderly manner and with full respect for the rights of individuals.

The Government of Mexico, through the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, reaffirms its commitment to working together as a way to provide better attention to the migratory phenomenon in our region.

Mexico's migration policy is defined in a sovereign manner and through this it seeks to ensure that migration occurs in a legal, safe, orderly manner and with full respect for the rights of individuals. Under no circumstances does the Mexican government promote irregular migration.

In this context, the government of the Republic considers that the caravan known as "Viacrucis del Migrante" is a public demonstration that seeks to draw attention to the migratory phenomenon and the importance of respect for the rights of Central American migrants, which in many cases, are forced to leave their places of origin in search of better opportunities or with the intention of obtaining international protection through the form of "refuge".

This caravan is held every year at this time, since 2010, and is mainly composed of migrants from the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras ,and El Salvador), whose entry into national territory did not meet the requirements of the law. For this reason, participants of this demonstration are subject to an administrative immigration procedure; so far, around 400 have already been repatriated to their countries of origin, with strict adherence to the legal framework and full respect for their human rights.

Also, unlike previous years, on this occasion Mexican immigration authorities have proceeded, according to the corresponding legislation, to offer the status of refugee in cases where this is appropriate, as well as the other measures of protection contained in the national regulations.

As with any street demonstration, the Mexican authorities ensure the safety and protection of the dignity and human rights of the members of the caravan, while also endeavoring to minimize the effects on ordinary traffic on the roads traveled by this group.

The Government of Mexico recalls that, in accordance with Article 47 of the Migration Law, all those nationals or foreigners who decide to leave the Mexican national territory must do so exclusively through the points designated for the international transit of persons and are obliged to comply with the requirements for entry, stipulated by the country to which they intend to enter.

It also clarifies that it is not the responsibility of this government to exercise immigration decisions of the United States or any other nation. So it will be the competent authorities of the United States that decide, if appropriate, to authorize or not the entry into its territory of the caravan members that request it through the authorized entry and exit ports.

As in previous years, since March 25, the Mexican government, through the Ministry of the Interior, has kept the United States government fully informed about the development of the caravan, through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Mexico remains very active in the appropriate international mechanisms to give better attention to the migratory phenomenon, such as the Regional Migration Conference (where our country and Central American nations participate, as well as the United States, among others), while maintaining a close dialogue with the governments of the Northern Triangle and the American Union to deploy cooperation mechanisms in migration and security matters, as well as to promote development and address the causes of emigration.