Mi­grants re­leased from de­ten­tion

Pres­i­dent forms team to im­ple­ment im­mi­gra­tion plan

The Dallas Morning News - - FRONT PAGE - By MARCO UGARTE

Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grant fam­i­lies that were re­leased from U.S. de­ten­tion waited to board a bus Tues­day at a bus de­pot in Mcallen. In Mex­ico, of­fi­cials said they have be­gun de­ploy­ment of the coun­try’s Na­tional Guard for im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment. As part of a deal with the U.S., the Na­tional Guard’s ob­jec­tive is to regis­ter mi­grants and to of­fer them op­tions on their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

MEX­ICO CITY — Mex­i­can of­fi­cials said Tues­day they were be­gin­ning de­ploy­ment of the coun­try’s new Na­tional Guard for im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment, an ac­cel­er­ated com­mit­ment of a 6,000­strong force made as part of an agree­ment with the United States to head off threat­ened U.S. tar­iffs on im­ports from Mex­ico.

Pres­i­dent An­drés Manuel López Obrador and For­eign Re­la­tions Sec­re­tary Marcelo Ebrard also an­nounced that a team of five of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing a gen­eral and a prison direc­tor, had been formed to im­ple­ment the im­mi­gra­tion plan.

Ebrard said that Gen. Vi­cente An­to­nio Hernán­dez Sánchez, com­man­der of the Ta­pachula mil­i­tary zone near the bor­der with Gu­atemala, will be­gin a tour of the south “to speed up the de­ploy­ment in the area.”

The main ob­jec­tive is to regis­ter mi­grants, of­fer them op­tions for reg­u­lar­iz­ing their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and re­turn those who don’t want to regis­ter, he added.

The As­so­ci­ated Press has not yet seen any Na­tional Guard de­ploy­ment in Ta­pachula, where sol­diers and fed­eral po­lice have been work­ing to sup­port im­mi­gra­tion agents. At the Suchi­ate River that forms the bor­der be­tween the two coun­tries, the usual cross­ings by small groups on rudi­men­tary rafts con­tin­ued

Tues­day.

Ebrard did not men­tion de­ten­tions, which have risen no­tably in re­cent months, but said there is a need to ex­pand and im­prove over­crowded im­mi­gra­tion fa­cil­i­ties that op­er­ate as de facto de­ten­tion cen­ters.

An­other de­ploy­ment is go­ing to the fron­tier with the United States to attend to mi­grants who have been re­turned to Mex­ico while their asy­lum claims are pro­cessed in U.S. courts.

As part of the deal reached last Friday with Washington, Mex­ico agreed to an ex­pan­sion of the pro­gram known as Mi­grant Pro­tec­tion Pro­to­col, though the United States has run into its own lo­gis­ti­cal ob­sta­cles to ramp­ing it up.

Mex­ico’s Na­tional Guard is a newly formed force tasked with polic­ing ris­ing in­se­cu­rity. It is sep­a­rate from the mil­i­tary and is legally sup­posed to be un­der civil­ian com­mand, though it is largely made up of cur­rent or for­mer sol­diers and fed­eral po­lice.

Loren El­liott/agence France­pressee

Pho­tos by Marco Ugarte/the As­so­ci­ated Press

Cuban mi­grants landed on the Mex­i­can side of the Suchi­ate River on the bor­der with Gu­atemala early Tues­day af­ter cross­ing on a raft near Ci­u­dad Hi­dalgo, Mex­ico.

Mex­i­can sol­diers es­corted of­fi­cials in Ta­pachula, near the Gu­atemala bor­der, on Tues­day.

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