As much as President Donald Trump and his administration has taken heat for their policies to stem illegal immigration and border crossings, the moves are working, according to Politico.
The report cites government data for border arrests, which dropped to 51,000 in August, a 60% decrease from a peak in May.
“What the numbers show is that the United States’ threats and bullying of other countries have been effective in getting other countries to increase their enforcement efforts, but that the numbers don’t reflect any real change in the situation of the Northern Triangle countries of Central America,” Washington Office on Latin America Director Maureen Meyer told Politico.
Credit the deal President Trump cut with Mexico in June to crack down on their own southern border, which helped send a message to migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. that it is “not as easy as they were told it was going to be,” Martha Bárcena, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S., told Politico.
“People know that if they come into Mexico, they have to respect the Mexican law,” she added to Politico.
Chicago-based pro-migrant group Alianza Americas Executive Director agrees forcing the hand of Mexico has worked to stop migration.
“I think that they are getting exactly what they said they would get, by forcing the hand of Mexico,” Chacón told Politico. “But the question is, ‘Is it sustainable?'”
According to the report, Mexico will press Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence to process asylum claims faster during a Tuesday meeting with Mexican officials, including Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.
Asylum seekers have been gathering in Mexico as the Trump administration has forced them to wait there as opposed to the U.S.
“They’re finally getting it right, but they’re doing it in an unnecessarily cruel way – and they should be held to account for having created the problem in the first place,” former Obama administration Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin told Politico.