Despite his criticism of President Trump’s immigration policies, Mexican President-elect Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador is planning to establish an ICE-like border force to block illegal immigrants and contraband from Central America.
The new border force will be part of a larger effort to help improve the conditions that are driving people from Central America into Mexico and the US, explains Alfonso Durazo, who will become Public Security Chief when Obrador takes office in December.
Mexico’s newfound emphases on reducing illegal immigration comes amid President Trump’s pressure campaign on the Mexican government to assume partial responsibility for the flood of Central American immigrants passing through Mexico on their way to the US.
Durazo confirmed the Mexican border patrol would also operate along the US border, but did not provide details.
“We’re going to create a border police force that will be highly specialized,” said Durazo. “They need to apply the law,” he added, noting the longstanding issue of corruption within Mexico’s current police force.
In an attempt to weed out this corruption, the Administration plans to increase salaries and benefits for police officers, build more police academies so that more people can be trained, and use financial intel to target the wallets of drug trafficking organizations.
Durazo is hoping for a complete overhaul of Mexico’s security system, which he says fails to address the humanitarian side of the problem. “The legitimate use of force by the state is a resource, but it shouldn’t be the first resource, it should be the last one.”
Durazo on Friday will host Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Mexico City. The two are expected to discuss immigration and border security.
While this looks like a good thing on the surface, I’m doubting that it will have any real effect. Even with higher salaries, there’s no guarantee that agents working at border checkpoints won’t continue to take bribes from illegal immigrants making their way into Mexico.
Even worse, the border force will likely become a source of revenue for a corrupt administration while at the same time facilitating the movement of drugs into Mexico (and thus into the United States). The Administration has already announced plans to hold a public referendum on whether to decriminalize marijuana.