U.S. Customs and Border Protection via Flickr

While Americans north of the U.S.-Mexico border are consumed with plenty of news about a new immigration crisis less than two months into the Biden administration, I am actually living south of Mexico’s southern border, spending the rest of this year in Guatemala. 

The news headlines here contrast sharply with headlines from U.S. media. One of those headline’s appeared last week in Guatemala’s leading newspaper, Prensa Libre: Mexico closes its border with Guatemala.”

That border is about 541 miles, while the U.S.-Mexico border is about 1,954 miles. So, arguably, it’s a little easier to control. However, Mexico seems to be taking its border with Guatemala much more serious than the United States is taking our border with Mexico. They also do not seem to be very happy with U.S. immigration policy since Joe Biden was sworn in as President – especially as Mexico, like all other countries around the world, is facing the COVID19 pandemic.

It is no secret here in Guatemala that it is now much easier to cross the U.S. border in these opening months of the Biden administration than it was during all four years of the Trump administration. While there may not be very much change in actual laws in the United States, there have been some procedural changes by the Biden administration that have at least sent a signal to those in Central America that it is now once again easier to make your way into the United States than it was over the previous four years. 

This means more migrants who stayed home after they heard bold words about border security from President Trump, are now willing to uproot themselves from Guatemala and take the long and tedious journey through Mexico all the way up to the U.S. border. They have to journey well over 1,000 miles, possibly much further, depending on where in Central America they are coming from and where they plan to cross into the United States.  

This also means more parents are willing to send unoccupied minors on a dangerous journey to the United States, in hopes they will find better opportunity. It also means more children – and other migrants – are preyed upon by human traffickers. 

The bottom line is: over the past two months, more migrants are leaving places like Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador to go through Mexico to the United States, than they have over the past four years – and Mexico has obviously noticed. 

Last week, the Mexican government announced it would begin restricting non-essential travel from Guatemala to stop the spread of COVID19 into its country. Officers from Mexico’s National Migration Institute were deployed on the banks of the river on Saturday. On Sunday, military troops arrived. 

The Biden administration is clearly not taking the threat of immigration across the U.S. southern border seriously. That inattention is now causing a migration crisis from Central America. Mexico, on the other hand, is taking this crisis very seriously, as it is affecting their country, as tens of thousands of migrants attempt to make their way through.

One other factor is that in recent years the United States faces less migrants from Mexico than from Central America, where the economies are not as strong. As the Mexican economy has gained strength, there is less of a need for Mexicans to migrate elsewhere and thus less a desire by the Mexican government to see a porous border with the United States.

While there has always been historic sentiment in the United States that we are a land of opportunity, where immigrants are welcomed to start a new life, there seems to be very little education by some on the American Left, including the Biden administration, as to what effect such and overwhelming increase in migration has on the migrants themselves as they partake on a life-threatening journey to the U.S. border.

Mexico arguably also knows a bit more about these devastating effects on its country, its economy, and on the migrants themselves. And, they have stepped up to do something to put a stop to it. While Americans have become understandably frustrated with the Biden administration’s immigration policies, we might place more hope in the Mexican government’s efforts to control that migration first. Closing their border with Guatemala will do more to prevent migrants from Central America from taking that long and dangerous trek only to wind up in a detention facility along the U.S. border. 

I only hope that reporting these findings from Guatemala will do more to awaken the American people to this reality: America’s border and national security are now protected more by Mexico than they are by the sitting U.S. president. 

Francisco Gonzalez is a visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City and is host of the Agents of Innovation podcast.


Francisco Gonzalez is a visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City and the host of the Agents of Innovation podcast, where he interviews entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and artists. He was previously the director of philanthropy for National Review Institute. He serves on the boards of The Philadelphia Society, AMIkids Orlando, and on the Advisory Council for Turning Point USA.

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Michael Walton
Michael Walton
8 months ago

Quite ironic that the leaders in Mexico found it prudent to take control of the crisis Biden created.

Democrat Rule
Democrat Rule
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Walton

Even leaders in 3rd world countries are smarter than American democrats!!!
And we already know China and Russia’s leaders are stronger than American democrats.

Frost Bite
Frost Bite
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

And are taking advantage of it as well. Wonder how many Iranian terrorist’s are here already. Maybe Colorado shooting is just the beginning, and look who is at the helm, not Joe so much, as he is just a clueless pen, to sign executive orders dreamed up by the true director of the Oval Office, PELOSI.

Herbert G. Chapman
Herbert G. Chapman
8 months ago
Reply to  Frost Bite

The Iranian terrorist were invited in.

Jack
Jack
8 months ago
Reply to  Frost Bite

And Odumbo and Soros !!!

Herbert G. Chapman
Herbert G. Chapman
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

And some Republicans >

Lduffy
Lduffy
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Walton

What do you expect from our ineptness??

Tammy Davis
Tammy Davis
8 months ago

We must close our border. Lets get back to helping US.

Democrat Rule
Democrat Rule
8 months ago
Reply to  Tammy Davis

No one in America under the age of 60 is listening!!! lol

Frost Bite
Frost Bite
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

If that’s true it’s not funny it’s disgusting. Perhaps Liberal control of the schools for the past 40 years has a lot to do with it. The dumbing down of America is certainly raising it’s alliterate head. Common Core on the streets. And they keep pushing drugs and opioids are a problem. Think again.

Alice
Alice
8 months ago
Reply to  Frost Bite

That has been the plan for years—dumb down the USA. It’s easier to conquer when the dumbed down are living off the government, I.e., politicians.

Herbert G. Chapman
Herbert G. Chapman
8 months ago
Reply to  Alice

You must be living on welfare of you thing it’s only the Politicians.

Donna
Donna
8 months ago
Reply to  Frost Bite

Agree with you on your thougts here, Frost.

Herbert G. Chapman
Herbert G. Chapman
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

The people above 60 are though. And we don’t like it what we hear from the dems .

Donna
Donna
8 months ago

Did not like them when I was in my 20s ….changed to the Republicans, they were the thinkers, the ones who made decisions on how it would effect ALL…….the rats were ruthless back then and used strong arm tactics, now they just do what they want and get away with anything they do, any law they spit on…for the past 30 years……

Donna
Donna
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

Would not matter Biden is on the rampage and no one can get him to listen nor stop him with reason . Not even his fellow Rats, like they are taking to the wind…..in one ear and out the other…………..Reminds me of the old Roman emperors …their word law and no matter how bad it was people had to abide by it….someone give him a toga ?

Frost Bite
Frost Bite
8 months ago
Reply to  Tammy Davis

Not under this administration. There’s no money in it.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
8 months ago

Hooray reduce flow into Mexico & US alone, awesome. Thanks Mexico

Democrat Rule
Democrat Rule
8 months ago

Except the Biden administration has offered to pay Mexico to keep allowing illegals to transit through Mexico.
Democrats do not want the mass migration of 3rd World immigrants, including terrorists and unskilled/uneducated illegal immigrants to stop.

Frost Bite
Frost Bite
8 months ago
Reply to  Democrat Rule

Then maybe you should call your liberal representative’s and complain. After all You Voted for them.