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Mexico’s Mass Arrests of Central American Migrants Follow Years of U.S. Pressure

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A Mexican riot policeman protects an immigrant father and child during a clash between police and the migrant caravan on the border between Mexico and Guatemala on October 19th, 2018, in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala.

As President Donald Trump amps up his threats against Mexico in an effort to pressure the country to stop Central Americans asylum seekers and migrants from reaching the United States border, the Mexican government has made some of the largest mass arrests of Central Americans in recent years. It has arrested hundreds of people who were trying to make it to the U.S.

On Monday, as a huge group of Central American migrants and U.S.-bound asylum seekers (largely mothers and children) sat to rest underneath a bridge in southern Mexico, a large force of Mexican authorities descended on the group. Photos from the day show children screaming as agents rounded up families and loaded them into vans and buses for arrest and likely deportation. By the end of the raid, Mexican authorities had arrested over 300 people—the largest mass arrest on one of the so-called “caravans” that have traveled through Mexico from Central America in recent years.

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