Deportee and refugee camps could start popping up along the border thanks to Donald Trump’s new immigration policies that target anyone living in the country illegally.
Any immigrant who crossed the border illegally, and is charged with or suspected of a crime, could be deported to Mexico, regardless of their country of origin, while their cases go to trial.
It’s not clear if the United States has the authority to dump third country immigrants in Mexico, but it is clear the country isn’t ready to support them and that could trigger the creation of deportee camps.
The border camps could house immigrants stopped for traffic violations, arrested for shoplifting or other minor crimes, or even those who simply crossed the border illegally, and they might be paid for by the U.S.
There’s even legal precedent for the creation of these massive deportee camps.
During the 1980s and 1990’s the United Nations funded refugee camps in Mexico for tens of thousands of Guatemalans fleeing civil war and in Europe, Turkey is receiving some $3 billion in aid to house Syrian refugees.
The Mexican government has already struggled with aiding thousands of Haitians who flooded into the country last year and is ill-equipped to handle another mass influx, Mexico City-based security analyst Alejandro Hope told ABC News.
“For this to be politically acceptable in Mexico, it would have to be paid. No Mexican administration could accept this kind of thing unless it were accompanied by billions of dollars.”
Under previous U.S. immigration policy, only Mexican citizens were deported to Mexico; other migrants were flown back to their country of origin, but Trump’s new guidelines could change all that.
The new enforcement policies, announced Tuesday, order all immigrants in the country illegally who are charged with or suspected of a crime to be deported to Mexico while they await asylum and deportation proceedings.
Mexico has vowed to resist Trump’s “hostile” immigration policies, the country’s foreign relations secretary, Luis Videgaray, told Reuters.
“I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other.”
“We also have control of our borders and we will exercise it fully.”
His comments on Trump’s new immigration policies come as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Mexico City where he will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. The two are expected to “walk” the Mexican government through the implementation of Trump’s orders.
The new immigration policy is designed to force Mexico to do more to stop illegal immigrants streaming into the U.S. from Central and South America just like it didn’t do in the case of Haitian refugees last year.
The immigrants flooded in from Brazil and Chile were stopped at Mexico’s southern border where they were given temporary visas valid just long enough for them to make it the U.S.
Thousands of them wound up in Tijuana where they overwhelmed the border city’s resources. The Mexican government didn’t pay much attention to them, but private Christian groups worked to open shelters and provide the immigrants with food and sanitary facilities.
Most eventually found their way into the U.S. where many of them were found and deported back to Haiti, but some 3,000 remain in Mexico where they’ve applied for asylum, Hope told the SFGate.
“Just look at the case of the Haitians in Tijuana, what were they, seven or eight thousand? And the situation was just out of control. Now imagine a situation 10 or 15 times that size. There aren’t enough resources to maintain them.”
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[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]