‘It prevented this tax that was going to affect our economy…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) After reaching a deal with President Donald Trump to do more about illegal immigration, Mexican officials began detaining migrants heading to the U.S.–Mexico border on the freight train known as “The Beast.”
The Mexican National Guard stopped the “Las Bestia” train near Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, a city north of the Mexico–Guatemala border.
“The National Guard was placed on one side, moment that was taken advantage of by more than 200 migrants who got off the train and fled,” Nataniel Hernández Núñe, director of the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center, told El Universal.
Only 25 migrants were arrested, though, because many “hid in the bush,” according to Hernández.
This move is the first of its kind since Trump reached a deal with Mexican President López Obrador on Friday, in which the U.S. agreed to hold off on tariffs if Mexico cracked down on immigration from Central American countries.
The train was headed to Oaxaca, according to El Universal, where migrants would have hopped onto another freight train until they reached the U.S. border. The journey typically takes two weeks.
Since stopping “The Beast” train, Mexican authorities have continued to curb migration.
The Mexican National Migration Institute said in a statement on Wednesday that a group of about 300 Guatemalan migrants entered Mexico by a border bridge and another 120 people joined the group as they continued into Mexico.
Dozens were arrested and hundreds were detained, according to Reuters.
Under the temporary agreement reached by Trump and Obrador, Mexico agreed to house, educate, and give jobs to U.S. asylum seekers.
The U.S. State Department said “in the event the measures do not have the expected results,” both sides may review the agreement in 90 days.
“It prevented this tax that was going to affect our economy,” Obrador said of the deal. “Good will on both sides prevailed.”