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Migrants in Mexico, Trump, and certified translation

When claiming asylum in a country with a different official language to your own, certified translations of your documents will generally be required. An unprecedented number of people from troubled Central American nations have been claiming asylum in the United States in the last few years. Since the majority are from Spanish-speaking countries, they will need certified translations. Our translation group includes many members of the American Translators Association, whose certified translations are accepted by United States immigration and border forces. The US has been putting pressure on the Mexican government to reduce the number of migrants reaching its southern border, and with threats of significant import tariffs the Mexican authorities have been responding. The below report delves into Mexico’s response to the situation, and its effect on the migrants travelling though the country aiming to escape violence and poverty in their homelands and reach the United States in search of a better life.

At least 791 Central American migrants will not reach the U.S. border. That is the message that Mexico sent to the U.S. government in order to contain one of the most serious diplomatic crises between the two countries in recent years. Mexico is working under pressure to calm the spirits of its northern neighbour, which had threatened to impose taxes on imported Mexican products unless those fleeing violence and hunger were stopped south of the border. 791 men, women and children who will not reach the U.S. because they were intercepted by Mexican authorities this Saturday on their journey through southeastern Mexico. They will now be deported. According to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the arrest has been a blow to the business of human traffickers, since it is estimated that they were going to earn around three and a half million dollars for this job. With this success, Mexico exhibits the heavy-handed policy that the U.S. president has demanded so many times through his tweets and interviews, in the same week that he will announce his candidacy for re-election in the presidential elections next year.

For the Mexican government, it has been a great "rescue" of hundreds of people who, in the hands of mafias, were looking for a better place far from their countries of origin. Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard announced this news and even detailed that each of those who traveled in these trucks had paid either around $3,500 USD to the coyotes for a first attempt, or $USD 5,000 in exchange for two chances, in case they were deported. Mexican authorities have stressed that Saturday's arrest has dealt a blow of three and a half million dollars to human traffickers. What he has not explained is that, as is usually the case, a tightening of migration policy in many cases means that the price for moving migrants to the border increases. And so the illegal businesses may be rubbing their hands together.

Ebrard, who has taken the lead in responding to one of the biggest diplomatic crises with Mexico’s northern neighbour, has been in charge of immigration policy in Mexico for the past few weeks. He announces the arrests, the military shipments to the southern border - some 6,000 soldiers of a new corps designed to combat drug trafficking, the National Guard - and has become the visible head of a strategy focused on containing Trump's threats and achieving economic stability for Mexico. On Friday, the head of the Mexican National Migration Institute, Tonatiuh Guillén, who was absent during the most turbulent days of the immigration conflict, resigned. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador then appointed Francisco Garduño, who had been in charge of federal prisons.

One of Washington's requests is that Mexico become a safe third country, a diplomatic concept that implies that this country takes care of migrants who have applied for a refugee permit in the United States, a procedure that until now has carried out in the country where the permit was requested, and that migrants wait for its resolution (usually lasting months or even years) in a different country, in this case, Mexico. This measure that would further suffocate a (northern) border collapsing under the weight of the thousands of migrants who have survived for months in overcrowded shelters, and which seeks to discourage those travelling towards the United States from the south.

According to Mexican government estimates, 2019 could break the record for the largest number of migrants transiting this country on their way north: some 800,000. Faced with this unprecedented figure, Mexico tripled deportations in the first months of the López Obrador Administration, going from 5,717 expulsions in December 2018 to 15,654 in May this year, according to official data. In 2018, there were also 26,566 refugee applications, the highest number on record.

For the United States, the increase in the number of deportations is not enough. Neither was the proposal for an Integral Development Plan for Central America, which sought to capture productive projects, create jobs and attract tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment for these countries. A project proposed since November to tackle the root of the main reasons for those who migrate. This idea, which emerged after last year's big caravans, is now suspended pending U.S. funding.

Meanwhile, the threat of destabilizing the Mexican economy flies over both borders and the authorities struggle every day to prevent the effects of Trumps whims in relation to immigration. The detention of 791 migrants in the Mexican southeast sends a crucial message directly to the north: in the south they are doing what they promised.

If any of the above affects you or your family or friends, get in touch and we can help with any certified translations that might be required for asylum or immigration procedures. We offer a free and reduced-price certified translation service to those without the funds to pay for this widely requested aspect of the asylum process. As ever, thanks for reading.

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