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'Dramatic Rise' in African Migrants Arriving at U.S. Border

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Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican imports starting next week if Mexico does not do more to contain the migrant flows.

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested dozens on Wednesday as refugees from African countries amassed at the U.S. -Mexico border seeking asylum.

Earlier Thursday, Trump acknowledged that talks between the two countries were progressing but remained prepared to roll out tariffs Monday unless Mexico "steps up to the plate".

Mexico's Finance Ministry said this week it had blocked the bank accounts of 26 people who had participated "in the trafficking of migrants and the illegal organization of migrant caravans".

Border agents have arrested more than 500 people from the African continent in the Del Rio Sector since May 30, according to the agency.

Recent weeks have already seen a proliferation of immigration checkpoints in southern Mexico and police raids on migrant centers. "Additionally, Mexico has reportedly agreed to a major overhaul of reasonable asylum protocols, which would require asylum applicants to seek permanent refuge in the first country they arrive in after fleeing their home countries", adds the article. Caravan members have told reporters that large numbers offer safety from bandits and corrupt police officers and that the groups coalesced organically, often after they were promoted on social media.

Observers say Mexico prefers not to mix issues such as trade and immigration in its dealings with the United States, but the Trump administration is attempting to push ever increasing responsibility for stopping migrants to its southern neighbour.

According to the Mexican government, 300,000 migrants have crossed from Guatemala so far this year and authorities have detained 51,000 of them. "They want to outsource both enforcement and asylum processing, it seems".

Soldiers assigned to the newly created National Guard keep watch outside the Siglo XXI immigrant detention center as part of the security measures by the federal government, in Tapachula, Mexico May 23, 2019.

Washington is putting pressure on Mexico to change its asylum laws and to serve as a "safe third country", which would allow the USA to deport Guatemalan asylum-seekers to Mexico and send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum-seekers to Guatemala.

Despite this proposal, an agreement with Mexico to prevent the tariffs has not yet been reached.

At a meeting of regional bloc SICA in Guatemala City, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said the countries of Central America had "worked very intensely to develop a plan of action to fully attend to migration in the region".

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