EXCLUSIVE U.S. urges Mexico to clear migrant camps near border -sources
The United States has urged Mexico to clear ad-hoc camps housing thousands of migrants in border cities due to concerns they pose a security risk and attract criminal gangs, officials familiar with the matter said.
Facing domestic criticism over a jump in illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has pressed Mexico to curb the flow of migrants to help ease pressure on the nearly 2,000 mile (3,200 km) frontier.
Two of the biggest camps to have sprung up in northern Mexico are in the city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, and in Tijuana, opposite San Diego, California.
Government officials and migrant advocates say the Reynosa camp is home to at least 2,500 people, is unsanitary and has drawn drug gang members looking to recruit desperate migrants. The Tijuana camp is of a similar size, rights groups say.
For weeks, the U.S. government has been asking Mexico to clear the camps, in part because the sheer volume of people in them could jeopardize security if they made a sudden rush for the border, two officials familiar with the matter said.
The State Department and the White House declined to comment. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry did not reply to requests for comment. The National Migration Institute declined to comment.
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