U.S. outsources its migrant problem … to Mexico

Since last summer, the number of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has decreased. By a lot. The Washington office on Latin America, a think tank in in D.C., projects a 39 percent decrease from last year in the number of children who make it to the U.S.

So are Central Americans suddenly choosing to stay home? Have the issues of gang violence and endemic poverty been solved?

According to Maureen Meyer, who works at the think tank’s department on Mexico and migrant rights, the situation on the ground in Central America has actually gotten worse.

“You can look at the situation in El Salvador where they are reporting homicide rates now the highest they’ve been since the country was in Civil War in 1992,” she told Shortwave. “You have very deep institutional crises both in Guatemala and in Honduras. I think a lot of people continue to leave the Northern Triangle countries for their life.”

And they’re ending up in Mexico, where officials have cracked down on apprehending migrants, which have led to some dangerous unintended consequences, Meyer said.

On this week’s Shortwave, what precipitated this crackdown, and what is the U.S.’s role in this continuing border crisis?