The United States is on the verge of another surge of undocumented migrants streaming into the country. And for proof, officials need look only to the border. Not the U.S.-Mexico border, but Mexico's porous southern boundary with Central America.
This morning's New York Times reports that "an increasing number of migrants heading to the United States" are crossing freely into Mexico under the gaze of Mexican authorities, as many Central Americans flee the violence and economic stagnation of their homes. In fact, American arrests of illegal crossers from countries, other than Mexico—mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador—more than doubled along the southwest border of the United States last year, according to the Times, fom 46,997 in 2011 to 94,532 in 2012.
The Times' Randal Archibold, reporting from Ciudad Hidalgo, said Mexican law enforcement officers sit back and watch as migrants cross the narrow Suchiate River separating Mexico and Guatemala.
"If they are without papers, we would have to house and feed them until the immigration authorities come," said one of the police officers. "We don't have a budget for that."
Next week, President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Central American presidents when they're expected to discuss immigration, public safety and improving their region's economy.