Mexico bordering on a new philosophy

A young boy with his clothes placed in a plastic bag crosses the River Suchiate.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Meanwhile, the debate continues over illegal immigration. There's actually a similar debate going on in Mexico. Mexico's Congress is trying to improve the human rights situation for migrants sneaking in from Central America. In Mexico, illegal immigrants are considered criminals and can be jailed for up to two years. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech has more.


Dan Grech: These days, Victor Rolando Gomez is a border guard in Guatemala. But not that long ago, Gomez himself snuck across the border he now guards and into Mexico.

He says he turned back for the same reasons he left: he'd run out of money. He'd paid out all his cash to bribe Mexican police.

Immigration reporter Sonia Nazario is with the Los Angeles Times. She says Mexico's southern border is a human rights catastrophe.

Sonia Nazario: Migrants call Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico, La Bestia — The Beast. And what they face is this gauntlet where they're really hunted down like animals.

Mexico's Congress is debating decriminalizing illegal immigration, so migrants are sent home rather than to jail. Activists say it's a good first step to taming the Beast.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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