As the causes of migration have expanded, so have the bordering techniques. Todd Miller, in his comprehensive report, More Than A Wall, proposes, “There are many ‘walls’ in the US border-enforcement regime – at many different levels – technological, biometric, judicial, carceral, and policy, all with budgets and lots of companies hoping to cash in.” Each level Miller mentions is reinforced by the expanding economic influence that the US has within Mexico and Central America.

The US has sent billions of dollars and resources into Mexico and Central America through two initiatives: the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) and the Mérida Initiative. To fulfill each initiative’s goals of safety and security, the US provides money, supplies, and military support in each of the partner countries. CARSI is coordinated with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), international financial institutions, private sector companies, civil society, and Central American Integration System in the countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. With this assistance, each of the countries mentioned have increased security along their borders to curb the flow of illegal drugs, while impacting the movement of migrants throughout the region.  

This support and funding activates and supports the various methods of bordering that the US requires of Central American governments and their security forces. Through this network of influence, mobility for vulnerable populations is restricted and monitored, if not outright halted, before ever getting close to the US border. Under the thread of retaliatory tariffs or sanctions, the security forces of Mexico and Central American nations form components of the US border apparatus which funnel migrants into checkpoints, databases, and legal spaces for further processing.