Mexico has stationed more than 8700 soldiers along its borders to combat illegal migration to the United States amid a surge in the number of crossings, the defence minister says.

The soldiers and members of the National Guard are deployed at 347 checkpoints along popular migration routes, Mexican Defence Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said on Monday.

After an increase in the number of mostly Central American migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the Mexican government announced stricter migration controls last week.

Land borders have also been shut for non-essential travel to prevent the spread of infection amid the pandemic.

Under pressure from former US president Donald Trump, Mexico had already deployed soldiers to prevent migrants from crossing the border to the US since June 2019.

Thousands of migrants came to the border after the victory of US President Joe Biden, who promised a more humane immigration policy.

Most are fleeing poverty, violence and the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes in Central America.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the government is expecting a significant increase in the number of refugees and migrants, possibly more people than in the past 20 years.

More than 14,000 unaccompanied minor migrants and refugees are currently in the custody of US authorities, officials said.

Mexico deploys troops over US migration
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