MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says Mexico’s tightening of immigration controls has focused “more than anything” on regulating entries at its southern border.

“We have to avoid a confrontation with the government of the United States,” López Obrador said Tuesday.

Mexico has deployed 6,500 National Guard members in the southern part of the country, plus another 15,000 soldiers along its northern border in a bid to reduce the number of migrants traveling through its territory to reach the U.S.

Images of soldiers preventing women and children from crossing the Rio Grande to El Paso, Texas over the weekend stirred outrage in Mexico.

López Obrador said no order had been issued for soldiers to detain migrants attempting to enter the U.S. and promised an investigation.

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