Trump brandishes 'secret' migration deal already disclosed by Mexico
Story Code : 799111
Trump waved the document at reporters on Tuesday at the White House, but did not show the text or give any details. However, a Reuters photograph of the sheet of paper allowed reporters to read parts of it.
The document outlines that Latin American countries should share the burden with Mexico in processing refugee status claims by Central American asylum seekers crossing through Mexico.
The document also said Mexico had committed to immediately examine its laws and rules to enable it to implement such an agreement.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, had already revealed much of deal, saying Mexico agreed to a 45-day timeline to show increased enforcement efforts were effective in reducing the migrant flow.
“Safe third country could be applied if we fail, and we accept what they say,” Ebrard said on Tuesday.
Trump has made curbing illegal immigration to the US a priority issue and has blamed Mexico for the problem. Asylum is at the core of Trump’s concerns because a large proportion of the people apprehended at the US-Mexican border say they are fleeing violence and repression.
Since many Central American migrants travel with children, they cannot be held in detention long-term and are released into the United States to await the resolution of their asylum cases, something Trump has slammed as “catch and release.”
In January, the Trump administration began sending thousands of migrants back to Mexico to wait there instead for their asylum cases, a process that can take months or years to resolve due to backlogs in the system.
Trump has threatened tariffs on Mexican goods unless it curbs illegal immigration across its border with the US.
On Friday, the tariffs were called off, after the United States and Mexico announced an agreement on immigration. But Trump renewed the threat of tariffs on Monday, saying they would be reimposed if Mexico’s Congress did not approve the immigration deal.