Trump flaunts 'secret' migration deal already revealed by Mexico

Daniel Fowler
June 12, 2019

Trump said on Friday Mexico's government had reached a deal with the United States to avert a tariff war by pledging to take "strong measures" to contain the migration of mostly Central Americans crossing the southern USA border. The deal at least makes it possible, though, for us to prevent Central American family units from automatically gaining entry into the country, and thus it significantly reduces the incentive for a future flow of migrants.

President Donald Trump waved a folded sheet of paper at the White House on Tuesday, saying it was his secret agreement with Mexico - although he declined to reveal any details.

He also warned Mexico he would put his threat of tariffs into place if they did not decrease the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border.

But on Monday, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard held up a paper and pointed to the previously announced details, including Mexico's deployment of 6,000 troops to its border with Guatemala to thwart the surge of Central American migrants heading to the United States.

Instead, Trump has to look to Mexico, and given the blunderbuss weapon he was wielding, the deal that was announced over the weekend is welcome, and better than could reasonably have been expected.

Mexico said Monday it will discuss a "safe third country" agreement with the United States - in which migrants entering Mexican territory must apply for asylum there rather than the USA - if the flow of undocumented immigrants continues.

"We do not anticipate a problem with the vote", he added, "but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!"

'I don't want to say and you can just figure it out yourselves.

Ebrard told a news conference on Monday that Trump was referring to possible further measures to pressure countries other than the U.S. to share the burden.

He said that the countries would evaluate the situation in 45 days, "and if we do not achieve the results, we would have to participate in discussions for an agreement that includes the return of asylum seekers under a regional perspective".

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"It is a regional system", he added.

'Two weeks ago, I'll tell you what we had.

Asylum seekers from El Salvador and Honduras first pass through Guatemala when fleeing their homes, while Cubans and Haitians often fly first to Panama before heading to the USA through Mexico.

If this plan fails, the foreign minister said, Mexico will be designated a "safe third country", meaning that asylum seekers crossing through Mexican territory will need to apply for refuge there, rather than in the US. That demand was put on the table again by USA negotiators last week, but was not accepted by Mexico.

"Mexico is doing a great job at the border, really helping us", he said Tuesday.

Meanwhile on Monday, the Trump administration that Kenneth Cuccinelli would serve as the new acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Okay? If they bring the numbers way down, we won't have to, but this is my option, ' he said.

Asked if Mexico had agreed to become a safe third country to house migrants seeking asylum in the United States, Trump said, "I'm not going to say one way or the other".

Ebrard also said there was no agreement between the USA and Mexico to buy more agricultural products under the accord, despite Trump saying over the weekend that Mexico had agreed to buy "large quantities" from United States farmers.

While waving a one-page deal to media at the White House lawns, President Trump knew less that the sources could leak his agreement, or he might intend it.

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