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Home / World / Mexico aims to avoid tariffs that restrict potential migrants heading north and allow the US to deport Central American asylum seekers

Mexico aims to avoid tariffs that restrict potential migrants heading north and allow the US to deport Central American asylum seekers



U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing the outline of an agreement that would dramatically increase Mexico's efforts to enforce immigration rules and give the United States far more scope for deporting asylum seekers in Central America, according to a US official and a Mexican official who pointed out that The agreement is not completed and this President Trump could not accept it.

Facing Trump's threat to levy escalating tariffs on Mexican goods from Monday, Mexican officials have pledged to send up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the country's border region to Guatemala, a demonstration of violence They say the number The Central Americans, who move north towards the US border, will immediately decline.

Mexican officials and US officials said the countries are negotiating a comprehensive plan to revise asylum regulations across the region, a step that would require them to seek refuge in the first foreign country, according to them Escape from her house kicking meland.

Under such a plan, the United States would quickly deport Guatemalan asylum seekers entering the US soil to Mexico. And the United States would send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers to Guatemala, whose government held talks with incumbent Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan last week. Central American migrants who express fear of death or torture when sent back to their home countries are interviewed by a US asylum official to determine if the likelihood of such harm is greater – a higher screening standard with a higher probability of suffering Rejection

Mexico has repeatedly stated that it will not accept the type of "Safe Third Country" agreement with Canada, a pact that requires asylum seekers to seek asylum in any country where they first arrive, each of them is considered a safe haven. However, the Mexican official said that the government is ready to make asylum changes in the interests of a coordinated regional approach.


Kevin McAleenan, then Commissioner for US Customs and Border Patrol, met with Guatemalan officials and the US Embassy in Guatemala in September 2018. McAleenan is now acting secretary to the Department of Homeland Security and is negotiating efforts to stem migration to the US. (Carolyn Van Houten / The Washington Post)

The officials described the framework of the agreement as anonymity, citing the sensitivity of international negotiations, but optimistic that the agreement was achievable. Officials from both countries said they did not know if the conditions would calm Trump and ease the customs threat; Trump plans to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods, unless the country can prove it will take steps to reduce the influx of migrants to the US border.

The asylum modifications are likely to be before US courts, but legal efforts The Trump government has failed to prevent thousands of Central Americans from being sent to Mexico to await their asylum procedures outside the United States.

"Changing the asylum system that does not provide the guarantees required by national and international laws will not do so. Survive a legal challenge," ACLU lawyer Lee Learned said.

Significant differences remain over how quickly and to what extent Mexico can reduce unauthorized migration through stronger enforcement measures, the US official said. Last month, US authorities arrested more than 144,000 people at the southern border, the highest number in 13 years.

Trump representatives have stated to Mexico that this is not enough, and clarified that the White House will be satisfied only with a return to the numbers in the months following the inauguration Detected by Trump at arrests fell below 20,000, the lowest level for half a century.

US The authorities continue to press for a more vigorous and intimidating approach to enforcement from Mexico, while Mexico urges the United States to address the structural issues in Central America – poverty, violence and drought – that drive emigration.

Trump said on Thursday that "Something quite dramatic could happen," he said, referring to talks with Mexican diplomats that continued in Washington on Thursday. "We have informed Mexico that tariffs will continue to apply." And I mean it too.

Trump also dismissed Republican senators who had threatened to block his tariff plans and said they had "no idea what they are talking about when it comes to tariffs. "

Trump previously spoke. He left Shannon, Ireland, for Normandy, France, where he attended ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing that helped turn the tide of World War II.

During talks Wednesday with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena, Vice President Pence, and other members of the US team, Mexican officials suggested that militarized police with 10 groups of people were encouraged by the talks, according to officials 450 to 600 soldiers on the border with Guatemala. Three more contingents will be stationed on the isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico to build roadblocks and highway checkpoints.

Up to 6,000 National Guard troops will be stationed in southern Mexico by September. Currently 1,500 federal police officers are present.

"This is a remarkable and significant commitment that goes beyond what they have hitherto used to combat human smuggling," said the US official, familiar with the negotiations. "It is also noteworthy that they have found that more detention, processing and repatriation skills are needed, which are needed for any sustained effort."

The senior Mexican official said the increasing number of arrests by the US Customs and the Border Guard – the three months have exceeded 100,000 for a long time – forced Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration to deviate from an approach that welcomed Central American migrants.

"There is recognition on both sides that what we have done is not enough," the official said. "We have to take other measures."

US negotiators call on Mexico to more aggressively inform Central American migrants that their country can not be a transit point for illicit travel to the United States.

Mexican officials are seeking for the Trump administration to commit to programs that reduce short-term pressure in Central America, which fuels migration, particularly crop failures and hunger. They told Pence, McAleenan, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States could have a significant impact by "investing $ 10 million in irrigation systems in rural Honduras."

The US official praised Barcena's proposals. whose prior diplomatic mission to Turkey was to give her a first overview of the Syrian refugee crisis. "Your contributions were invaluable," said the US official.

A Trump official said Thursday that Mexican lawyers and White House lawyers met to discuss the deal. The Mexican official also warned that the legal framework for the agreement had not yet been clarified.

On Capitol Hill, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), Stated that he would introduce a resolution of disapproval if the President continues with the planned tariffs. Legislators could only thwart Trump's import tax plan if they were able to lift a presidential veto by two-thirds of the vote.

"The tariffs proposed by the President would harm American workers, businesses and consumers, and abusing US trade policy to influence border security is a misuse of power," Neal said, "when the president declares and tries a national emergency To put these tariffs into effect, I will introduce a disapproving solution to end his transgression. "

In Mexico City, López Obrador said he was" optimistic "that the two sides would reach an agreement. [19659032] The Trump government is calling on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to prevent Central American migrants from crossing Mexico to enter the US

Trump threatened last week to impose an inch of duty on all goods levy from Mexico on June 10 to force the Mexican government against what the government calls an "emergency." to proceed with migration pressure.

If Mexico does not satisfy Trump, the tariff would be raised by 5 percentage points at the beginning of the following months until it reaches 25 percent on 1 October.

Vice President Pence, who led the talks on Wednesday, said the two sides had "had a good discussion." However, the Mexican government proposed a remedy that was "not nearly enough," he said.

"We need Mexico to do more," Pence said.

In May, US border officials arrested about 144,000 people who tried to immigrate without permission – nearly three times the number of the same month a year ago.

The talks should be continued on Thursday in the Foreign Ministry.

During a press conference, López Obrador announced plans to travel to the border town of Tijuana would hold a "one-on-one" rally on Saturday to "defend the dignity of Mexico" and support "friendship with the United States".

religious figures and business leaders.

"There we will set our position, which, I repeat, will take into account that we want to have a good neighbor with the United States, while defending the dignity of Mexico," he said Acting carefully, but resolutely defending our sovereignty. "

López Obrador initially reacted harshly to Trump's recent threat and wrote in a letter to the US president last week that his" The America First "policy was" a fallacy ". Since then, he has underscored his interest in maintaining a warm relationship with Trump.

Trump's abrupt tariff threat has jeopardized the prospects of Congress ratifying its new North American Trade Agreement. About two weeks ago, Trump agreed to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada, fulfilling a condition that the Republicans had set in the Senate before declaring the proposed agreement between the US and Mexico and Canada voted.

Maintaining This Trade Agreement Duty-free trade relations between the United States and its southern neighbor were established in the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, which Trump routinely decries as "one of the worst trade deals ever made" and members of its own party endeavor to to prevent the introduction of new tariffs that would likely lead to Mexican retaliation against American farmers and producers.

"We are determined to improve economic relations between the US and Mexico and promote more trade, not tariffs. The imposition of tariffs on Mexico does not affect the root causes of migration and jeopardizes our common economic interests, "the US Chamber of Commerce and its Mexican counterpart, the Business Coordinating Council, said in a joint statement.

Mexico was the largest US trading partner until April. Last year, with Mexico in third place behind China and Canada, it delivered nearly $ 350 billion worth of cars, auto parts, industrial machinery and agricultural products to US customers.

Just under 96 hours before tariffs come into force As a result, companies in the US are seeking to develop contingency plans.

"We are very concerned," said Adam Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing at Trans-Matic Manufacturing, Holland, Michigan. If the rules change constantly, it's hard for us.

Sieff reported from Mexico City. Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.


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