The future Mexican government said Saturday that it has reached an agreement with the US administration to have asylum seekers stay in Mexico while their application is being examined in the United States, a major breakthrough confirmed by Donald Trump.
“For now, we have reached an agreement on this policy” Stay in Mexico, “Olga Sanchez Cordero, the Minister of the Interior in the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is taking office, told the Washington Post. December 1st.
Cited in an article in the American daily, she spoke of a “short-term solution.” “The medium and long term solution is that people stop migrating,” she added.
“Mexico has open arms and all you need, but imagine, caravan after caravan after caravan, it would be a problem for us as well,” she said.
Later, however, his office issued a statement saying there was “no agreement of any kind between the future government of Mexico and the United States.”
“Migrants on the southern border will not be allowed (to enter) in the United States until their claims are individually approved by the courts,” tweeted in the evening Donald Trump seemingly confirming the Washington Post information.
A “caravan” of thousands of migrants, mostly Hondurans who left their Central American country in mid-October to flee violence and poverty, began arriving at the US border.
Among the Hondurans who are massing in Tijuana, in northwestern Mexico, the first reactions to this possible agreement were mixed.
“It sounds good to me because we will not be in uncertainty anymore, we will be able to look for work here until we can legally enter the United States,” Orlinda Morales, a 31-year-old housewife, told AFP. .
Carolina Flores, 38, however, lamented the US president’s “closure” spirit. “With him it is always no, no and no,” she said, while acknowledging that he was “in his right”.
Donald Trump, who has massed thousands of soldiers on the border with Mexico, has threatened to close it completely if the situation should degenerate. It has also issued a decree to automatically reject asylum claims filed by people illegally entering the United States, but justice has so far blocked this measure, provoking the Republican billionaire’s ire.
Such an agreement with Mexico, if confirmed, would be a victory for the president of the United States who made firmness against migrants one of his priorities. It would also be a turning point in relations between the two neighboring countries, poisoned since the election of Donald Trump by his promise to build an antimigrant wall at the border, and his initial demand to pay the cost to the Mexican state. .
The Washington Post notes that the agreement has not yet been formally signed pending its finalization, with details still to be negotiated.
Asked by AFP, the US State Department had not reacted Saturday afternoon. Last week, US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo quietly spoke with his future Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard in Houston, Texas, along with US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“We have affirmed our shared commitment to face this challenge. The caravans will not be allowed to enter the United States, “said Mike Pompeo in a short statement released Thursday, a week after this in camera interview.
He promised to work with the new Mexican authorities to “develop job creation in the region”, “for the benefit of the Mexican government and people”.
According to the Washington Post, the agreement provides that asylum seekers arriving at the border will have a preliminary interview to determine if staying in Mexico poses an immediate danger to them. They will then have to wait for the Mexican side until the hearing before an American immigration judge, to which they will be allowed to go to the custody of US officers.
If the judge does not reach an immediate decision, they will have to return to Mexico pending the verdict. And if he refuses asylum, they can not instead return to Mexico but will be detained in the United States pending expulsion to their country of origin, reports the daily.
“Leaving asylum seekers stranded in Mexico will put them at risk,” said AFL lawyer Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the ACLU civil rights organization. “Trump administration should focus on ways to provide application process is fair and legal asylum in the United States rather than seeking new ways to weaken.”