Mexico vows to help Central American migrants amid crackdown


The official announcement on the move was set for next week, but President Trump announced it this morning.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard underwent a grilling in Mexico's Congress, where some lawmakers insisted otherwise and demanded more details on what exactly he agreed to in the last-minute deal brokered a week ago to dodge Trump's threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.

In Washington, Trump appeared content to play nice with Mexico - for now.

The measures Mexico has promised to avoid those tariffs include the deployment of 6,000 national guard forces at Mexico's largely unguarded border with Guatemala, which - according to Mexican negotiating documents - will be "the first time in recent history that Mexico has chose to take operational control of its southern border as a priority".

Mexico has not accepted that the United States send it an unlimited number of asylum seekers, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said, ahead of meetings with USA officials on Friday to determine the expansion of a controversial program.

The U.S. will also expand its "Remain-in Mexico" policy of returning asylum applicants to Mexico while their claims are processed.

Mexico's decision to tighten its border and respond to Trump's threats has caused tensions within the government, and on Friday, the head of the INM, Tonatiuh Guillen, resigned. Agents then were reassigned to help process a growing number of immigrants claiming asylum at the border.

The June 7 deal will require migrants moving to the border via Mexico to seek asylum there, and for Mexico to identify changes in domestic law to implement the agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump confirmed the deal included the safe third country plan if Mexico did not do enough to cut migration. He added that Mexico had not agreed to accept an unlimited number of asylum seekers. His departure comes as Mexico is beefing up its security at the southern border to stop the flow of Central American migrants from entering the USA and boost intelligence sharing with Washington. As Roger Noriega, a former USA ambassador to the Organization of American States, pointed out during an interview for the American Enterprise Institute's new podcast (which I co-host), it would also put the human smugglers out of business.

"We're going to see, I've got to get used to him", he said.

The agreement has put Mexican officials under mounting pressure to deliver results.

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