‘AMLO’ Backs President Trump on US-Mexico Border Policy
Mexico’s incoming government has agreed to back The Trump Administration’s plan to change US border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through US courts.
Mexican officials and senior members of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) transition team said the agreement would break with long-standing asylum rules and mount a new obstacle to Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States and escape poverty and violence.
Reached for comment by Reuters, incoming deputy interior minister Zoe Robledo said details of the “Remain in Mexico” scheme were still being worked out.
He confirmed the plan in essence foresaw migrants staying in Mexico while asylum claims are being processed, and said the incoming government wanted to find jobs for them in sectors that are short-staffed.
“What we’re aiming for is that people leaving their countries due to security issues or violence can find a place to stay in Mexico if that is their decision,” Robledo said.
President-elect Lopez Obrador has vowed to try to eliminate the causes of migration by creating more jobs and improving living conditions in Mexico and Central America.
In exchange, he hopes US President Donald Trump and the Canadian government will agree to help spur economic development in the region.
Olga Sanchez Cordero, Mexico’s incoming interior minister and the top domestic policy official for President-elect Lopez Obrador, who takes office 1 December, said the plan was a “short-term solution.”
“The medium- and long-term solution is that people do not migrate,” Ms. Sanchez Cordero said. “Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine, one caravan after another after another, that would also be a problem for us.”
According to the outlines of the plan, asylum applicants at the border will have to stay in Mexico while their cases are processed, potentially ending “catch and release”, a system that has until now generally allowed those seeking refuge to wait in the US.
There was no immediate comment from the White House on the deal that took shape last week in Houston during a meeting between Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s incoming foreign minister, and top US officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
President Trump has been seeking to block thousands of Central Americans traveling in caravans from entering the United States, and has ordered that immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico are ineligible for asylum.
His order has been temporary suspended by a junior US 9th Circuit judge, the case is expected to be heard on an expidited basis by the Supreme Court and put in place.
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