Report: US, Mexico close to deal that would have migrants wait in Mexico

mexico border wall
peer through the US-Mexico border fence while standing on the
Mexican side of the fence

Tama/Getty Images

  • The US is reportedly close to reaching a deal with Mexico
    that would allow for asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their
    claims are processed.
  • The plan appears to be an attempt to end the practice of
    “catch and release.” 
  • If successfully reached, it will reportedly be implemented in
    a matter of weeks. 

The White House and Mexican officials from the country’s incoming
administration are reportedly close to a deal that would turn
Mexico into “a waiting room for America’s asylum system,”
according to a report from
The Washington Post

The deal would place migrants seeking asylum in the US in
Mexico while they await judgment by US courts, according to
Mexcian officials and members of president-elect Andrés Manuel
López Obrador’s transition team.

The plan, dubbed Remain in Mexico, appears to be President
Donald Trump’s solution to “catch
and release
,” the American policy that has allowed asylum
seekers from Mexico and Central America refuge on American soil
until their cases are decided. 

Olga Sánchez Cordero, Mexico’s incoming interior
minister, indicated to the Post that the decision to go along
with the plan was part of an effort disincentivize continued
migration from Central America.

“Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine, one
caravan after another after another, that would also be a problem
for us,” Cordero said.

The deal, which has not been signed or officiated,
reportedly took shape last week between Mexican officials,
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Homeland Security Secretary
Kirstjen Nielsen.

Read more: 

security all but locks down US-Mexico border as migrants,
Thanksgiving travelers stuck in line

When reached for comment, White House Deputy Press
Hogan Gidley said, “President
Trump has developed a strong relationship with the incoming
Obrador Administration, and we look forward to working with them
on a wide range of issues.”

The reported plan, which would be implemented within the
next few weeks if it’s successfully reached, is one of the latest
attempts by the Trump administration to stop or slow the flow of
Central American migrants coming to the US who are fleeing gang
violence and poor economic conditions.

In the last few months, Trump has ramped up his rhetoric
and actions against immigrants. He’s particularly targeted the
 moving toward the US border that is now encamped
in Tijuana.

In an executive order, Trump authorized the US military to
use “lethal force” against migrants if they engage in violence
against border officers. And as he escalated his anti-immigrant
rhetoric leading up to the November midterms, Trump also sent
nearly 6,000 troops to the border ahead of the caravan’s

On Monday, a
federal judge ruled
against Trump’s order that sought to deem
asylum applications from individuals who didn’t enter the US at a
port of entry ineligible.

The ACLU didn’t address whether it is considering suing the
administration over Trump’s order. But Lee Gelernt, an attorney
for the organization, told the Post

, “Leaving asylum
seekers stranded in Mexico will put them in danger. The Trump
administration should focus on providing a fair and lawful asylum
process in the US rather than seeking more ways to undermine

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