By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) The 90-day agreement between the United States and Mexico to deal with tens of thousands of migrants, most from Central America, expires Friday, as officials on both sides of the border tout its success and plan to plot the next phase.
“Those crossing the U.S. southern border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await their adjudication of their asylum claims. We’ve seen this before. We were able to do this to the tune of a couple of hundred people per day [before the deal],” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in June after the deal was finalized.
“We now have the capacity to do this full throttle and engage this in a way that will make a fundamental difference in the calculus for those [migrants] deciding to transit Mexico to try to get into the United States,” he continued.
Mexico agreed to take in those seeking asylum in the U.S. while their claims are being adjudicated while also deploying some 6,000 of its own National Guard troops long its southern border with Guatemala. In addition, Mexican immigration authorities stepped up internal enforcement of immigration laws — all to avoid tariffs on goods exported to the U.S.
Try all accounts, the policy appears to be effective, notes Foreign Policy: “In August, the number of people crossing the border declined, with the U.S. Border Patrol arresting 51,000 migrants—a 30 percent decrease.”
Also last month, Mexican officials noted the country cut illegal alien traffic to the United States by nearly 40 percent in an ongoing effort by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to reduce migrant flows and stave off the imposition of tariffs. (Related: Mexico says it has reduced illegal alien traffic to the U.S. by nearly 40 percent)
According to Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, flow from mostly Central American migrants has been reduced by 39 percent since late spring, dropping from 144,278 in May to 87,648 in June.
Meanwhile, thousands of asylum seekers who returned to Mexico under the agreement, as well as people who have given up trying to cross the border, have been transported back to their home countries in Central America by the UN’s International Organization for Migration after receiving funding from the U.S. State Department.
Now, Mexican and U.S. officials plan to meet in Washington Tuesday to discuss the next steps. Mexican officials say their country has lived up to the terms of the agreement, even as they continue to resist calls from President Donald Trump that Mexico become a “safe third country,” forcing asylum seekers to settle there instead.
Mexican and U.S. officials will meet in Washington on Tuesday. Mexico maintains that it has met U.S. demands and continues to resist pressure from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump that it become a “safe third country,” which would force asylum seekers to settle there.
In June, Pompeo lauded POTUS Donald Trump over the deal, noting he was instrumental in ensuring that it got done.
The deal “frankly reflects diplomacy at its finest,” Pompeo said. “It shows the enduring relationship, too, of the relationship of our two countries and it’s a significant win for the American people.”
He also noted that the deal represents a promise kept by the president.
“The deal continues the Trump administration’s commitment, the strongest by any administration in history, to confront the tide of illegal immigration and many other problems along our southern border, including the drug trafficking issue,” the State Department chief continued.
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