Mexico denies deal to hold migrants as U.S. handles asylum claims

Nov. 25 (UPI) — Mexico’s incoming government denied an official deal had been reached with the United States to hold asylum-seekers while their claims are processed in U.S. immigration courts.

Mexico’s incoming interior secretary, Olga Sánchez Cordero, said the new administration had no plans to make Mexico a “third secure country” and would instead focus on helping migrant groups access food, health, shelter and protection of their human rights, according to a statement obtained by CNN.

“Mexico’s next federal administration does not consider within its plans that Mexico assume the condition of ‘third secure country’ for the attention of Central American migrants or citizens of other countries in Mexican territory or those who will have that intention in the future,” said Sánchez Cordero.

The statement followed a Washington Post report earlier Saturday that Mexican officials and senior members of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition team said the two countries had backed the deal.

Trump tweeted about the policy on Saturday, while also threatening to close the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No ‘Releasing’ into the U.S.,” he wrote. “All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!”

Saturday’s border threat came after Trump made a similar declaration on Thursday where he brought up the possibility of closing off entry into the United States.

“If we find that it gets to a level where we’re going to lose control or people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” Trump said after a teleconference call with members of the U.S. armed forces on Thanksgiving. “You take a look at Tijuana, Mexico and you see what’s happening there? It’s a bad situation.”

Trump again discussed the issue of so-called migrant caravans crossing the border, as he, first lady Melania Trump and his son Barron preared to travel from Mar-A-Lago back to the White House on Sunday afternoon, calling for Mexico to do more to stop the groups before they near the U.S. border.

“Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

On Monday, Trump will depart for Mississippi where he will hold rallies in Gulfport and Tupelo for U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith as she faces off in a special election runoff against Democrat Mike Espy.

“She is an outstanding person who is strong on the Border, Crime, Military, our great Vets, Healthcare & the 2nd A. Needed in D.C.,” Trump wrote.

Trump also took aim at protests in France that began as a rally against rising diesel prices, but later took on an expression of wider displeasure with French President Emmanuel Macron‘s government.

“The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection. Both of these topics must be remedied soon,” Trump wrote on Twitter.


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