WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump brandished a document on Tuesday confirming details of a regional asylum project agreed with Mexico to stave off threatened tariffs, saying the plan was “secret” even though Mexican officials had revealed much of it.
Trump, who has made containing illegal immigration a priority issue and has blamed Mexico for the problem since running for office in 2016, did not show the text of any document or give any details. However, a Reuters photograph of the sheet of paper allowed reporters to read parts of it.
Under duress because of Trump’s threat to impose tariffs unless Mexico stemmed a surge in migrants that has overwhelmed U.S. detention facilities and immigration courts, Mexico signed a pact last week agreeing to control the flow of people from Central America, including deploying 6,000 members of a new national guard along its border with Guatemala.
Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Mexico also agreed to a 45-day timeline to show increased enforcement efforts were effective in reducing the people flows. If that fails, Mexico has agreed to consider a longstanding U.S. demand that Central American asylum seekers crossing through Mexico apply for refuge there, not the United States, making Mexico a “safe third country,” a demand that Mexico has long rejected.
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