Wednesday, 12 June 2019 05:53

Trump reveals Mexico migrant plan by waving document around

US President Donald Trump has inadvertently revealed some details of his immigration deal with Mexico.

Speaking to reporters, he refused to give details of the plans to curb migration, saying that he wanted to let Mexico announce it "at the right time".

However, he said this while waving around a single sheet of paper that had the details of the deal written on it.

As a result, the contents of the sheet were then captured in photographs taken by news media.

The document contained references to a regional asylum plan, which would involve several Latin American countries processing migrants' asylum claims in order to stave off US tariffs.

This plan had already been partly announced Mexican Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard on Monday.

The document also referred to "45 days", and said Mexico had committed to immediately examining its laws in order to enable it to become a "safe third country" if need be.

What has Mexico said about the deal?
On Monday, Mr Ebrard said that Mexico has 45 days to show it is able to stem the flow of US-bound migrants by strengthening its southern border.

It is now deploying 6,000 National Guard personnel to the border with Guatemala.

If this plan fails, the foreign minister said, Mexico will be designated a "safe third country", meaning that asylum seekers crossing through Mexican territory will need to apply for refuge there, rather than in the US.

Mr Ebrard said the US had been insistent on this measure, and that they had wanted this to be implemented straight away.

But he said: "We told them - I think it was the most important achievement of the negotiations - 'let's set a time period to see if what Mexico is proposing will work, and if not, we'll sit down and see what additional measures [are needed]'."

"They wanted something else totally different to be signed. But that is what there is here. There is no other thing," he said.

If Mexico fails to curb migration in 45 days, other countries will be drawn into the matter.

Discussions would take place with Brazil, Panama and Guatemala - the countries currently used by migrants as transit points - to see if they could share the burden of processing asylum claims.

Mr Ebrard also said US negotiators had wanted Mexico to commit to "zero migrants" crossing its territory, but that was "mission impossible".

(BBC)

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