You are here
Trump inadvertently reveals more of US-Mexico migrant deal
[WASHINGTON] US President Donald Trump revealed Tuesday that Mexico agreed to take stronger legal action to halt Central American migrants if its initial efforts to stem the flow don't show results in 45 days.
In bright sunshine outside the White House, Mr Trump waved what he said was the text of the one-page agreement Mexican and US officials signed Friday to avert the application of tariffs on their exports to the United States.
Photographs of the document revealed that Mexico appeared to pledge to enact or enforce certain domestic laws if Washington is not satisfied with the results of its first promised efforts - stopping migrants at Mexico's southern border and freezing the bank accounts of human traffickers who aid the migrants.
If, after 45 days, the US government "determines at its discretion" that the results aren't enough, the document says, "the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force."
The agreement gives the Mexican government another 45 days to achieve that.
It was not clear what specific measures the Mexican government would have to take.
Washington said last week it wanted Mexico to agree to a "safe third country" policy: offering Central Americans who hope for asylum in the United States the chance to apply for it inside Mexico and remain there while their cases are reviewed.
It has also said Mexico needs to apply more strictly its own laws to undocumented migrants in its territory.
Washington thinks the safe third country concept could be a deterrent to the migrants, but in tense negotiations last week Mexico refused to accept it.
Mr Trump waved the ostensible agreement in front of reporters amid questions on whether his administration really did reach a substantial agreement last week to stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants who pass through Mexico to enter the Untied States.
The initial deal appeared to repeat previous undertakings the Mexicans have made.
But Mr Trump has repeatedly suggested there is another secret part of the deal that would require more of Mexico.
"Mexico is doing a great job at the border, really helping us," he said on Tuesday.
"They have been working very hard. We're doing very well together. Good relationship."