Mexico said it will deploy 6000 troops to its southern border with Guatemala on Monday as part of a series of steps meant to cut the influx of migrants to the US.
The agreement, signed late Friday after three days of fierce negotiations in Washington, comes as a victory for President Trump after he threatened to impose tariffs on certain Mexican goods unless they put an end to Central American migrants traveling through Mexico toward the US’s southern border.
Mexico’s National Guard will take the lead according to certain Mexican media. Some 200 troops are already on Mexico’s southern border and are trying to intercept a caravan of 500 migrants that arrived last Wednesday. The 60,000-strong force was formed in March.
Mexico also agreed to accept more US migrants (what?). It promised to provide them with proper work permits, education and health services.
The deal is meant to foil American judicial rulings that have forced the Trump administration to allow migrants claiming asylum status to remain in the US while their cases are decided — the so-called “catch-and-release” policy that has encouraged hundreds of thousands to illegally cross the border.
This past week, Mexican authorities broke up the caravan after it crossed the Guatemalan border and traveled through Chiapas state. The migrants were taken to nearby Tapachula, where they have been detained by Mexican immigration police.
Mexico did not agree to Trump’s demand that it accept “safe third country” status, which would require Central American migrants to seek asylum there rather than in the United States.
The US kept the tariff threat on the table, saying that “further actions” could be taken if Mexico does not keep its promise to put an end to migrant flows.