Earlier today, the Inquisitr reported that the Trump administration had reached a tentative deal with the incoming Mexican government that would force all asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims were processed in a U.S. court. However, the incoming administration for Mexico this denied those claims this evening, arguing that there was “no agreement of any sort,” per Fox News.
The earlier reports would have marked a significant victory for the Trump administration, which has pledged a tough stance on immigration and the end of the U.S. “catch and release” policy, in which asylum seekers are allowed to stay in the United States while their claims are processed.
President Trump himself took to Twitter to tout the proposed agreement.
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...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2018
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2018
However, the Associated Press reported this evening that future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez released a statement that said, “There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government.” This statement ran contrary to her quote in the Washington Post in which she declared “For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico.” It is uncertain whether Sanchez was misquoted or the incoming administration changed its mind on the policy this afternoon.
This is the most recent move by the Trump admin to deter asylum seekers from coming to the border. The idea is to take away the ability to live & work in the US while cases are processed. The hope is that asylum seekers will not want to live in MX for months/years and won't come— Stephanie Leutert (@Sleutert) November 24, 2018
The Remain In Mexico deal would have had the long-term effect of limiting the number of asylum seekers trying to enter the United States. Most prospective immigrants would not want to wait in Mexican border cities for months while their entry is processed, and it is likely that a certain portion of those would attempt illegal entry into the U.S. instead.
The situation seemed untenable from the Mexican standpoint. The plan would require asylum seekers to ask for asylum at ports of entry then be deported back to Mexico while they awaited litigation, which would create a cumbersome chain of custody and logistical difficulties for the Mexican government that would be difficult to handle. The migrant shelters across the border are already strained to the brink, and Mexico would have to process thousands of temporary work visas while the asylum cases went through a trial. Additionally, immigration lawyers in the U.S. would not have access to their clients as they pled their case in court.
Considering the difficulties that such a proposal would force upon the incoming Mexican government, it leaves questions as to what concessions the United States may have made to make such a deal happen. The Mexican reversal suggests that their new administration has determined that Mexico is not receiving enough support from the U.S. to make the agreement work, or that perhaps they have decided they should ask for more. The truth will likely unfold in the coming days as the crisis builds.