U.S. ramps up Mexico asylum returns: ‘safe third country’ plan – ‘Remain in Mexico’ 

— Trump confirms ‘safe third country’ plan – ‘Remain in Mexico,’ 

Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexico agreed on June 7 to expand the programme, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or ‘Remain in Mexico,’ which forces mostly Central American asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. southern border to await the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims in Mexico. 
Remain in Mexico currently operates in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez. Close to 12,000 people have been returned to Mexico since it began in January.

However, Mexico has not accepted that the United States send it an unlimited number of asylum seekers, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said, ahead of planned meetings with U.S. officials to determine details of the expansion.

The agreement has put Mexican officials under mounting pressure to deliver results. The head of Mexico’s National Migration Institute, Tonatiuh Guillen, resigned on Friday for “personal reasons,” an interior ministry official said.

If enforcement measures are not successful after 45 days, Mexico has also agreed to consider making itself a “safe third country.” Asylum seekers who first set foot on Mexican soil would have to apply for refugee status in Mexico instead of in the United States.

Mexico’s government yesterday published the section of the joint accord which said Mexico would examine any changes to its legislation necessary to permit a safe third country arrangement to come into force 90 days after June 7.

Ebrard said this week that if Mexico could not stem the flow of people, a regional system should be established to bind in other countries crossed by migrants en route to the United States, including Guatemala, Panama and Brazil.

Trump confirmed the deal included the safe third country plan if Mexico did not do enough to cut migration.

Asked in a Fox News interview if that possibility was part of the accord, Trump said, “It’s exactly right, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

Trump also named Tom Homan as “Border Czar.”

Homan is a veteran of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and served as the agency’s acting head during the first year of Trump’s presidency. He retired last year, after increasing arrests of non-criminal immigrants.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 06/15/2019 at 2:03 pm

    Imagine a similar situation arising between Venezuelan immigrants/refugees, CARICOM, and the USA.

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