Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that Mexico doesn’t need to take any new measures to reduce the number of undocumented migrants bound for the U.S. because the current strategy is
Ebrard led a Mexican delegation on Tuesday for meetings at the White House that included a brief conversation with President Donald Trump. Ebrard said that he explained the importance of the steps Mexico has taken since June, including the deployment of the National Guard, and also expressed concern about guns flowing south from the U.S.
Trump was “friendly, positive, and very grateful to Mexico,” Ebrard told reporters in Washington. He said the conversation with Trump lasted for less than ten minutes, and that he was accompanied by officials including Vice President Mike Pence and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Later on Tuesday Trump hailed the advances.
Ebrard said Mexico’s efforts have reduced undocumented migration from Central America by 70% and that he expects the trend to be irreversible. Ebrard said he also told Trump that a Safe Third Country agreement, which would make refugees apply for asylum in Mexico before the U.S. and has been sought by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, doesn’t have support from Mexico’s Senate nor president.
Trump has long complained about undocumented migration and at the end of May warned that he’d slap a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico unless the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took effective action to stop the flow of people. The threat was withdrawn after Mexico agreed on a series of measures to stop the surge.
A statement from Pence’s office after Tuesday’s meeting said the nations agreed to implement “to the fullest extent possible” the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as “Remain in Mexico.” More than 42,000 non-Mexican migrants have been sent to Mexico to wait weeks or months for their U.S. legal processes since the program began in January, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Human rights advocates say this makes them vulnerable to the violence that plagues many of the cities on Mexico’s northern border.