U.S. Pushes Mexico To Step Up Immigration Crackdown
The Trump administration sought to increase pressure on Mexico to stop people migrating before they reach the southwest border on Tuesday, showing White House officials' increasing demands, even as Mexico cracks down on through migration.
Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in a meeting at the White House to have the Mexican government take additional steps to stem the record surge of Central American families to the U.S. border.
Ebrard replied that Mexico has succeeded at reaching goals set in a June agreement between the two countries to reduce migration by deploying some 25,000 National Guard members to Mexico's southern and northern borders, he later said in a news conference in Washington. Mexican officials made the agreement to avoid a threat made by President Donald Trump to implement tariffs on imports from Mexico. The number of migrants reaching the border dropped by 56 percent in August, compared to May, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures.
Ebrard spoke for about 10 minutes with President Trump, he later said. Mexico is resisting a proposal made by the Trump administration that would force U.S. bound asylum seekers to instead apply for asylum in Mexico — known as a Safe Third Country agreement.
"I had the opportunity to explain to the president that we are almost in 90 percent of the main objective,” Ebrard said. “Mexico won’t consider the safe third country as a possible solution in this point."
Ebrard said Mexico is asking the U.S. to reduce the flow of firearms to Mexico. An average of 567 illegal firearms are entering Mexico every hour, most purchased in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, according to the Mexican government’s presentation in the meeting, quoting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives figures.