As I mentioned in my recent Taki’s Magazine column on Mexico, the landslide election of socialist nationalist AMLO in Mexico might provide Trump with some dealmaking opportunities, whether before or after AMLO comes in in December.
If you are Mexico, which of your neighbors would you prefer to be on neighborly good terms even if it peeves your other neighbors: the United States of America or various Central American banana republics? Now, of course, under the previous American administration, that question didn’t come up much for Mexico because the Obama government wanted to flood America with Central American future Democratic voters. But now under a pro-American American government, Mexico is facing a choice of whom to please: the United States or Guatemala.
And now from the Washington Post:
By Joshua Partlow and Nick Miroff
July 10 at 3:32 PM
MEXICO CITY — While President Trump regularly berates Mexico for “doing nothing” to stop illegal migration, behind the scenes the two governments are considering a deal that could drastically curtail the cross-border migration flow.
The proposal, known as a “safe third country agreement,” would potentially require asylum seekers transiting through Mexico to apply for protection in that nation rather than in the United States. It would allow U.S. border guards to turn back such asylum seekers at border crossings and quickly return to Mexico anyone who has already entered illegally seeking refuge, regardless of their nationality.
U.S. officials believe this type of deal would discourage many Central American families from trying to reach the United States. Their soaring numbers have strained U.S. immigration courts and overwhelmed the U.S. government’s ability to detain them. The Trump administration says the majority are looking for jobs — rather than fleeing persecution — and are taking advantage of American generosity to gain entry and avoid deportation.
“We believe the flows would drop dramatically and fairly immediately” if the agreement took effect, said a senior Department of Homeland Security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss negotiations with the Mexican government, which the official said had gathered momentum in recent weeks. …
The senior DHS official said the U.S. government has signaled to Mexico that it would be prepared to offer significant financial aid to help the country cope with a surge of asylum seekers, at least in the short term. The investment, which would be paid through the U.S. security-assistance plan for Mexico, the Merida Initiative, would quickly pay for itself, the DHS official argued.
“Look at the amount of money spent on border security, on courts, on detention and immigration enforcement,” the senior official said. “It’d be pennies on the dollar to support Mexico in this area.” …
The winner of the July 1 presidential election, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has yet to weigh in publicly on the issue. Roberto Velasco, a spokesman for the incoming foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said that the new administration does not “have a position yet since we don’t know the details of the proposal or the negotiations between the two countries.”