Mexico’s president seeks agreement for US to send deportees directly to countries of origin

Mexico’s president seeks agreement for US to send deportees directly to countries of origin
  • PublishedJune 7, 2024


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his country is seeking an agreement for the US to deport asylum-seekers and migrants to their countries of origin instead of Mexico.

The announcement comes after US President Joe Biden unveiled executive action that would bar people who cross the US-Mexico border illegally from requesting asylum, during periods when there is a high volume of illegal crossings. Unless they meet certain exemptions, the asylum-seekers would be turned away to Mexico or returned to their home countries.

The president’s proclamation, announced Tuesday, still allows for the normal flow of commerce and legal immigration across the border.

Asked whether Biden’s plan could lead to a potential increase of migrants on the Mexican side of the border, Mexico’s president said, “We are seeking an agreement that if they (the US) make the decision to deport, they do so directly.”

López Obrador added that he is not worried about Mexican border towns being overwhelmed by asylum seekers pushed back by the US.

“They come to Mexico. We have no problem. We treat them all very well (…) but why not a direct agreement?” he said.

Biden and López Obrador also held a phone call on Tuesday, which the Mexican president described as “respectful” and “very amicable,” saying they spoke about the need to support Latin American nations.

Migrants and asylum seekers wait to be processed by the Border Patrol between fences at the US-Mexico border seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on June 5, 2024.

Migrants and asylum seekers wait to be processed by the Border Patrol between fences at the US-Mexico border seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on June 5, 2024. Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

A ‘virtual wall’

While some critics argue Biden’s sweeping migration measure doesn’t go far enough in responding to the large numbers of people showing up at the US southern border, others warn that closing the border to asylum seekers will endanger vulnerable people.

In practice, the new rule would imply “closing the border” to the thousands of refugees who are in Mexico waiting to reach the United States, Tonatiuh Guillén, professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and former commissioner of the National Migration Institute of Mexico, told CNN.

“It implies a kind of virtual wall because people are going to be in a scenario where they are going to be rejected. On the other hand, if this measure is implemented, it leaves thousands of people without the possibility of shelter,” Guillen said.

Mexican authorities have largely played down any expected impact. A source at Mexico’s asylum commission COMAR also told CNN that the agency is not very concerned about a potential increase in refugee applications “because normally, the migrants who reached the northern border of Mexico are not interested in requesting asylum in Mexico.”

López Obrador said what he “liked the most” about his call with Biden was the US’ plan to build three new border bridges. “This is going to help a lot in the economic and commercial development throughout the region,” he said.

SOURCE: CNNNEWS

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