The Washington Post reported this afternoon that “U.S. and Mexican officials are discussing the outlines of a deal that would dramatically increase Mexico’s immigration enforcement efforts and give the United States far more latitude to deport Central Americans seeking asylum, according to a U.S. official and a Mexican official who cautioned that the accord is not finalized and that President Trump might not accept it.”
Faced with Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, the Post reported that “Mexican officials have pledged to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the country’s border region with Guatemala, a show of force they say will make immediate reductions in the number of Central Americans heading north toward the U.S. border.
In addition, the report indicated that officials said the countries are negotiating a plan to overhaul asylum rules across the region, a move that would require Central Americans to seek refuge in the first foreign country they set foot upon after fleeing their homeland.
The Post reported that Mexican officials are looking for the Trump administration to commit to programs that will ease some of the short-term pressures in Central America that are fueling migration, especially crop failures and hunger. Mexican officials told Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States could have a major impact by “investing $10 million for irrigation equipment in rural Honduras.”
The negotiations are taking place amid a threat to put tariffs on Mexican goods beginning this Monday. Also, border officials reported that last month, U.S. authorities made more than 144,000 arrests along the southern border, the highest level in 13 years.