Mexican minister Marcelo Ebrard rejects US request for ‘safe third country’ deal

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Washington DC, Sep 11: Mexico has on Tuesday reiterated its refusal to so-called “safe third country” deal which would ask US-bound migrants travelling through Mexico to first assume their asylum claim in Mexico.

Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has dismissed the idea of a safe third country, a day after Mark Morgan, the acting US customs and border protection commissioner, acknowledged reporters that American officials were working on to reach a “cooperative agreement”, when asked if the United States still sought a safe third country arrangement with Mexico.

The US and Mexican officials met on Thursday in order to discuss progress made towards decreasing irregularities in immigration to America, according to Al-Jazeera.

After concluding the meeting, Ebrard stated “significant decrease” has been seen in the US-bound immigration via Mexico, mainly from Central America. He termed his bilateral meetings US President Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence, “friendly”.

“What Mexico has done is working,” said Ebrard, admitting cross-border immigration has improved from averages in September, “but the tendency is irreversible … It is something that we think will be permanent”.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the US defence department said it would continue to keep its some 5,500 American troops deployed at the US-Mexican border in order to assist in combating illegal immigration.

The Pentagon said it would announce $3.6 billion financial assistance to build an anti-migrant wall and that it has also received approval from the Homeland Security Department to keep American troops deployed.

The Defense Department “will provide up to 5,500 personnel to provide infrastructure support; operational support; detection and monitoring support; and air support”, said Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mitchell.



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