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"I reiterate in the face of pressure: Mexico is not and will not accept being a safe third country. We have a mandate in that regard from the President of the Republic."
The Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón, stressed that Mexico will not bow to U.S. pressure in order to become a "safe third country". The comments come on the eve of Ebrard’s meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I just heard statements from the CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] manager. I reiterate in the face of pressures: Mexico is not and will not accept being a safe third country. We have a mandate in that regard from the President of the Republic and it is a consensus in the [Mexican] senate among all political forces. We will not accept it.” said Ebrard on Monday, in a statement posted to Twitter.
This followed a statement that was made earlier in the day by CBP manager Mark Morgan, who argued that Mexico “must do more” to help the U.S. curb Central American migration.
If Mexico were to become a "safe third country" then it means Central American asylum seekers would likely be stuck here, and have to remain in Mexico if they were apprehended at the U.S. border.
Ebrard is currently in Washington and will meet Pompeo and other U.S. officials to review the progress on immigration and the 90-day limit that Trump gave Mexico to reduce migration flows in exchange for not imposing crippling tariffs on Mexican goods.
Mexico has long rejected the U.S. proposal, despite repeated demands by Washington. In July, Ebrard was again clear about Mexico’s position, saying “I can’t anticipate what their stance is but the Mexican position is very clear. We are not going to change our position. We don’t agree, and we have not accepted a negotiation about it.”
President AMLO has instead preferred a strategy of investing in economic development for neighboring countries such as El Salvador. He believes that through development, fewer will be forced to migrate.