Mexican officials there was ‘no agreement of any type’ between its Government and the United States that will require asylum seekers to wait in the country while their claims move through US courts.
Olga Sanchez Cordero, the top domestic policy official for president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who takes office on December 1, ruled out that Mexico would be declared a ‘safe third country’ for asylum claimants.
This followed a Washington Post report of a deal with the Trump administration known as ‘Remain in Mexico,’ which quoted her calling it a ‘short-term solution.’
The plan, according to the newspaper, foresees migrants staying in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are being processed, potentially ending a system President Donald Trump decries as ‘catch and release’ that has until now often allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer US soil.
Their denial surfaced less than an hour after Trump tweeted that migrants wouldn’t be allowed to cross into the United States while they were applying for asylum. He also threatened to close the border ‘if necessary’ following years of abuse.
Honduran migrant Genesis Belen Mejia Flores,7, waves an American flag at US border control helicopters flying overhead. Mexico’s incoming interior minister said on Saturday there was ‘no agreement between the future government of Mexico and the United States’ that will require asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed
Central American migrant children look through a pile of donated clothes at the Benito Juarez Sports Center today
Their denial surfaced less than an hour after Trump tweeted that migrants wouldn’t be allowed to cross into the United States while they were applying for asylum. He also threatened to close the border ‘if necessary’ following years of abuse
The latest developments came as the situation at the border continued to worsen and many were trying to cross the border by any means necessary.
This included a young migrant mother who was injured after trying to climb a part of the border fence with her two small children on Friday.
Border Patrol agent Tekae Michael says the 26-year-old Guatemalan woman fell near the San Ysidro Port of Entry Friday night and landed on pieces of rebar that pierced one side of her body. Paramedics took her to a hospital for treatment.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the children, ages 3 and 5, were not hurt. The woman told agents she was not part of the migrant caravan that traveled from Central America to the Mexican border city of Tijuana.
Meanwhile Donald Trump said defiantly threatened to close the Southern border again ‘if it becomes necessary’ and insisted migrants will only be allowed to enter if their asylum application is approved.
He tweeted: ‘Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No ‘Releasing’ into the U.S…
‘All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!’
The rebar is part of ongoing work to replace decades-old fencing. It’s not related to the American military’s recent mission to fortify the fence in response to the caravan.
Her children were also evaluated at the hospital for potential fall trauma and, showing no injuries, were released back to Border Patrol custody.
‘Entering our country illegally, particularly over our walls is not only dangerous, but also very foolish,’ San Diego’s Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodney Scott told the San Diego Tribune.
‘This woman placed her own life and her children’s lives in peril. She could have easily died if not for the quick response by our agents and EMS’.
Authorities said the rebar was part of the ongoing border fence construction and not related to the military’s recent mission to fortify the fence in response to the caravan.
The military has primarily been stringing concertina wire across the top of the fence. It was unclear if there was concertina wire where the woman crossed.
Thousands of migrants, who have traveled thousands of miles to flee their countries in Central America, have been staying at a makeshift shelter in the which the municipal government opened last Wednesday.
Originally planned to hold 3,000 migrants, the latest arrivals have put the shelter over capacity.
US Customs and Border Patrol agents with riot shields temporarily shut all lanes into the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro crossing on Thursday
On Thursday, Tijauana’s Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum declared an international humanitarian crisis over the arrival of more than 5,000 mostly Central American migrants traveling in a caravan.
Gastelum asked international organizations like the United Nations to help the city deal with the influx of migrants, amid a lagging response from the Mexican federal government.
He accused the Mexican Government of neglecting its responsibilities to deal with migrant and immigration issues.
Gastelum vowed not to commit the city’s public resources to dealing with the situation.
On Thursday, his government issued a statement saying that it was requesting help from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum (left) has criticized Donald Trump (right) for threatening to close the border entirely if ‘it gets to a level where we are going to lose control’
Reports emerged that Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorhad agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a ‘short-term solution’ while the US considered their applications for asylum but they were dismissed earlier today
The migrant caravan that left Honduras in mid-October was mostly well received by the towns it passed through along the way to the border.
Even cities with few resources made sure the migrants had food and a place to rest.
But in those places, the caravan stayed at most two nights with the exception of Mexico City.
In Tijuana, many of the migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty are seeking asylum in the United States and face the prospect of spending months in the border city before they have the opportunity to speak with a US official.
Gastelum said Friday that the Mexican government has talked about sending 20 tons of resources to Tijuana to help but that three-fourths consisted of materials to reinforce the border and only 5 tons were for the migrants.
The mayor also criticized the federal government for not taking more seriously President Donald Trump’s threat Thursday to shut down the border if his administration determined Mexico had lost ‘control’ of the situation in Tijuana. ‘That’s serious’, he said.
Members of the ‘migrant caravan’ wait in line to receive breakfast outside a temporary shelter set up by Tijuana officials
A migrant, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, cries as her daughter looks on inside a temporary shelter in Tijuana
A migrant girl, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America, searches for used shoes at a temporary shelter in Tijuana
Donald Trump said the US shut down its border with Mexico because it’s ‘out of control’ but he didn’t elaborate on the details in his comments on Thursday.
Asked in detail what he meant by closing the US Southern border, Trump responded: ‘I have already shut it down. I already shut it down for short periods.
‘I shut down parts of the border because it was out of control. With the rioting on the other side in Mexico. And I just said shut it down.’
Meanwhile Mexico’s incoming government denied a report Saturday that it plans to allow asylum-seekers to wait in the country while their claims move through US immigration courts
This is one of several options the Trump administration has been pursuing in negotiations for months.
‘There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the US government’, future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement.
A migrant girl runs, (left), on banners prepared by Central American migrants for a scheduled protest, as two migrant children, (right) play in a temporary shelter in Tijuana today
Migrants wave at US border control helicopters flying near the Benito Juarez Sports Center which is serving as a shelter
Hours earlier, The Washington Post quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a ‘short-term solution’ while the US considered their applications for asylum. Lopez Obrador will take office on December 1.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that the administration of US President Donald Trump has won support from the Mexican president-elect’s team for a plan dubbed ‘Remain in Mexico’.
The newspaper also quoted Sanchez as saying: ‘For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico’.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
US officials have said for months that they were working with Mexico to find solutions for what they have called a border crisis.
Julieta Vences, a congresswoman with Lopez Obrador’s Morena party who is also president of Mexico’s congressional migrant affairs commission, told AP that incoming Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has been discussing with US officials how to handle a deluge of asylum claims at the border.
‘They’re going to have to open the borders (for the migrants) to put in the request. They will also give us dates, on what terms they will receive the (asylum) requests and in the case that they are not beneficiaries of this status, they will have to return here,’ Vences said.
She spoke to the AP after a visit to the crowded sports complex in Tijuana.