Mexico has reportedly agreed to hold migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Washington Post reports Saturday that the new incoming Mexican administration has agreed to President Donald Trump’s overture to keep the asylum seekers in Mexico while U.S. immigration officials assess the voluminous claims of the migrants.
It’s called the “Remain in Mexico” plan, and senior members of Mexico’s President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition team confirmed the decision to the Post. Obrador becomes president on Dec. 1. (RELATED: Some Migrants Within 500 Feet Of US As Trump Reiterates Threat To Seal Border)
The purported plan should alleviate concerns, expressed this week by at least one aid organization, that migrants could attempt to cross the border en masse to avoid wait times. Keeping the migrants in Mexico would also ensure that the more than 500 criminals that the Department of Homeland Security says are embedded in the migrant caravan don’t get across the U.S. border.
The agreement not only makes Mexico a partner for those seeking refugee status in the U.S. but it prevents would-be asylum seekers from getting “a foot in the door” and a physical presence in the United States where they can potentially flee as illegal immigrants or successfully argue that their very presence in the U.S. enhances their refugee claims.
The reported solution may not be welcomed by some Mexicans, who have not exactly welcomed the migrants since they arrived at the border.(RELATED: Angry Tijuana Residents Push Back Against Migrant Caravan: ‘This Is An Invasion’)
The Post notes that the plan could end the “catch and release” system that currently characterizes the mission of the U.S. Border Patrol — stopping people who cross the border, only to deliver them to refugee boards.
“For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico,” Mexico’s soon-to-be interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, told the Post.
“The medium- and long-term solution is that people don’t migrate,” Sánchez Cordero said. “Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine, one caravan after another after another, that would also be a problem for us.”
According to the Post story, the plan is only a verbal agreement with no written document codifying the policy.