A deal with Mexico to have caravan migrants remain south of the border while their refugee status is assessed in the United States appears to be in the works again.
The Washington Examiner is quoting an unnamed White House source as saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been hard at work trying to cement a deal with the Mexican government. The problem: the government there is in a state of transition with the incoming administration coming into office at the end of this week.
There were persistent reports over the weekend that incoming Mexican administration had agreed to a “Remain in Mexico” plan, with The Washington Post quoting incoming Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero saying, “For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico.”
Late Saturday, Trump tweeted news of the arrangement but Mexico denied the story. The president also reiterated his threat to close the border with Mexico if the migrant crisis spirals out of control. (RELATED: Migrant Caravan Tries To Storm Border US Responds With Tear Gas)
Pompeo’s reported deal is verbal only with the current administration, and although secretary of state officials plan to sit down with the new Mexican government next week, it’s hardly a policy document yet.
“The incoming foreign minister has agreed to [have] the processing center done on the Mexican side of the border; whether that holds after Saturday is not clear to me,” the source told the Examiner. “There is no signed piece of paper. It’s verbal.”
The reaction of Mexicans living in the border city of Tijuana was anything but positive when the migrant caravan arrived. (RELATED: Angry Tijuana Residents Push Back Against Migrant Caravan: ‘This Is An Invasion’)
Pompeo reportedly “feels good about” the prospects of getting a deal and he will be able to further discuss that possibility with his counterparts at the G-20 summit that is planned for this weekend in Argentina.