Incoming Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is apparently really thrilled with the Trump regime's "Remain in Mexico" plan for US asylum seekers, and is eagerly signing on because he believes that if Trump closes the border, nobody will bother crossing into Mexico on the way from Central America.
The Trump administration has won the support of Mexico’s incoming government for a plan to remake U.S. border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts, according to Mexican officials and senior members of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition team.
The agreement would break with long-standing asylum rules and place a formidable new barrier in the path of Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States and escape poverty and violence. By reaching the accord, the Trump administration has also overcome Mexico’s historic reticence to deepen cooperation with the United States on an issue widely seen here as America’s problem.
The White House had no immediate comment.
According to outlines of the plan, known as Remain in Mexico, asylum applicants at the border will have to stay in Mexico while their cases are processed, potentially ending the system Trump decries as “catch and release” that has until now generally allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer U.S. soil.
“For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico,” said Olga Sánchez Cordero, Mexico’s incoming interior minister, the top domestic policy official for López Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1. In an interview with The Washington Post, she called it a “short-term solution.”
“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.”
While no formal agreement has been signed, and U.S. officials caution that many details must still be discussed, the incoming Mexican government is amenable to the concept of turning their country in to a waiting room for America’s asylum system.
While they remain anxious the deal could fall apart, U.S. officials view this as a potential breakthrough that could deter migration and the formation of additional caravans that originate in Central America and cross through Mexico to reach the United States. They have quietly engaged in sensitive talks with senior Mexican officials, attempting to offer a diplomatic counterbalance to President Trump’s threats and ultimatums.
No US asylum, no caravans crossing Mexico. Win-win for a pair of right-wing, authoritarian nationalist governments. Also remember that the cruelty is the point, leaving these refugees stranded in cartel country is being done on purpose.
Besides, Trump is now claiming the border is sealed.
President Donald Trump insisted — twice — in an odd exchange with reporters Thursday that he already shut down the border with Mexico and even signed an order to do so.
“Actually two days ago we closed the border,” Trump said at Mar-a-Lago during a meeting with journalists. “We actually just closed it. We said nobody’s coming in because it was out of control.” (See the video above at 16:10)
Then he walked back what he had just insisted, saying he would shut the border in the future if it’s necessary, “if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control.”
But minutes later he returned to his insistence that he had already closed the border.
“I’ve already shut it down, I’ve already shut it down — for short periods,” he said in response to a question to clarify the shutdown.
“I’ve already 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.’ You see it. I mean, it took place two days ago.”
When someone asked if he had to sign an order to shut it down, Trump responded: “Yeah, they call me up, and I sign an order.”
Asked if the media could get a copy, Trump responded: “You don’t need it. Don’t worry. It’s not that big a deal. Maybe to some people it is.”
No order on closing the border has been released by the White House.
Not a big deal, in the last couple of weeks we've effectively militarized the border with Mexico, complete with troops authorized to use deadly force, in strict contravention of the law. But don't worry, Dear Leader says. We keep kids in cages, we separate families, soon we'll open fire on those trying to cross, but hey, America is being made great, so hooray for us.