- Title: Mexico expects relief on U.S. tariff threat as migrant flows drop
- Date: 6th September 2019
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (SEPTEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) MEXICAN FLAG FLAPPING OUTSIDE NATIONAL PALACE EXTERIOR NATIONAL PALACE NEWS CONFERENCE LED BY MEXICAN PRESIDENT ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARCELO EBRARD SITTING NEXT TO MILITARY COMMANDERS EBRARD WALKING TOWARDS PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARCELO EBRARD, SAYING: "The implementation of diverse measures that the government has taken as a whole have brought about a reduction of 56% in the flow of migrants between the months of May and August. In other words, the beginning of June and August." EBRARD DURING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARCELO EBRARD, SAYING: "The position of all parliamentary groups which are represented in Mexico's Senate is that for no reason would they accept the becoming a safe third country. The Senate would not accept that." GENERAL OF NEWS CONFERENCE CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NATIONAL GUARD GUARDING BORDER EL PASO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS) GENERAL U.S. BORDER PATROL SPOKESMAN MARIO ESCALANTE BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) U.S. BORDER PATROL SPOKESMAN MARIO ESCALANTE, SAYING: "In the last three months we have seen a decrease but for the last three months we have also seen groups, in this section here of 200-300, even a group of more than 1,000 and we had an average of nearly 1,500 people trying to cross (the border) in this section of El Paso. Right now we are seeing an average of 300 people every day but we are seeing more scattered numbers in the section of El Paso, so it's obvious during that time we have seen a drop." BORDER WALL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) U.S. BORDER PATROL SPOKESMAN MARIO ESCALANTE, SAYING: "Right now with the reduction of the flow and the people already having the space to be able to distribute them to the appropriate detention centres for the long term, then there is already more space. Our process centres are no longer so saturated." CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE MIGRANT SHELTER ON THE BORDER WOMAN CHANGING NAPPY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT, SARAI RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "We know most people who go to the first appointment are returned to wait here in Juarez. A while ago, some who were staying here, colleagues who were here were not given an appointment until January and the truth is that's a long time to wait here. We think maybe they can do something or come up with a solution." RODRIGUEZ WITH HUSBAND MOISES VENEGAS AND THEIR CHILD (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MIGRANT, MOISES VENEGAS, SAYING: "When we crossed over there, we never imagined we were going to be returned (to Mexico) because we know where we are and we know how dangerous it is. I felt bad just like everyone else when we realised we were being returned and everyone's desire, what migrants wish is to be with their families, away from danger. It's the decision by the presidents and only they know what the United States makes Mexico do. They (Americans) place Mexico in a difficult place and you can tell which is the most powerful country. The United States is one of the most powerful countries and I think the president here has to accept that, by obligation, even if he didn't want to accept it by obligation, to help the migrants." VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS SLEEPING IN SHELTER EL PASO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) EL PASO IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY, CARLOS SPECTOR, SAYING: "I still think Mexico's agreement with the United States is totally illegal and immoral. Truly what Trump has achieved is to convert Mexico into his minions of migration. They are doing the dirty work of the Americans in Mexico, violating the rights of the Central Americans or non-Mexicans who come to request political asylum." CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO (SEPTEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS VARIOUS OF BORDER BRIDGE BETWEEN CIUDAD JUAREZ AND EL PASO, TEXAS
- Embargoed: 20th September 2019 22:30
- Keywords: Migration flow Ebrard Trump Lopez Obrador Border Patrol
- Location: MEXICO CITY / CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO / EL PASO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- City: MEXICO CITY / CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO / EL PASO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AVIUKAV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Mexico does not expect the United States to threaten to put tariffs on its goods when it holds talks next week with U.S. officials about its efforts to curb migration from Central America, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday (September 6).
Speaking at a regular government news conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Ebrard said Mexico had reduced the flow of undocumented migrants crossing the country toward the U.S. border by 56% between May and August.
At the end of May, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on all Mexican exports to the United States if Mexico did not significantly curb a recent surge in illegal immigration from Central America into the United States.
In June, the two sides agreed to a 90-day window for Mexico to reduce migrant flows after it agreed to deploy thousands of security forces to its borders and began taking more asylum-seekers from the United States while their cases were being processed.
That period ended this week, and Ebrard is to hold talks with U.S. officials on Tuesday to discuss Mexico's efforts.
Ebrard did not give numbers for apprehensions in August. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expected to unveil its numbers for August in coming days. Citing preliminary figures, Politico reported that the U.S. Border Patrol arrested roughly 51,000 migrants in the month.
Mexico's position would be that its strategy of positioning more than 25,000 National Guard militarized police along its borders and stepping up raids on people traffickers has been a success, Ebrard told the news conference.
The minister reiterated that Mexico would not accept becoming a so-called safe third country, which would oblige migrants to seek asylum in Mexico rather than the United States.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump has lauded the Mexican government for curbing flows since the June deal. By July, apprehensions at the U.S. southern border had dropped by about a third, according to American data. Trump said this week that trend has continued.
However, the United States is unlikely to remove the threat of tariffs totally or change its position that Mexico should become a safe third country. After meeting Ebrard in July, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Mexico's efforts but said more needed to be done. August apprehensions are expected to remain higher than the same month a year ago.
Ebrard said the Mexican government would keep investing in social programs in the south of Mexico as well as in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the three Central American countries from which most migrants depart.
Migrants and El Paso Immigration Attorney, Carlos Spector, believe Mexico is bending to the whim of the United States.
(Production: Manuel Carrillo, Josue Gonzalez, Jose Luis Gonzalez)
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