Mexico Denies Deal with U.S. to Keep Asylum Seekers South of Border

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Asylum seekers hoping to enter the U.S. via its southern border will have to wait in Mexico while they are assessed, President Donald Trump announced Saturday, November 24 appearing to confirm a report about a bilateral deal published by The Washington Post.

The conflicting statements emerged after the Washington Post reported Mexican officials had agreed to let migrants trying to enter the U.S. stay in Mexico while their asylum claims were heard.

The plan, according to the newspaper, foresees thousands of migrants staying in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are being processed.

It will seek to end, for asylum seekers, the United States policy of "catch and release" - whereby migrants and asylum seekers caught crossing the border illegally are detained, registered, and then freed.

The report quoted incoming Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero, whose office then denied Mexico had agreed refuees could stay on Mexican soil awaiitng processing by U.S. authorities, while not retracting her original statement.

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Mr Trump's administration are understood to have been exploring other options for deals that could limit the number of people from the so-called "caravan" of migrants crossing its border.

Mr Lopez Obrador has vowed to try to eliminate the causes of migration by creating more jobs and improving living conditions in Mexico and Central America.

Trump said on Twitter late Saturday that migrants at the border wouldn't be allowed into the USA until their claims were heard in court, a process is usually lengthy.

The administration of Mexico's current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, rejected a similar Trump administration proposal previous year. The Washington Post reported that the USA and Mexico's new government have inked a deal.

Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, told AP the Remain in Mexico plan is part of a strategy to take away the ability of migrants to live and work in the us while cases are processed. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. "No "Releasing" into the U.S", he tweeted. "All will stay in Mexico", the president wrote. Hundreds of Tijuana residents have protested their arrival, complaining that recent caravans forced their way into Mexico from Guatemala.

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The migrants say they are fleeing poverty and violence in their homelands.

It added that under the new rules, an applicant whose asylum claim is denied would not be allowed to return to Mexico but would remain in U.S. custody pending immediate deportation to his or her home country.

"His party controls the House and the Senate and it is on them", she said, arguing Trump should have worked more closely with Central American countries to prevent the caravans.

Ms Robledo said the incoming government wanted to find jobs for Central American migrants in sectors that are short-staffed, such as maquila assembly plants. He tweeted, "our very strong policy is Catch and Detain".

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