Mexico denies it will become a waiting area for asylum seekers

Mexico denies it will become a waiting area for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers hoping to enter the United States 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 program was meant to end the "catch and release" system denounced by Trump that allows migrants seeking refuge to live in the United States for years as they wait for an immigration judge to rule on their applications.

"There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the USA government", future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero said in a statement reviewed by ABC News on Saturday.

The US has expressed hostility to the arrival of new migrants on its soil and says it has been trying to negotiate a solution to the so-called crisis for months. "No "Releasing" into the U.S", he tweeted.

Sanchez ruled out that Mexico would be declared a "safe third country" for asylum claimants, following a Washington Post report of a deal with the Trump administration known as "Remain in Mexico", which quoted her calling it a "short-term solution".

Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, described the "Remain in Mexico" plan as a strategy to take away the ability of migrants to live and work in the United States while cases are processed.

The denial casts further doubt over discussions surrounding the "Remain in Mexico" deal, pushed by Donald Trump and seen as a way of dissuading Central Americans from seeking sanctuary in the US.

Sanchez, who said the situation of migrant caravans was "very delicate", did not explicitly rule out that Mexico could keep caravan migrants on its soil while their United States asylum claims are processed.

The tweets came after The Washington Post reported the United States had reached a deal with Mexico's incoming government that would represent a major overhaul of border policy.

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Hundreds of the migrants lined up this week at a special jobs fair set up for them in the manufacturing city, but others remain determined to reach the US.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about what the president was referring to.

In a Twitter message on Saturday, President Trump reiterated threats to close the southern border - threats that have alarmed many in Mexico, since cross-border trade is a mainstay of the Mexican economy.

Almost 5,000 Hondurans and Guatemalans who have been traveling in caravans for more than a month are camping at sports fields in the Mexican border city of Tijuana as they wait for interviews with USA immigration officials.

Meanwhile, the government of the state of Baja California has identified 7,000 jobs for which migrants could possibly earn income while they await hearings in the U.S.

His tweets were interpreted as possible confirmation of the alleged deal between the USA and Obrador's administration.

USA officials will be able to process at least twice as many asylum claims under the new system because they would not be limited by detention space at U.S. ports of entry, the Post report said.

He also gave thanks to - who else?

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