Mexico resisted the U.S. request to allow asylum seekers to apply in Mexico instead of the United States. Sources informed that this decision from the end of Mexico can be a real setback to the U.S. efforts of expanding their cooperation on immigration.
According to the U.S. officials, a deal such as the ‘Safe Third Country Agreement’ could turn out to be an impediment to thousands of Central Americans who travel through Mexico every year for seeking U.S. asylum. Often, it burdens the immigration courts and causes headache to Trump’s administration.
Mexico, in spite of facing immense pressure from the US for accepting the treaty, remains adhered to their decision. They are viewing the proposal as a red line which they won’t cross. In a note prepared by the Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, for a meeting with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in Guatemala on 10th July; he said that Mexico was not prepared to accept the agreement of safe third country as proposed by the US.
Luis Videgaray highlighted that on earlier occasions Mexico took meaningful effort to provide Central Americans detained in Mexico with required information on asylum. Recently, it adopted measures that allowed asylum seekers to work while their case gets solved.
In case the safe third country proposal becomes applicable then asylum seekers reaching the US via Mexico can apply to stay in Mexico as refugees. Recently, Trump’s zero tolerance policy against illegal immigrants separated more than 2000 children from their families.
Mexico is willing to coordinate with the US on many issues, with the hope of a favorable renegotiation on North American Free Trade Agreement. However, Lopez Obrador is less likely to accept a pact on asylum as he is a strong campaigner of migrant rights.
Both Luis and Obrador are going to meet Pompeo when the latter would be visiting Mexico. However, Luis refused to comment whether asylum proposal would be a topic of discussion during the meeting with Pompeo. It is expected that Obrador might request US intervention to reduce migration.