Battle erupts over NYT report calling Mexico immigration pact a mirage

The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and has served as vice-president of the World Bank

The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and has served as vice-president of the World Bank

The news comes a week into the neighbors' row over tariffs and border security.

The Trump Administration has sought a policy called "safe third country", a dramatic shift in which migrants would be required to seek asylum in Mexico rather than the U.S. Another option would be a regional agreement including Mexico and other Latin American countries to assume responsibilities for asylum-seekers.

In our editorial last week, we said, "If Trump's tariff threat gets Mexico to sign such [a safe-third-country] agreement, we will be the first to congratulate him on his successful brinkmanship".

Under the agreement, Mexico will rapidly expand a programme under which migrants applying for asylum in the USA wait out the process in Mexico.

It included a commitment from Mexico, for instance, to deploy its new National Guard to the country's southern border with Guatemala.

Over the weekend, Trump announced a deal with Mexico had been reached in order to hold off tariffs that were set to go into affect today.

But Ebrard, when asked about Trump's tweets, said Monday no secret deal was in the works.

Trump tweeted that part of the deal would require approval by the Mexican Congress - he did not give details - and that "if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!"

"There is no other thing", he said. He added that the details of the agreement will be revealed sometime soon, and it will have to be approved by Mexican lawmakers.

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'Even now, the foreign minister of Mexico is saying that's not really the way the president describes is not really the way what we have agreed to, ' she said.

"It's just another aspect of what we've done", Trump said during a brief event Monday on the White House South Lawn.

"It is a regional system", he added.

Asylum seekers from El Salvador and Honduras first pass through Guatemala when fleeing their homes, while Cubans and Haitians often fly first to Panama before heading to the U.S. through Mexico.

Discussions would take place with Brazil, Panama and Guatemala - the countries now used by migrants as transit points - to see if they could share the burden of processing asylum claims. "So we didn't bring it up, but most people know that answer". That demand was put on the table again by U.S. negotiators last week, but was not accepted by Mexico. "We now have Mexico doing more than the Democrats who work behind me on Capitol Hill on securing our southern border", Conway said.

According to the joint declaration issued by the State Department, Mexico will take "unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border".

Meanwhile on Monday, the Trump administration that Kenneth Cuccinelli would serve as the new acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

"The president and other key administration officials also sharply disputed a New York Times report claiming the Friday deal "largely" had been negotiated months ago, and hinted that not all major details of the new arrangement have yet been made public", Fox News" Gregg Re reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump will discuss ways to continue close coordination with President Moon Jae-in on achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.

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