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President Donald Trump’s deal with Mexico will allow officials to return migrants to Mexico at “full throttle,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared June 10.
Those crossing the U.S. southern border to seek asylum will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await their adjudication of their asylum claims. We’ve seen this before. We were able to do this to the tune of a couple of hundred people per day [before the deal].
We now have the capacity to do this full throttle and engage this in a way that will make a fundamental difference in the calculus for those [migrants] deciding to transit Mexico to try to get into the United States. This full-blown effort under the Migration Protocols [Remain in Mexico] is a big deal and was something that we worked on very, very diligently with our Mexican counterparts over two days. And we will pursue other cooperative efforts too.
The Remain in Mexico policy allows Trump’s border agencies to bypass the “catch and release” policy imposed by Congress and the courts. In the last three months, this federal policy has allowed roughly 350,000 Central American adults and children into U.S. workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods while they wait for court dates to plead their weak legal cases for humanitarian asylum.
The huge influx of migrant workers has reduced pressure on employers to improve wages and working conditions for blue-collar Americans. The homeland security agency issued roughly 400,000 work permits in 2017 and in 2018.
Under the Trump deal, new migrants will be sent back to Mexico until they can be bussed to their asylum court hearings in the United States. The return policy will likely wreck the cartels’ labor trafficking business, which depends on migrants’ confidence that they can get U.S. jobs to repay their smuggling debts.
The return program was initially called “Remain in Mexico,” but has been renamed the “Migration Protection Protocols.”
.@SecPompeo: The agreement the United States and #Mexico locked in last Friday reflects diplomacy at its finest. It shows the enduring strength of our relationship. And it is a major win for the American people. pic.twitter.com/amJlE6aJdz
— Department of State (@StateDept) June 10, 2019
Prior to the deal, Mexico kept the Remain in Mexico program at very low levels. For example, only about 10,000 migrants have been sent back to Mexico, out of roughly 330,000 who crossed the border in the last three months.
On June 9, the Associated Press described how U.S. officials blocked the migration of Edwin Sabillon Orellana, his wif,e and one child:
Sabillon slipped away in the middle of the night with his wife and 8-year-old daughter and left Honduras. It took them about two weeks to reach Tijuana, across the border from San Diego. They quickly crossed into the U.S. illegally near Tijuana’s beach and asked for asylum. After five days in detention they were sent back to Tijuana at night with an appointment to return later this month.
The AP report did not say if Orellana has additional children still in Honduras.
In his June 10 statements, Pompeo congratulated his Mexican officials, saying “we’ve got a lot of work to implement what we have agreed to.” He continued:
We have full confidence … that Mexico will [implement] its shared commitments … if necessary, we will take extra measures that the Mexican government agreed to during these conversations as well. I look forward to great cooperation between our two countries.
The agreement “shows the enduring strength of the relationship between our two countries and it is a significant win for the American people… The president s doing precisely what he said he would do,” Pompeo said.
“Both parties agree that if the above measures do not have the expected results, additional measures will be taken,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reportedly said Monday. “We would sit down to discuss with other countries such as Panama, Brazil, Guatemala.”
Ebrard’s revelation helps explain what President Donald Trump tweeted Monday:
We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2019