Under the deal, Mexico agreed to deploy
its National Guard throughout the country from June 10, pledging up to 6,000
additional troops along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. It will also take
“decisive action” to tackle human smuggling networks.
The US agreed to expand its program
of sending asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await reviews of their
claims. In return, the US will “work to accelerate” the adjudication
Both countries pledged to
“strengthen bilateral co-operation” over border security, including
“co-ordinated actions” and information sharing.
The declaration added that discussions would continue, and final terms would
be accepted and announced within 90 days.
Should Mexico’s actions “not have the expected results”, the
agreement warned that additional measures could be taken but did not specify
what these would be.
In one of a series of tweets about the deal, President Trump quoted National
Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd as saying: “That’s going to be a huge deal because Mexico will be using their
strong Immigration Laws – A game changer. People no longer will be released
into the U.S.”
Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told journalists: “I think it was a fair balance, because
they have more drastic measures and proposals at the start, and we have reached
some middle point.”
Speaking at a separate news conference, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
said “we couldn’t be more pleased with the agreement”.
President Trump caught members of his own party unaware when he announced the proposed tariffs last week.
The longest shutdown in US history
lasted 35 days and cost the country’s economy an estimated $11 billion.
Details have yet to be released but
aides familiar with the negotiations say it includes $1.375 billion in funding
for 55 miles of new fencing at the border, a small part of the more than 2,000
miles promised by President Trump.
The wall would be built in the Rio
Grande Valley, in Texas, using existing designs, such as metal slats, instead
of the concrete wall that Donald Trump had demanded.
According to recent reports, there
was also an agreement to reduce the number of beds in detention centers to
40,250 from the current 49,057.
The talks had reached an impasse earlier with Republicans strongly rejecting
Democrats’ demands for a limit to the number of undocumented migrants already
in the US who could be detained by immigration authorities.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby said on February 11: “We got an agreement on all of it.
“Our staffs are going to be
working feverishly to put all the particulars together. We believe that if this
becomes law, it’ll keep open the government.”
However, by yesterday, some of President Trump’s conservative allies had
already denounced the deal, with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity calling it a
House Freedom Caucus leader Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina said the agreement failed “to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs”.
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