The claim was contradicted on Monday by Mexico's foreign minister, who said that Mexico was already planning to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexico-Guatemala border but that, as a result of the deal with the US announced Friday, that deployment is now happening faster. The US, in turn, will return asylum seekers attempting to cross the Mexico-US border to Mexico, where they will be held until a decision on whether or not to grant asylum is made.
Under the agreement, Mexico will "offer jobs, healthcare and education" to those individuals.
This image from January shows a migrant from Honduras holding a sign that says "no to the wall" in Reynosa, Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had planned to head Saturday to the border city of Tijuana to show solidarity ahead of the tariffs, said that his trip was now to celebrate.
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"If the measures we are proposing are not successful, we have to discuss with the United States and with other countries, like Guatemala, Panama and Brazil", he said. A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from implementing the plan, but an appeals court later said it could move forward while the legal challenge proceeds. Through June 5, 10,393 mostly Central Americans have been sent back to Mexico since the program started in January.
Trump ran in 2016 pledging to crack down on illegal immigration, but instead has watched as the number of border crossings has spiked to its highest level in over a decade - with U.S. Border Patrol apprehending more than 132,000 people in May, including a record 84,542 adults and children traveling together.
Trump defended the agreement reached by USA and Mexican negotiators to head off the 5% tax on all Mexican goods that Trump had threatened to impose Monday as he tried to pressure the country to do more to stem the flow of Central American migrants across the US southern border.
"Mexico would have had to change its migration policy for its own reasons due to national security", he said, arguing that current numbers are unmanageable. In retaliation, China also hiked tariffs on $60 billion worth of United States imports from June 1.
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But Mexico has already so expanded its deportations of asylum seekers, it is unclear whether it has the resources to do much more. This image from January shows a migrant from Honduras holding a sign that says "no to the wall" in Reynosa, Mexico.
Last month, U.S. authorities apprehended 132,000 such migrants.
"Because President Trump emerges as a clear victor from his week-long confrontation with Mexico over our neighbor's lax enforcement of its southern border, reflexive Trump critics will scramble to find some way of containing what is a clear Trump triumph, which came with assists by Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who conducted the key negotiations". The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on his Twitter account revealed that he met with the People's Bank of China Chief, Yi Gang, on June 8. In a G20 group meeting later in the day, the two were seen exchanging friendly remarks, but there were no fresh signs Beijing is ready to compromise in the dispute over trade and technology.
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Of course, this approach also means Trump can basically claim anything he wants, and Mexico will be forced to try to make rhetorical lemonade. But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said.
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"This will be a one-on-one with Gov. Yi to talk alone about the trade issues", Mnuchin said.