Mexico cuts irregular migration to US in half, officials say | News | DW | 06.09.2019
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Mexico cuts irregular migration to US in half, officials say

Mexico has dismissed US threats to impose tariffs linked to its ability to stop asylum-seekers from reaching US soil. A senior official said the strategy that Mexico put forward has been successful.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Friday said the number of irregular migrants attempting to reach the US had been cut by half since June as part of a US-Mexico deal to curb migration.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose fresh tariffs if Mexico did not stop migrants from crossing the border.

The White House has also pressured the Mexican government to sign a "safe third country" agreement that would allow the US to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico.

"I do not think there will be a threat of tariffs because there is a 56% reduction," said Ebrard. "We do not consider that the safe third country is acceptable for Mexico and even less with the results that we have."

Read more: Opinion: Donald Trump's Oval Office address was a missed opportunity

Mexico confident in strategy

In May, more than 144,000 migrants — many of them fleeing gang violence and extreme poverty in Central America — had attempted the perilous journey to the United States. By August, that number had fallen to 63,000.

Mexico deployed more than 25,000 National Guard militarized police to its northern and southern borders to clamp down on irregular migration as part of the deal.

"We're showing that the strategy that Mexico put forward has been successful," Ebrard said.

Read more: In Mexico, migrants must choose between bad and worse

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Trump's crisis

In February, Trump declared a national emergency at the US border with Mexico, calling it a "national security crisis."

The declaration was widely seen as a move to appropriate money to build his so-called border wall, considered a key campaign pledge for his supporters.

Ebrard is scheduled to meet with US officials later this week as part of a 90-day review of the US-Mexico deal to curb irregular migration.

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ls/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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