Conflicting reports as to whether the incoming administration of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has made a closed-door deal with the government of U.S President Donald Trump that would require the growing throngs of Central American asylum seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border to remain in Mexico while their cases are reviewed continue to pop up across the media in both countries.

On Saturday, Nov. 24, several high-ranking members of AMLO’s future administration implied that the controversial deal (which would reverse  longstanding U.S. asylum rules) had been finalized.

One day later, those same sources denied the so-called Remain in Mexico agreement, along with senior members of the Trump administration.

Under the alleged Remain in Mexico plan, asylum applicants at the border would not be allowed to set foot in the United States while their cases are being reviewed, a process that can take months or even years.

In an interview with the Washington Post earlier this week, Mexico’s soon-to-be Secretary of the Interior (SeGob) Olga Sánchez Cordero stated that the deal had indeed been made as a “short-term solution” to the growing number of Central American migrants that have trekked through Mexico determined to reach the United States and demand asylum.

The soaring number of caravans have led to Trump sending nearly 6,000 troops to the border with Mexico and authorizing the use of lethal force is necessary.

“The medium- and long-term solution is that people don’t migrate,” Sánchez Cordero told the Post.

AMLO has since denied that the agreement was reached, as have senior members of the Trump administration.

Sánchez Cordero also issued a statement on Saturday saying “there is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government.”

Meanwhile, the number of mostly Central American migrants awaiting entry into the United States has now reached nearly 7,000, including many unaccompanied minors, putting a financial and social strain on Mexican border cities, particularly Tijuana, where the majority of the caravans have ended up.

The mayor of Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastelum, has declared the situation a humanitarian crisis.

AMLO is due to take power as Mexican president on Saturday, Dec. 1.


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