Mexico’s incoming socialist government has agreed to a deal where asylum seekers at the U.S. border will wait in Mexico while their cases are considered by U.S. courts.
This deal gives the Trump administration the ammunition it needs to keep its promise: No migrants will enter the U.S. illegally. It disappoints open borders advocates who have used federal courts to thwart Trump’s policy of no admission and blanket denials of asylum.
It ends the recurring predictions of a bloodbath at the border, after the president indicated he authorized “lethal force” to prevent a mad rush of migrants to cross the border illegally.
I love it when common sense wins.
The agreement would break with long-standing asylum rules and place a formidable new barrier in the path of Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States and escape poverty and violence. By reaching the accord, the Trump administration has also overcome Mexico’s historic reticence to deepen cooperation with the United States on an issue widely seen here as America’s problem.
Mexico’s government has long been little more than a bystander in the decades-long migration chain from central American countries to the U.S. Trump’s rhetoric, while bombastic and frequently relying on falsehoods to support his points, has motivated Mexico to finally “do something.”
It has also publicly shown what world leaders have known for years: Mexico is incapable of policing its own borders. It could not keep the caravan from entering and crossing its own territory. It could not provide for the migrants while they transited through the country. It could do little to stop the migrants from reaching the U.S. border.
But it can agree to let those migrants remain in Mexico while the U.S. takes the appropriate legal steps to process each asylum request. In fact, this deal is a win-win for both Mexico and the U.S. because it recognizes common sense truths and plays to both countries’ strengths and their shared business interests.
Just over the border, nearly 5,000 Central Americans have arrived in Tijuana this month as part of caravan groups, and several thousand others are en route to the city, where a baseball field has been turned into a swelling tent camp. The city’s mayor declared a “humanitarian crisis” Friday and said the city’s taxpayers would not foot the bill for the migrants’ care.
A group of business leaders in the city said they have thousands of job openings at the city’s assembly plants, or maquiladoras, inviting Central American migrants to work in the factories. Though wages there are a small fraction of U.S. pay, Mexican officials said the work offer was one reason they believe the Remain in Mexico plan will succeed. Across the country, there are 100,000 jobs available to Central American asylum seekers, officials said.
“We want them to be included in society, that they integrate into society, that they accept the offer of employment that we are giving them,” Sánchez Cordero said. “That they feel taken care of by Mexico in this very vulnerable situation.”
If the deal works, it shows that the Trump administration is capable of groundbreaking deals in international cooperation, blunting attacks of “America first” being primarily a blood-and-soil movement that ignores the plight of others outside our borders. It also shows that other nations can sometimes do for themselves and not rely on Daddy America as the be-all-end-all of jobs and opportunities.
For years, asylum seekers would first enter the U.S., then hang around while their cases (which can take years in the 750,000 case backlog) are waiting to be heard. In that time, they live, work, and have families in the U.S., further adding to the crisis of illegal aliens.
As the border has allowed less (legal) asylum seekers in, Mexico has become what WaPo has called an “antechamber.” Formal acknowledgement of this condition while closing what DHS has called a “loophole” promoting spurious asylum claims along with illegal border crossing, is really a common sense deal that has been needed for years.
The deal nakedly exposes many open borders advocates as cynics who really want more migrants inflating American voting booths for liberal causes.
It also cements an already “friendly, very courteous, very cordial” relationship with incoming Mexican President López Obrador by Trump.
Beginning with the San Diego border crossing, migrants who cross the border and assert asylum will be given an assessment at a federal courthouse, then taken back to Mexico. If their claim is denied, they will be taken into U.S. custody and deported to their country of origin.
If these migrants can earn money at Mexican factories while they wait, it’s a good deal all around.
Trump and his dealmakers deserve credit for doing what others have not done. As I said, I love it when common sense wins.