Pres. Trump thanks Mexican president, govt for agreement on immigration

Pres. Trump thanks Mexican president, govt for agreement on immigration”

Late on Friday, the United States and Mexico struck an accord to avert a tariff war when Mexico agreed to expand a contentious asylum program and deploy security forces to stem the flow of migrants from Central America.

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, mocked Trump's triumphant announcement of a deal to reduce illegal immigration. "Additionally, Mexico has reportedly agreed to a major overhaul of reasonable asylum protocols, which would require asylum applicants to seek permanent refuge in the first country they arrive in after fleeing their home countries", adds the article.

Trump also tweeted on Saturday that Mexico would immediately begin buying "large quantities" of agricultural goods from US farmers, who have been hit hard by his trade war with China and risked a new blow from Mexican retaliation if Trump had imposed tariffs. Mexico, will be obligated to provide them jobs, healthcare, and education.

Mexico pledged in a joint statement to take "unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration".

But he said the rest of the world needed a fallback plan if the United States decided not to abide by worldwide rules.

Earlier, Pelosi stressed that Trump's approach towards Mexico was wrong and dubbed the tariff threat policy "dangerous territory".

"Our position has not changed".

The United States slapped tariffs of up to 25 per cent on US$200 billion (S$272 billion) in Chinese imports last month, prompting Beijing to levy its own tariffs on US$60 billion in American goods. Through June 5, 10,393 mostly Central Americans have been sent back to Mexico since the program started in January.

From the moment Trump announced the tariff threat, observers wondered whether he would pull the trigger, noting his habit of creating problems and then claiming credit when he rushes in to solve them.

The program was challenged in court earlier this year by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other rights groups which say it puts asylum seekers in danger and violates USA and global law.

However, one of the main US demands - that Mexico agree to becoming a "safe third country" for asylum seekers - remained a key topic during Friday's talks, those monitoring the situation said. It was unclear, however, what - if anything - Mexico had changed. "It's not a way to meet the humanitarian needs at the border", Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing on Wednesday.

Trump in recent months has embraced tariffs as a political tool he can use to force countries to comply with his demands - in this case on his signature issue of immigration.

Mexican authorities prevented an additional "migrant caravan" originating in Central America from entering its borders this week; a gesture that could help future trade talks with the Trump administration.

Pence was among the administration officials involved in the talks while the president was in Europe.

This is an historic night!

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