Hours after the Washington Post reported that the Trump White House and the incoming administration of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) cut a deal to keep asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims are processed by the US, Mexican government officials on Saturday straightforwardly denied that any such agreement has been reached.
“There is no agreement of any kind between the future federal government of Mexico and the United States of America,” future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez told NBC News. “The new government will begin its mandate on December 1.”
Jesus Ramirez Cuevas, a spokesperson for AMLO, also denied that the incoming government has reached a deal with the Trump administration.
The future Mexican government’s insistence that there is no agreement with the US came as President Donald Trump appeared to address the reported deal on Twitter, writing, “Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court.”
“All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will close our Southern Border,” Trump added.
While the precise terms of the plan reported by the Post remain unclear, Alison Parker—the director of US programs at Human Rights Watch—decried the broad scope of the Trump administration’s attempted policy change as “a pathetic attempt by the US to shirk responsibility” for providing refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution that has often been sparked by American foreign policy.
“With this new policy, once again the US has started a race to the bottom when it comes to human rights,” Parker continued. “This is likely to push people fleeing for their lives into riskier attempts to find safety, including using criminal human smugglers who will gain power under this new policy.”