Trump holds up the agreement for reporters on Tuesday. Trump holds up the agreement for reporters on Tuesday.

Foreign Secretary Ebrard reveals Trump’s ‘secret agreement’

Mexico has 45 days to limit the flow of undocumented migrants or a safe third country accord will be negotiated

The so-called “secret” deal that Mexico reached with the United States as part of the new migration agreement — part of which was unintentionally revealed by President Donald Trump this week — was released yesterday by the federal government.

During an appearance in the Senate, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard gave lawmakers copies of the one-page “supplementary agreement,” which states that Mexico will take “all necessary steps under domestic law” to implement a safe third country agreement if the United States decides that measures to stem migration flows are not achieving the desired results.

The deadline is the third week in July.

As part of the June 7 bilateral agreement that ended Trump’s tariff threat, Mexico committed to deploying 6,000 National Guard troops to the southern border and agreed to the return of a greater number of asylum-seekers as they await the outcome of their claims in the United States.

Ebrard denied again yesterday that Mexico had entered into a secret agreement, telling senators that there was no commitment that he hadn’t already informed them about.

He said that discussions with the United States about the possible implementation of a safe third country agreement will begin after the expiry of the 45-day period.

However, the document states that the “United States and Mexico will immediately begin discussions to establish definitive terms for a binding bilateral agreement to further address burden-sharing and the assignment of responsibility for processing refugee status claims of migrants.”

“At a minimum, such agreement would include, consistent with each party’s domestic and international legal obligations, a commitment under which each party would accept the return, and process refugee status claims, of third-party nationals who have crossed that party’s territory to arrive at a port of entry or between ports of entry of the other party.”

The release of the document confirms what was already inferred from a photograph of part of the agreement’s text that was taken by a photographer on Tuesday as President Trump held it up before reporters.

On Monday, he tweeted about the unrevealed pact, writing that if “approval is not forthcoming, tariffs will be reinstated!”

After the release of the full text of the agreement, federal National Action Party Deputy Laura Rojas said there were still unanswered questions with regard to how much Mexico will have to reduce migration flows in order to avoid having to enter into a safe third country agreement, which the government had previously ruled out.

“The only thing that’s clear is the period of 45 days but we don’t know anything else. It’s them [the United States] who are going to set the parameters . . . Are they already agreed to or not? We don’t know that.”

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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