We all know that Mexico will never pay for a border wall, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s insistence that it will eventually.
Now the tables seemed to have turned. The New York Times reported this week that the Trump administration is ready to pay Mexico to deport illegal migrants.
“In a recent notice sent to Congress, the administration said it intended to take US$20 million in foreign assistance funds and use it to help Mexico pay plane and bus fare to deport as many as 17,000 people who are in that country illegally,” the Times said Thursday.
According to several sources, including CNN, officials from the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security briefed congressional staff about the plan this week. It is not known whether the Trump administration has discussed the arrangement with Mexican government officials, although the news reports surfaced just a day after Mexico’s Foreign Secretary, Luis Videgary met with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
In their reporting, U.S. media outlets reference a notification that the State Department sent to Congress which mentioned the transference of funds to Department of Homeland Security to “help the (government of Mexico) address, and potentially deter, irregular migrant flows, which will help keep illegal immigrants from entering into the United States through the southwest border.”
There was no immediate reaction from the Mexican government Thursday, but Olga Sanchez Cordero, tapped to be interior minister in president-elect Manuel Lopez Obrador’s cabinet, told reporters in Mexico that this country “under no circumstance” would carry out any policing duties for the United States. She said the subject of deporting Central Americans back to their countries of origin using U.S. funds had never been discussed during the preliminary talks held between Lopez Obrador’s transition team and U.S. authorities.
Critics in the United States said the move to pay Mexico to deport its illegal immigrants is an act of desperation and proves that the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy is having little or no effect.
This appears to be backed up by statistics released by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency showing that the number of immigrant “family units” apprehended while attempting to enter the United States through its southern border soared to 12,774 in August, up from 9,247 in July.
Trump has frequently slammed Mexico’s “porous” southern border and accused this country of doing nothing to prevent Central Americans from entering and heading north to the United States.