http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/mexico-not-in-favor-of-trump-s-safe-third-country-agreement/article/554218

Mexico not in favor of Trump's safe-third-country agreement

Posted Jul 18, 2019 by Karen Graham
Mexico is not ready to sign a safe-third-country agreement with the Trump administration regarding asylum seekers at their shared border, the Mexican ambassador to the United States said on Thursday ahead of a Monday deadline.
Trump has staked his presidency on his insistence the US is being overrun by migrants and asylum-see...
Trump has staked his presidency on his insistence the US is being overrun by migrants and asylum-seekers, portraying them as a serious threat to national security
Sergio Flores, AFP/File
Speaking at an event in Washington on Thursday, Mexico's Ambassador to the United States Martha Barcena, said the U.S. must speed up its processing of asylum claims and that migrants cannot wait in Mexico for three years waiting for U.S. action, reports Reuters.
She also rejected the Trump administration's sweeping new asylum rules, announced on Monday that would bar most immigrants from applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border by requiring them to first pursue safe haven in a third country through which they had traveled on the way to the United States.
One of the big problems emerging is in Mexico's negotiations with the U.S. over the imposition of tariffs on Mexican exports. According to The Hill, to avoid the tariffs, Mexico would have to agree to a safe-third-country agreement.
As for Trump's new rules on asylum seekers, Barcena interprets them to mean that migrants would not be sent back to Mexico but to their countries of origin - and it appears that she is right.
The new rule, an amendment to the asylum rules already in force says: "an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum."
The new rule also specifically states that "In addition to establishing a new mandatory bar for asylum eligibility for aliens who enter or attempt to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection from persecution or torture in at least one third country through which they transited en route to the United States, this rule would also require asylum officers and immigration judges to apply this new bar on asylum eligibility when administering the credible-fear screening process applicable to stowaways and aliens who are subject to expedited removal under section 235(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act."
Migrants being detained by Department of Homeland Security officials in June 2019 after crossing int...
Migrants being detained by Department of Homeland Security officials in June 2019 after crossing into the United States from Mexico: a new rule announced by the White House Monday says most migrants will be automatically ineligble for asylum
MARIO TAMA, GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File
Is Mexico a "Safe-third-Country?"
Safe country status and asylum law, in general, is based on several United Nations conventions regulating the movement of people. One of those conventions states that asylum-seekers should not be returned to a country where their safety would be in jeopardy.
The only way the U.S. could get by with refusing to take in asylum seekers at our southern border would be "to have a “bilateral or multilateral agreement” in place with a third country.
Herein lies the problem - The Women's Refugee Commission states that Mexico is clearly not a safe, or in many cases viable, alternative for many refugees and vulnerable migrants seeking international protection.
A girl waits to be given asylum or a humanitary visa at the immigration office on the Mexico-Guatema...
A girl waits to be given asylum or a humanitary visa at the immigration office on the Mexico-Guatemala international bridge in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas State, Mexico June 6, 2019
PEDRO PARDO, AFP/File
Each month Mexico's Secretariado Ejecutivo del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública publishes crime information on its website. The data shows that 8,493 people were murdered in Mexico from January 1, 2019, to March 31, 2019. What is particularly worrisome is that in 2018, Mexico had the highest murder rate since the country began keeping records of homicides.
The figures contradict statements by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had said the murder rate had not risen since he took office, according to the BBC. However, with drug cartels taking over towns and cities and even infiltrating police forces, Mexico can be a scary place for an immigrant mother and her children.
Additionally, President Obrador's government slashed immigration and refugee budgets for 2019, leaving the country's refugee agency with less than $1 million for the year. This situation "leaves many migrants arbitrarily detained in poor conditions in processing facilities upon apprehension,” reads the report on Mexico's refugee capacity.
CBC Canada is reporting that Monday is the deadline set by Trump last month to negotiate the third country agreement if Mexico did not do enough to stem flow of certain migrants to the United States.