19:11 GMT29 March 2020
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    The Mexican Interior Minister underscored that no concrete deal has yet been concluded.

    The US and Mexico have reportedly reached an agreement to keep poor migrants on Mexican soil while the US judicial system processes their applications, the Washington Post reported Saturday. The newspaper quoted Olga Sanchez Cordero, the Interior Minister for the incoming administration of Mexican President Lopez Obrador, which will take over the country's governance December 1.

    "For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico," the newspaper quoted Cordero as saying. Speaking in an interview, she called it a "short-term solution."

    "The medium- and long-term solution is that people don't migrate," she said. "Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine, one caravan after another after another, that would also be a problem for us."

    No formal agreement has been signed and US officials cautioned that many details must still be discussed, Washington Post report reads.

    Later the minister rebuked reports that a deal had been reached.

    "There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the US government," she said later, according to AP report.

    According to the report, Cordero said that the incoming government's principal concern for migrants is their well-being while they are in Mexico.

    A Reuters report quoted Cordero saying that a plan for Mexico to be a safe third country for asylum claimants in the US was "ruled out," and that ongoing talks about migrants are "very delicate."

    The administration of US President Donald Trump believes that the deal could act as a powerful deterrent to migration and the creation of additional caravans coming from Central America across Mexico and attempting to seek asylum in the United States.

    Mexican authorities are now forced to choose between keeping thousands of migrants at the border, all the while the country struggles with drug cartels and other organized crime, or US closing the border, cutting off cargo transport and trade. Meanwhile, the migrant caravan has already sparked protests in the border city of Tijuana, as more migrants flow in.

    Local protests against homeless Central American migrants flooded the border city with banners saying "Out Hondurans, we don't want you here", "Tijuana first" and "Long live Mexico", as well as "no to the invasion" and "no more migrants."


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    migrant caravan, deal, migrants, Mexican Interior Ministry, Olga Sanchez Cordero, Mexico, United States
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