14:24 GMT +321 September 2019
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     In this March 2, 2019 file photo, a razor-wire-covered border wall separates the United States, at left, from Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz

    Mexican Foreign Minister Says Country Will Not Be Safe Third Country For Asylum Seekers

    © AP Photo / Charlie Riedel
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    Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard took to Twitter on Monday to stress that Mexico, per President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will not agree to being a safe third country for those seeking asylum.

    "I just heard statements from the CBP manager. I reiterate in the face of pressures: Mexico is not and will not accept being a safe third country, we have a mandate in that regard from the President of the Republic and it is a consensus in the Senate of all political forces. We will not accept it," Ebrard said in a translated tweet Monday afternoon. 

    Ebrard's statements came as a response to Acting US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan's Monday briefing at the White House. The CBP chief announced that, in the month of August alone, federal agents at the US-Mexico border prevented 64,000 individuals from crossing into the US. 

    This new estimate is down more than half from the 130,000-person peak in apprehensions the CBP reported for May. 

    Back in July, Guatemala and the US inked a safe third country asylum agreement that would allow the US to deport asylum-seeking migrants back to the first safe country they reached during their journey. Washington also envisioned the agreement as a way to limit the amount of asylum applicants coming from Central America. 

    When asked whether a similar deal was in the works with Mexico, Morgan told reporters that the US is "reaching across the aisle ... to come up with a cooperative agreement."

    Mexico has remained opposed to enacting such an agreement with the US and has asserted that its own immigration enforcement efforts, such as the ordering of 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border, have already had a significant impact. 

    Tags:
    asylum seeker, Donald Trump, Mark Morgan, Mexico
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