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Mexican president wants to ‘bring order’ to Central American migration to U.S

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By Dave Graham

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will assist to control the movement of Central American migrants passing by its territory to the US, however the root causes behind the phenomenon should be tackled, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned on Monday.

Talking after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to shut the U.S. southern border if Mexico didn’t halt unlawful immigration instantly, Lopez Obrador mentioned he wouldn’t have a confrontation with the US.

“I choose love and peace,” Lopez Obrador instructed reporters at his common morning information convention.

The leftist president has persistently refused to get drawn right into a disagreement with Trump over the border.

A senior Mexican commerce official warned in a while Monday that closing down the U.S.-Mexico border would trigger ache on “each side.”

The general public caught on the frontier making an attempt to enter the US illegally come from three violent and impoverished international locations: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Lopez Obrador has tried to steer Trump to deal with the issue by fostering financial improvement in Central America. However on Saturday the U.S. State Division mentioned it was slicing off assist to these three international locations.

Mexico started issuing short-term humanitarian visas to some members of a migrant caravan in southern Mexico, giving precedence to youngsters and the aged, the Nationwide Migration Institute mentioned Monday. It mentioned it might present transport again to Central American international locations, Cuba and Haiti, on a voluntary foundation.

Earlier this yr, Mexico handed out humanitarian visas liberally, however reined in this system after a surge in purposes. The institute mentioned from subsequent month it was planning to encourage folks to use for visas of their residence international locations.

It was not instantly clear if the federal government was limiting the variety of visas it points.

Detentions on the U.S. border have surged in current months, angering Trump and placing stress on Lopez Obrador to discover a resolution that can stop a shutdown of the frontier to the marketplace for 80 % of Mexico’s exports.

Requested if it was time to place stress on the Central American international locations to do extra to sort out the issue, Lopez Obrador mentioned the causes of migration have been “not being attended to” and that folks wanted to be supplied extra alternatives there.

“Clearly, we’ve to assist as a result of Central American migrants cross by our territory and we’ve to deliver order to this migration, make sure that it is authorized,” Lopez Obrador mentioned.

“That is what we’re doing. However serenely, calmly, with no commotion and with nice prudence and duty.”

U.S. CONGRESS MUST APPROVE

It shortly turned clear that any plan to chop assist to Central America would face robust objections from members of the U.S. Congress, who should approve Trump’s plan for it to turn into efficient.

Considered one of his fellow Republicans, Consultant Mike McCaul, the highest Republican on the Home of Representatives International Affairs Committee, mentioned slicing assist would make the scenario worse, not higher. “If we minimize all this funding … I believe it may make issues tragically worse, not higher,” he mentioned throughout a presentation at a suppose tank in Washington.

Placing a cease to help to Central America solely made the job of stemming the movement of migrants more durable, mentioned Senator Ben Cardin, a senior Democrat on the Senate International Relations Committee.

“And shutting the border – that is mindless in any respect,” he instructed CNN. “We’d like Mexico’s cooperation to work with us, and slicing off the border simply tells Mexico: ‘We’re doing it alone’.”

Closing the border might disrupt thousands and thousands of authorized crossings and billions of {dollars} in commerce.

“Interrupting commerce might have a adverse influence on the economies on each side of the border. The border is dynamic, on a regular basis thousands and thousands of individuals cross the border and 70 % of the commerce between Mexico and the US is finished over land,” mentioned Mexican Deputy Economic system Minister Luz Maria de la Mora.

U.S. Border Patrol projections are for over 90,000 apprehensions on the border throughout March, in response to information offered to the Mexican authorities – a greater than 140 % improve from March 2018, and a seven-fold bounce from 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the US was working with the Central American governments and Mexico to “resolve this drawback on the border,” and pointed to the numbers when requested why Trump had toughened his stance.

“Simply have a look at the maths,” Pompeo instructed reporters exterior the U.S. Military Warfare Faculty in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “What number of of us are coming throughout. This can be a disaster. We have to repair it.”

(Reporting by Dave Graham in Mexico Metropolis; Further reporting by Sharay Angulo in Mexico Metropolis and Lesley Wroughton, Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; enhancing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)

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