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The US-Mexico Deal Wasn't Quite What It Seemed, Officials Say

Apparently most of it was struck months ago
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – Turns out Friday's big immigration deal between the US and Mexico—or at least most of it—had already been struck over the past few months, officials on both sides tell the New York Times. The new agreement states that Mexico will deploy "its National Guard throughout Mexico" to stop migrants, but Mexico made that promise to Kirstjen Nielsen, former secretary of homeland security, back in March. The agreement also expands a program for asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting US legal confirmation, but that was struck in December and announced by Nielsen five days before Christmas. In the latest negotiations, US officials failed to add that America can reject asylum seekers if they hadn't first tried refuge in Mexico.

"Everyone very excited about the new deal with Mexico!" Trump tweeted Saturday, thanking everyone involved "for working so long and hard to get our agreement on immigration completed!" But if the Times is right, the deal is really about bigger promises from Mexico after earlier ones didn't satisfy. Mexico is now pledging up to 6,000 national guard troops to curb migrants (more than before) and to let America send back migrants along the full US border, not just from three busy ports of entry. "We'll see if it works," Trump told his people in a Friday phone call. Some US officials tell the Times they're skeptical, but Mexican business leaders expressed great relief at averting Trump's tariffs, per the Wall Street Journal. (Read more immigration stories.)

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