Trump accidentally reveals details of 'secret' Mexico immigration deal by waving document around

Press photographs allow reporters to read parts of agreement

Chris Stevenson
Wednesday 12 June 2019 16:54
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Donald Trump reveals 'secret' Mexico deal by waving around piece of paper

Donald Trump has managed to reveal elements of his "secret" immigration deal with Mexico, by waving a piece of A4 paper around in front of reporters.

While the president did not disclose any details from the plan, with Mexican officials having already spoken about most of the elements of the supposed confidential agreement, photographers managed to catch the document in the right light to make the text readable.

Mr Trump has made cutting the number of refugees and migrants a central pillar of his first term in office and had threatened to impose import duties of five per cent before a deal was reached. These tariffs were set to increase by five per cent a month until they hit 25 per cent in October, unless Mexico curbed the movement of Central American migrants towards the US.

Mexico signed a pact last week, agreeing to deploy 6,000 members of a new national guard along its border with Guatemala. The country’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Mexico also agreed to a 45-day timeline to show increased enforcement efforts were effective in reducing the number of people looking to cross the border.

If that fails, Mexico has agreed to consider a long-standing demand from Washington that Central American asylum seekers apply in Mexico, not the United States - with Mexico becoming a “safe third country”. Mexican officials have repeatedly rejected such a move.

The document suggests that if the US believes that the stronger border protections Mexico has implemented have “not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants” Mexico will have to take stronger legal action.

“Safe third country could be applied if we fail, and we accept what they say,” Mr Ebrard said on Tuesday evening. The foreign minister said that he believed other Latin American nations needed to share the burden of processing asylum claims.

The document that Mr Trump flashed in front of reporters laid out “a regional approach to burden-sharing in relation to the processing of refugee status claims to migrants”. It was dated 7 June 2019.

Mr Trump offered reporters little about the document's contents as he spoke to them with it in his hand.

“That’s the agreement that everybody says I don’t have,” he said.

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“This is one page of a very long and very good agreement for both Mexico and the United States,” he added.

Mr Trump said he would "love to" talk more about the details of the deal, many of which have been agreed in principle months ago. “But you will freeze action on it, you will stop it, you will analyse it, every single letter you'll see. But in here is the agreement.”

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