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‘No agreement of any type’: Mexican minister torpedoes Trump claim on deal to overhaul asylum rules

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Mexico’s incoming interior minister said on Saturday there was “no agreement of any type between the future government of Mexico and the United States” that will require asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts.

Olga Sanchez Cordero, also the top domestic policy official for president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who takes office on Dec. 1, ruled out that Mexico would be declared a “safe third country” for asylum claimants, following a Washington Post report of a deal with the Trump administration known as “Remain in Mexico,” which quoted her calling it a “short-term solution.”

The plan, according to the newspaper, foresees migrants staying in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are being processed, potentially ending a system President Donald Trump decries as “catch and release” that has until now often allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer U.S. soil.

“Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No “Releasing” into the U.S.,” Trump said in a tweet late Saturday that also threatened to close the U.S. southern border if necessary.

Sanchez, who said the situation of migrant caravans was “very delicate,” did not explicitly rule out that Mexico could keep caravan migrants on its soil while their U.S. asylum claims are processed. But she told Reuters that plans to assume “safe third country” status were “ruled out.”

If Mexico were to assume “safe third country” status, asylum seekers would be required to claim refugee status in Mexico rather than the United States.

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Migration activists have long argued that Mexico does not have the security conditions to offer safe haven for migrants feeling violence in Central America.

The article cited Mexican officials and senior members of Lopez Obrador’s transition team and said the deal would break with long-standing asylum rules and mount a new obstacle to Central American migrants attempting to seek refuge in the United States from poverty and violence.

Alison Leal Parker, U.S. managing director for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights organization, said the plan was “a pathetic attempt by the United States to shirk responsibility. Central Americans have faced serious harm in Mexico.”

The effect, Parker said, would likely “push people fleeing for (their) lives into riskier attempts to find safety, including using criminal human smugglers who will gain power under this new policy.”

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Reached for comment by Reuters, incoming deputy interior minister Zoe Robledo said details of the “Remain in Mexico” scheme were still being worked out.

“What we’re aiming for is that people leaving their countries due to security issues or violence can find a place to stay in Mexico if that is their decision,” Robledo said.

Robledo said the incoming government wanted to find jobs for Central American migrants in sectors that are short-staffed, such as maquila assembly plants.

Lopez Obrador has vowed to try to eliminate the causes of migration by creating more jobs and improving living conditions in Mexico and Central America.

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In exchange, he hopes Trump and the Canadian government will agree to help spur economic development in the region.

Outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto has also sought to stem the flow of migrants north by offering jobs to them, and has received backing from the private sector in his efforts.

There was no immediate comment from the White House on the deal that the Washington Post said took shape last week in Houston during a meeting between Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s incoming foreign minister, and top U.S. officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Without confirming the deal, James McCament, Homeland Security’s Acting Under Secretary for Policy, said the U.S. government has been working since the Mexican elections with its current and incoming Mexican counterparts on trade, border policy and other issues.

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“We appreciate the leadership and partnership the Mexican government has shown,” McCament said.

Trump has been seeking to block thousands of Central Americans traveling in caravans from entering the United States, and has ordered that immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico are ineligible for asylum.

That order has been temporary suspended by a U.S. judge.

Reporting by Diego Ore; additional reporting by Dave Graham and Delphine Schrank in Mexico City and Lucia Mutikani and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown and Marguerita Choy

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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‘White woman problems’: Twitter stomps ‘lifestyle guru’ after she goes berserk over checkout glitch at Target

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A self-described "lifestyle guru" and TV host is coming under fire after she raged on Twitter about problems purchasing items at Target.

In a tweet on Saturday, Meaghan Mooney demanded Target "make good" after she was not able to immediately purchase a cart filled with goods.

"I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY???" Mooney wrote. "And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?!"

Hey @Target — I just filled my l cart w/ hundreds of $ of merch I need TODAY, but REGISTERS ARE DOWN GLOBALLY??? And NOW after I begging your staff to put my items on hold, I only have till EOD?? 1 inconvenience after the next. How will you be making good w us consumers?! #Target pic.twitter.com/4KQTtdNv0M

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MSNBC guest ridicules Trump-fan Steve Cortes as possible Sarah Sanders replacement: ‘He’s a nut — have you seen him on TV?’

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Discussing the departure of Donald Trump's spokesperson Sarah Sanders from the White House, an MSNBC panel surveyed her possible replacements with one ridiculed for his appearances on TV defending the president.

Speaking with "AM Joy" fill-in host Jonathan Capehart, The Beat DC editor Tiffany Cross shot former Trump associate Stever Cortes -- a regular on CNN -- down as a possible candidate.

"There are names that are out there," Capehart suggested. "[Meliania Trump spokesperson] Stephanie Grisham and Hogan Gidley and Steve Cortes."

Pointing out that Grisham is the most likely contender, and the Trump would probably prefer a woman, Cross called out Cortes for his TV appearances.

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2020 Election

Can at least half the 2020 Democrats please quit right now?

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OK, Democrats — you’ve had your fun. You grew up being told that everybody could run for president, and then everybody did. Except that this mad anthill scramble of presidential candidates, which resembles a bunch of kindergarteners descending on not enough cookies, really hasn’t been fun so far. All you’ve managed to do is put the fear of God — or the fear of the other guy, more like — into the voters, provoking widespread PTSD flashbacks to November 2016.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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