Trump: ‘All’ Asylum Seekers ‘Will Stay in Mexico’ Until Judge Approves Individual Claims

Negotiations ongoing with the Mexican government

Honduran migrants take part in a caravan towards the United States in Chiquimula, Guatemala. AFP/Getty Images
November 25, 2018

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his administration is making a deal with Mexico to keep asylum seekers at America's southern border in Mexico.

According to the Washington Post, the two countries are in negotiations for a deal, and it appears to have momentum in light of the crisis over a migrant caravan arriving at the U.S. border. Trump has vowed to resist this attempt at forced migration by refusing to admit border crossers into the country via the "catch and release" policy, in which detained migrants are released and given a court date for their claims.

Trump stated categorically that they would not be allowed in until a judge approves their claims.

"Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court," Trump wrote Saturday. "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.," he added. "All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!"

Sunday morning, Trump tweeted again to say south and central American countries are to blame for letting caravans such as this one to form in the first place.

"Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!" Trump wrote.

Asylum claims have quadrupled since 2014 as Trump has called for and enacted stricter security measures at the border. Kimberly Breier, a senior State Department official dealing with Latin American issues, said negotiations about keeping migrants in Mexico are being held with mutual respect and cooperation.

"Our engagement with Mexico is, first and foremost, based on mutual respect and on a commitment to work together to find creative solutions to our shared challenges," Breier said.

"As neighbors and friends, the United States and Mexico are committed to strengthening cooperation to advance the security and economic well-being of the citizens of both nations based on shared interests and respect for each country’s sovereignty and the rule of law," Breier said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mexico claims its own asylum system is overwhelmed, with most of the migrants coming through their own southern border, including this caravan. White House statements say Trump has a productive relationship with the incoming Lopez-Obrador administration, and Mexican officials have said migrant caravans are a problem requiring serious attention.

Incoming interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero said a deal to keep asylum seekers in Mexico would be a "short-term solution."

"The medium- and long-term solution is that people don’t migrate," Sanchez Cordero said. "Mexico has open arms and everything, but imagine one caravan after another after another. That would also be a problem for us."