Mexico says migration reduction pledge was fulfilled before deadline


Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks during a news conference about the ongoing trade negotiations with the U.S. at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, US, June 4, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico has followed through on its commitment to the US to reduce migration from Central America, as the deadline in a bilateral pact approaches. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Mexico City to discuss migration and trade with Ebrard on Sunday, a day before the end of a 45-day period in which the Mexican government pledged to significantly lower the number of people trying to cross the US border illegally. 

Mexico struck the deal in June to avert punitive trade tariffs. Under the deal, if the US deems that Mexico has not done enough, the two countries will begin talks over changing rules to make most asylum seekers apply for refuge in Mexico, not the United States. 

Mexico has long resisted US pressure to accept this "safe third country" status. 

The number of apprehensions of migrants on the southern US border dropped by roughly a third to about 100,000 in June, after Mexico deployed some 21,000 militarized National Guard police to stem the flows. 

"We have complied (with the deal), so I don't see a problem," Ebrard said. 

Speaking to reporters in El Salvador, Ebrard also said Mexico had fulfilled its pledge to support economic development in Central America. He questioned whether the US had kept up its end of the bargain, however.