August 23, 2019 / 1:02 AM / 3 months ago

Mexico again rejects 'safe third country' proposal by U.S. on migration

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico reiterated its opposition to becoming a safe third country for asylum seekers, with the foreign minister on Thursday endorsing the senate leader’s declaration that the legislature would never pass the measure requested by the United States.

Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a tweet that he welcomed the senate’s “rejection of the safe third country proposal made by the United States last June.”

He had previously said the plan was unnecessary because Mexico had reduced migration at the U.S. southern border after the two countries struck a deal in June.

Ricardo Monreal, the Senate leader of the president’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), said in a letter to Ebrard dated Wednesday that lawmakers had resolved to block a possible proposal, which would need Senate approval to be implemented.

A safe third country agreement would in theory force asylum seekers from Central America, who make up a large part of migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, to seek refuge in Mexico.

“Mexico is not a country that meets the necessary characteristics,” Monreal said.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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