The Trump Administration proposed to Congress to use $20 million of foreign assistance funds to help Mexico finance the transportation and deportation process of at least 17,000 people who are in its territory illegally.
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“This proposal is part of a multidisciplinary effort to tackle the crisis on our southern border,” said U.S. spokeswoman Katie Waldman.
The initiative comes after National Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met Wednesday with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray in Washington, as reported by the Latin American country’s diplomacy on Twitter.
The Mexican government says it “continues evaluating” the U.S. offer to pay for returning foreign migrants in Mexico to their home countries.
Mexico’s Interior Department says no agreement has been reached on the offer, which apparently would help take mainly Central American migrants back to their homes. Many use Mexico as a base to attempt crossing the U.S. border.
The department did not specify how much the U.S. government has offered. It said only that the government is “evaluating the proposal according to applicable laws, and in accordance with the priorities of Mexico’s own immigration policies.”
The department added Thursday: “The Mexican government has not accepted this proposal either verbally or in writing.”
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In a statement, the director of the non-profit organization National Forum of Immigration, Ali Noorani, considered that the proposal “is not political, it is desperation.”
In the first seven months of 2018, Mexico deported more than 57,000 Central Americans, mainly by bus.