US-bound migrants detained in Mexico are being transported back to Guatemala as Mexican officials continue efforts to prevent President Donald Trump from imposing tariffs.
Government buses were seen crossing the international bridge between Mexico and Guatemala in Ciudad Hidalgo on Thursday carrying migrants who are being forced to return home to the countries they’d fled from.
The deportation came one day after a caravan with 1,000 people heading north to seek asylum in the US was intercepted by Mexican officials on a highway outside of Tapachula.
The Mexican government is fighting to contain the flow of illegal immigrants amid negotiations with the Trump administration to avoid the implementation of potentially catastrophic tariffs threatened by the president.
Mexico offered to send up to 6,000 members of its national guard to secure its southern border with Guatemala on Thursday – but Vice President Mike Pence says a deal is still not ready.
Pence led an initial round of negotiations in Washington on Wednesday, saying talks were positive but emphasizing the administration still wants Mexico to commit to working harder to combat illegal immigration.
‘We welcomed the efforts of the Mexican officials to offer solutions to the crisis at our southern border, but we need Mexico to do more,’ Pence said on Thursday.
The Washington Post reported that the United States has proposed deporting Guatemalan illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers to Mexico as part of a deal, but that part of a broader agreement is facing snags.
Trump wants to deport Central American asylum seekers to a third country, and to force them to apply for US asylum at the American embassy of the first ‘safe’ country they enter after leaving their own.