Mexico insists that it will not accept citizens of other Latin American countries deported by the U.S. The warning followed a statement earlier in the week from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that it planned to send undocumented aliens from other Central and South American countries to Mexico.
“We have made it very clear that we are not going to receive residents of other countries across our border,” Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio told Mexican Radio Formula on Friday. “We will only accept our own citizens.”
Earlier, Osorio had delivered the message directly to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who are visiting Mexico City.
On Tuesday, Kelly said that the U.S. expected both Mexico and Canada to assist it in deportations of citizens other than their own, saying the U.S. might impose sanctions if they refused to receive deportees.
Like Mexico, Canada also refused Kelly’s offer.
Osorio said that Mexico is already housing some 3,500 Haitians and Africans deported by the U.S. under an arrangement with former U.S. President Barack Obamba. “We told President Obama that we would not accept more and we are now telling the agents for President (Donald) Trump the same thing.”
Kelly’s and Tillerson’s day-and-a-half visit to Mexico was intended to relax tensions with Mexico but it is doubtful that it met its objective. On Wednesday, Trump commented that the “bad guys from Mexico” would be sent back to Mexico, which was widely reported and ridiculed in the Mexican news media. During Friday’s meetings, Kelly tried to tone down the rhetoric by assuring Mexico that there will be no mass deportations.
Said Osorio, “There will be no acceptance of refugees from other countries just like there will be no money from Mexico to build a wall. We have been quite clear about this.”