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Mexico is not a migrant “waiting room” for US, interior minister says

Mexico City (dpa) – Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico’s interior minister said Friday.

“We can receive only those who ask for refuge in Mexico,” Interior  Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said in an interview with Radio Formula.

“We can’t be a waiting room for those who want to get to the US,”  Osorio Chong added.

New guidelines from the US Department of Homeland Security provide that deported immigrants be sent to Mexico until their cases are  decided. Mexico does not want and can not accept migrants from Central America, Osorio Chong said.

Tens of thousands of people from the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras travel through Mexico to try to enter the United States every year. Mexico and the US have in the past worked closely together to combat illegal migration.

“We will have to reject them. There is no possibility that they can be received by Mexico,” he said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Home Secretary John Kelly traveled to Mexico for talks on Thursday. Despite a conciliatory tone, both sides remained firm on their differences, particularly on the topic of migration.

An estimated 5.8 million Mexicans were living without authorization in the US in 2014, the Pew Research Center estimates. In recent years net immigration from Mexico has been negative, with more Mexicans
returning to Mexico than migrating to the US.

– DPA reporter

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