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Mexican Delegation to U.S. Insists That Only Economic Development Can Deal with Migration Crisis

June 3, 2019 (EIRNS)—Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that he intended to slap tariffs on Mexican imports, unless Mexico acted to stop the flow of migrants to the U.S. border, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador deployed a high-powered diplomatic team to Washington, headed by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, to meet with Trump Administration officials and seek a solution involving joint collaboration and a “common vision” for regional economic development, not punitive actions.

Early this morning, after President Trump’s tweets yesterday criticizing the plan to send the delegation, Ebrard held a press conference at the Mexican Embassy to outline Mexico’s position. He and his colleagues emphasized that the only reasonable approach to the migration crisis is to ensure implementation of the economic development program that the Mexican government described last December and presented formally on May 20, for southern Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle, of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Ebrard and his colleagues also warned of the losses that would ensue to U.S. and Mexican producers should tariffs be imposed. Imposing tariffs, combined with cancellation of U.S. aid programs to Central America, will be counterproductive “and will not reduce the flow of migrants,” he stated. On the contrary, these measures will cause “financial instability,” and reduce Mexico’s ability to deal with migratory flows “or offer alternatives to the new migrants.” The flow of migrants to the U.S. comes primarily from Central America, not from Mexico, he explained, reporting that from last December to May of this year, Mexico detained 80,537 people and returned them to their homelands, mostly to the Northern Triangle countries. These actions were done at significant financial cost, he said, as Mexico supplies migrants with shelter, food, transportation, and medical care.

“We’re here in the U.S. not just to talk,” he explained, “but to outline successful measures.... Mexico is prepared to work with the U.S. to deal with problems of common interest. We have faith in dialogue and in policy as an instrument to avoid a costly and unnecessary confrontation. We believe our nations can arrive at an agreement on how to deal with an issue, in which we have different approaches. There are no limits except those delineated by the Mexican Constitution and by a defense of Mexico’s dignity,” he said.

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