Photos of paper brandished by Trump suggest details of secret Mexico deal – Washington Examiner

President Trump taunted journalists with a one-page document Tuesday that he said contained a secret deal with Mexico that was too fragile to publicly unveil.

“You would freeze-action it, you would stop it, you would analyze it,” Trump told journalists as he left the White House for a trip to Iowa. “I’m going to let Mexico do the announcement at the right time.”

But journalists took photos of the folded paper in bright sunlight, illuminating several sections that hint at a deal including Mexico possibly accepting the return of Central American migrants seeking asylum.

Many passages of the page are written in conditional tense. Mexico has resisted designation as a “safe third” country, meaning it would absorb asylum-seekers, but the page indicates that may be required.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Only portions of the page were visible, and the context of the phrases that could be discerned was not necessarily clear.

This month, Trump threatened a 5% tariff against Mexico if it didn’t reduce migrant crossings. Over the weekend, the tariff was averted following negotiations in Washington. Mexico denied making a nonpublic deal, but said it would dispatch 6,000 troops to its southern border.

“That’s the agreement everyone says I don’t have,” Trump said Tuesday, waving the page of paper. “This is one page of a very long and very good agreement for both Mexico and the United States.”

On Monday, Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard contradicted Trump’s tweeted claim of a “fully signed and documented” agreement. Ebard expressed interest in a regional asylum agreement including Panama and Brazil, but said Mexico rebuffed a U.S. demand to accept the return of Central American asylum-seekers. He said, however, Mexico agreed to revisit the issue in 45 days.

The document held by Trump also states a time frame of 45 days, but uses stronger wording. The paper was dated Friday and appears to have been signed by representatives of the U.S. and Mexico. One image shows the document as stamped “Copy.”

Photos from journalists reveal the following sections of Trump’s paper:

“At a minimum … such agreement would include, consistent with each party’s domestic and international legal obligations, a commitment under which each party would accept the return and process refugee status claims, of third-party nationals who have crossed that party’s territory”

—Via Dan Froomkin, editor of White House Watch, and Mark Sumner, staff writer at Daily Kos

“Mexico also commits to immediately begin examining domestic laws and regulations with a view to identifying any changes that may be necessary to bring into force and implement such an agreement.

“If the United States determines, at its discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the Joint Declaration, that the measures adopted by the Government of Mexico pursuant to the Joint Declaration have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border of the United States, the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring that the agreement will enter into force within 45 days.”

—Via Jabin Botsford, Washington Post photographer, and AP Images/Washington Examiner


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