U.S. official tells Mexico there will be 'no mass deportations'

"If we are not given a meeting with Secretary Tillerson we will deliver a letter to the U. S. Embassy at 2 pm on Thursday, February 23, and will hold a quiet and respectful demonstration on the public space in front of the embassy".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are making the trip to Mexico to discuss a range of issues important to both countries, such as counterterrorism and trade. Even with what USA officials say are aggressive interdiction efforts by Mexican authorities, the Border Patrol detained more than 220,000 mainly Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans crossing from Mexico into the United States in the fiscal year ending last fall, exceeding the number of Mexicans apprehended, which has fallen to a 45-year low.

Members of Mexico's leading left opposition party, the Democratic Revolution, said that both Tillerson and Kelly were not welcome on Mexican soil and called for President Peña Nieto to boycott his meeting with them.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said his country could not "accept unilateral decisions imposed by one government on another".

Victor Clark, director of Tijuana's Binational Center for Human Rights, said Mexico can simply refuse to accept non-Mexican deportees.

He hinted that Mexico might seek to challenge Trump's move at the United Nations or in other worldwide bodies.

Washington has tried to downplay the tensions, which follow arguments between the United States and Mexico over Trump's vow to build a wall on the border and his attempts to browbeat Mexico into giving concessions on trade. Reporters were given an official briefing ahead of the trip on condition that officials weren't quoted by name.

Now, the bigger problem is a surge of non-Mexicans from the Western Hemisphere who enter Mexico then travel north to reach the U.S.

MORE: Mexicans worry: Will they become the third-wheel Amigo?

Documents show the new immigration guidelines would include directing authorities to publicise the crimes of undocumented immigrants, create new detention facilities and use local police to enforce immigration laws in a bid to speed up deportations, the New York Times reported. The number of Mexicans crossing the border illegally has dropped to a 40-year low, according to the Wilson Center.

But this figure is not limited to illegal immigrants, and includes people from other countries living in the USA legally - green card holders, for instance - who could still be sent home for breaking the law.

"The President has directed the heads of all executive departments to identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico". The new chief at the State Department must try to smooth over relations in the face of outright anger at his boss's new immigration rules. Vice-President Mike Pence and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis have previously filled the role, facing foreign leaders who've struggled to reconcile their rhetoric of reassurance with the declarations of disruption from Trump and some of his senior envoys.

He said President Trump's sweeping immigration reforms could be harmful to Mexico and its people.

Anti-Trump protests have erupted. They're scheduled to meet with Pena Nieto and staff at the US embassy later on Thursday. President Trump says he will tax most of those imports in order to pay for a border wall.

Mike Pence, the vice-president, and Mr Tillerson last week reassured Europe that Washington was committed to its European allies, raising hopes that the USA administration would pivot to a more traditional Republican foreign policy approach.

  • Leroy Wright