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Mexico Negotiates With President Trump, Works to End Catch-And-Release

Over two years ago, New York businessman Donald Trump ran for the U.S. presidency with the proposal of a Mexican-financed border wall as a fixture of his platform.

While the now-president's pursuit of the border wall has faltered in binational negotiations and on Capitol Hill, on Saturday, Trump inched one step closer to fulfilling his central promise.

Trump with a border wall prototype

Amid border chaos induced by the flood of 5,000 migrants from Central America, the Trump administration declared that asylum requesters are to remain in Mexico until their claims are approved.

This plan would end catch-and-release, the disastrous policy under which applicants are allowed to stay in the United States as their asylum cases are considered.

Catch-and-release is called "catch-and-run" by border patrol, and for good reason: According to a report published by the Heritage Foundation, "No courts have higher failure-to-appear rates by defendants than U.S. immigration courts."

Essentially, migrants enter the U.S. under the pretenses of asylum and remain (even if their claims are rejected or they don't even show up for court), inherently disadvantaging immigrants who enter legally.

The catch-and-release policy's gaping loopholes present a public safety hazard. Also according to Heritage's report, "Among the aliens who disappeared and never showed up for court are more than 3,000 aliens from countries that the State Department says are involved in terrorism or have activist terrorist organizations."


Ending the failed policy of catch-and-release was a longstanding component of the Trump administration plan for combatting illegal immigration, but the open question was whether Mexico would sign on.

The matter has since been settled in President Trump's favor.

Incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a left-wing populist, approved Trump's plan to prevent asylum seekers from entering the U.S., showing that he also wants to fix the out-of-control state of illegal immigration. According to the Chicago Tribune,

The Trump administration has won the support of Mexico's incoming government for a plan to remake U.S. border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts, according to Mexican officials and senior members of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador's transition team. 
The agreement would break with long-standing asylum rules and place a formidable new barrier in the path of Central American migrants attempting to reach the United States and escape poverty and violence. By reaching the accord, the Trump administration has also overcome Mexico's historic reticence to deepen cooperation with the United States on an issue widely seen here as America's problem.

Essentially, the Trump administration has overcome Mexican reluctance to reshape the status quo at the border.

This comes despite the fact that López Obrador was expected to "bring a more confrontational approach toward Trump and the United States," according to the Tribune.

Caravan members in Tijuana, Mexico (AZ Central)

Now, unverified entrants who illegally entered Mexico for economic opportunity will not find a home in the U.S.; only the truly endangered will be accepted. Tijuana's business community has furthered this policy by inviting migrants to accept "thousands of job openings at the city's assembly plants, or maquiladoras," per the Tribune.

Any success in immigration negotiations with Mexico is a plus. In this case, it is becoming clear that Mexico realizes that illegal immigration from Central America disadvantages their own country, and they are willing to address the problem through cooperation with Trump.

The natural progression would be U.S.-Mexico border wall created through a binational partnership, which would indicate absolutely and unforgivingly that the two nations are off-limits to illegal immigration from Central America.

We at FDL Review hope that the president is able to build off of his asylum-related negotiations in the fruitful pursuit of the border wall.