Mexico anxiously awaits US response on immigration deal as deadline arrives

Mexico deployed 21,000 militarized National Guard to control the flow of immigrants through the US-Mexican border. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 July 2019

Mexico anxiously awaits US response on immigration deal as deadline arrives

  • Earlier agreements between the countries set the possibility that asylum seeker would apply in Mexico and not US
  • Mexico averted on Sunday talks about a “safe third country”

MEXICO CITY: Mexico is on tenterhooks as a Monday deadline on a US migration deal that removed tariff threats on Mexican exports arrived, and despite progress made in reducing migrant flows it was unclear what President Donald Trump’s next move would be.
The agreement reached in June laid out that if the United States deems that Mexico has not done enough to thwart migrants by the July 22 deadline, the two countries would begin talks over changing rules to make most asylum seekers apply for refuge in Mexico, not the United States.
Mexico said on Sunday it had averted the so-called “safe third country” negotiations with the United States that it desperately wants to avoid after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Mexican efforts in reducing US-bound migrant flows.
But while Pompeo praised the progress made by Mexico in helping cut apprehensions on the US southern border by almost a third in June to some 100,000, he also said there was still “more work to do” and that he would consult with Trump, who has been uncharacteristically hush on the topic.
“As for the next set of actions. I’ll talk with the president and the teams back in Washington and we’ll decide exactly which tools and exactly how to proceed,” said Pompeo.
Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, who met with Pompeo in Mexico City on Sunday, was scheduled to attend Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s daily presser Monday morning.
Following the meeting with Pompeo, Ebrard said considering the advances Mexico had made, it was not necessary to initiate negotiations on a safe third country agreement between Mexico and the United States.
Eager to avoid being cornered into those talks, Mexico has deployed some 21,000 militarized National Guard police to decrease the flow of people across the U.S-Mexico border.
Mexico has long resisted US pressure to formally accept the safe third country status.


Australia plans to censor extremist online content

Updated 26 August 2019

Australia plans to censor extremist online content

  • The country will create a 24/7 Crisis Coordination Center for monitoring and censorship
  • Australia earlier set up a task force with tech giants to address spread of extremist material online

SYDNEY: Australia plans to block websites to stop the spread of extreme content during “crisis events,” the country’s prime minister has said.
Speaking from the G7 in Biarritz Sunday, Scott Morrison said the measures were needed in response to the deadly attack on two New Zealand mosques in March.
The live-streamed murder of 51 worshippers “demonstrated how digital platforms and websites can be exploited to host extreme violent and terrorist content,” he said in a statement.
“That type of abhorrent material has no place in Australia, and we are doing everything we can to deny terrorists the opportunity to glorify their crimes, including taking action locally and globally.”
Under the measures, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner would work with companies to restrict access to domains propagating terrorist material.
A new 24/7 Crisis Coordination Center will be tasked with monitoring terror-related incidents and extremely violent events for censorship.
In the wake of the Christchurch attack, Australia set up a task force with global tech giants like Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter to address the spread of extremist material online.
It is not yet clear how the measures will be enforced. Morrison has previously suggested that legislation may come if technology companies do not cooperate.