DHS chief: Military won't be used for deportations
Feb 25 2017 by Alex Thomas
The U.S. officials were moving to calm tensions over President Donald Trump's vow to crack down on "bad dudes" illegally residing in his country.
However Mr Kelly said there would be "no use of military force in immigration operations", and "no, repeat, no" mass deportations.
Mexico's foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, was clearly incensed by Trump's stance, stating at the outset that he disagrees with America's ramped-up targeting of Mexico, and wants the rights of Mexicans living in the United States to be respected.
At the dawning of a new relationship between the USA and Mexico, here's what we are going to see.
The latest dispute threatens to further damage already strained U.S. -Mexico relations, which deteriorated as President Trump promised to build a wall along the border wall at Mexico's expense and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that he said has unfairly benefited Mexico.
America's top diplomat and top US counterterrorism official headed to Mexico Thursday for what could only be described as an awkward visit. "We listened closely and carefully to each other and we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns".
One Mexican official told the media that the meeting was hostile.
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"The legal impossibility is that one government makes decisions that affect the other unilaterally", said Videgaray.
None of the U.S. officials made direct references to the deportation of immigrants from third countries to Mexico, or to paying for the border wall planned by Trump, a red-flag issue for Mexico.
Mexican officials condemned the President's new orders expanding deportations of illegal immigrants. He also referred directly to the "negative feelings that without doubt are prevalent" between the two neighbors with deep economic, social, political and cultural ties.
"Similarly we underscored the importance of stopping the illegal firearms and bulk cash that is originating in the United States and flowing into Mexico".
The new priorities are broad enough to apply to nearly any illegal immigrant, including anyone who has been charged with a crime, misrepresented themselves, poses a risk to public safety, or "have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits".
And Trump signed his first executive orders to punish sanctuary cities and build the wall, which could cost around $21.6 billion, the first time Videgaray traveled to Washington to negotiate with counterparts last month.
Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos said, in his meeting with Kelly, he had stressed the need for cooperation, permanent dialogue, and the need to "maintain the human rights for all Mexicans in your country".
Well, yeah, Mexico does have to accept it. "This is not going to be resolved in three days".
The immigration issue has caused increasing strain between Mexico and the USA, particularly over President Trump's pledge to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.
Videgaray said a meeting of Tillerson, Kelly and Pena Nieto in Mexico City was a short courtesy visit. "He has had missteps that are placing him against the weight of reality".
Earlier on Thursday, Trump continued blasting Mexico for what he claims is an unfair trade relationship with the US.
Acknowledgment that Mexico is an enormously important trading partner.
In one stark example, Mexico has been issuing temporary transit visas at its southern border to Haitians, giving them just long enough to reach the USA border, where they either try to sneak in or they show up at a border checkpoint and demand entry.