MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government agreed on Thursday to provide temporary sanctuary for nationals from third countries while they await adjudication of their applications for asylum in the United States.
President Donald Trump’s administration has been pressing Mexico to accept the return of undocumented Central American migrants who entered the US from Mexican territory.
Within minutes of Thursday’s announcement, the legal adviser to the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat, Alejandro Alday, said that Washington’s decision to require the asylum seekers to submit their applications from outside the country was based on US legislation and national sovereignty.
Mexico, as a function of its “sovereignty and independence” and in accord with domestic law and international commitments, will “receive some of those non-Mexican migrants” in the interest of ensuring respect for their human rights, Alday said.
“This (US) unilateral measure puts (the migrants) in an enormously volatile situation,” he said.
Once in Mexico, migrants will be able to apply for work permits, Alday said.
Mariana Zaragoza, coordinator of the Migration Affairs program at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, said that it was a mistake for Mexico to accede to Washington’s wishes in this matter.
Pointing to the large number of Central American migrants already suffering in precarious conditions in the border city of Tijuana while pursuing asylum in the US, she described the situation as “a time-bomb.”