Mexico will press to “flexibilize” US border policy

Foreign secretary speaks out against high-security approach within Washington’s migration reform

José Antonio Meade, Mexican secretary of foreign relations.
José Antonio Meade, Mexican secretary of foreign relations.PEP COMPANYS

The Mexican secretary of foreign relations, José Antonio Meade, measures his words when he talks about the migration reform approved this Thursday by the US Senate. The good news about the possibility of future citizenship for 11 million undocumented migrants living in the country, mostly Mexicans, has been somewhat dampened by the spectacular increase in border security planned by Washington. Mexico considers this an affront unbecoming a neighbor, an ally and a friend.

In statements to EL PAÍS, Meade said that the Senate vote is “an important step in the right direction” and added that his country will use diplomatic avenues to “flexibilize” the security measures, which include an added 1,000 kilometers of fencing, up to 40,000 border patrol agents, and aerial surveillance.

“Mexico reiterates that this is not a convenient approach. We will keep working in partnership with the US to achieve flexibilization, but not through strident statements,” said Meade. “The fence approach is not a modern conception for a border that aims to be an area of prosperity; fences do not unite, they are not a solution to the migration phenomenon.”

But the Mexican secretary played down the likelihood of serious incidents due to the new security measures, as well as the new problems of Central Americans on their way to the US who will likely remain stuck in Mexico when the extra border measures go into effect.

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