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Mexico says it ‘will not accept’ Trump’s new immigration plans, and it could retaliate

This week, the Trump administration detailed new immigration plans that would expand the pool of immigrants eligible for deportation and offer more resources to agencies in charge of the crackdown.

The new plans would also see the US deport immigrants to the country from which they arrived, regardless of their country of origin.

This has aroused the ire of Mexican officials, who have worked closely with the US government in recent years to intercept migrants flowing through the country toward the US-Mexico border.

Luis Videgaray, the Mexican foreign minister, said on Wednesday that his government “will not accept” the US’s new, “unilateral” immigration proposals.

The statement that came just hours before Videgaray was slated to meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Department of Homeland Security chief John Kelly. He said the new proposals would be the main point of discussion during their meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tillerson and Kelly are in Mexico to meet with high-level Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Videgaray also said the Mexican government wouldn’t hesitate to go to the UN in order “to defend the rights of immigrants,” Reuters reported.

The Trump administration has sparred with the Mexican government over immigration since the US president took office in late January.

Central America migrant Mexico
Central American migrants rest next to the train tracks at Arriaga in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas while waiting for the freight train “La Bestia,” or the Beast, to travel to north to the US border, January 10, 2012.

The two countries have long cooperated on immigration issues, with Mexico acting — with US assistance — to pick up migrants from Central America and other countries who pass through southern Mexico on their way to the US’s southern border, where many intend to claim asylum.

This initiative has earned the Mexican government criticism, both for the amount of resources it requires as well as over apparent violations of its obligations as a signatory to an international convention on the rights of migrants and refugees.

The Mexican government has warned that it could rescind its cooperation on immigration and other programs should relations with the US continue to deteriorate.

“We have been a great ally to fight problems with migration, narcotics” Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told The Globe and Mail this month. “If at some point in time things become so badly managed in the relationship, the incentives for the Mexican people to keep on co-operating in things that are at the heart of [US] national-security issues will be diminished.”

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