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story.lead_photo.caption President Donald Trump puts away a page from what he said was a lengthy secret agreement with Mexico during a session with reporters Tuesday outside the White House.

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump told reporters that he reached a secret pact with Mexico that will take effect when he wants it to -- despite the country's insistence that there are no secret components of an immigration deal struck last week.

"That's the agreement that everybody says I don't have," Trump said Tuesday at the White House, holding one page of what he described as a lengthy deal but declining to explain the details. "If they bring the numbers way down, we won't have to use it. OK?"

Asked by reporters to reveal what the agreement requires Mexico to do, Trump declined to do so, adding that "the reason is Mexico wants to handle that."

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said separately at a conference in Washington that the deal relates to asylum and would be put in place if the immigration agreement doesn't stem the flow of migrants to the U.S.

Trump said Friday that he was dropping plans for tariffs on Mexico, which he'd been threatening to impose for the previous week, after the country promised new steps to stem an influx of illegal migration into the U.S.

Under the immigration deal, Mexico will expand deployment of its National Guard throughout the country, "giving priority to its southern border," according to a joint statement from the two countries. Asylum seekers who cross into the U.S. will be quickly returned to Mexico where they'll wait for their claims to be resolved; the U.S. agreed to accelerate adjudication.

Mexican officials have said that there's an agreement to evaluate the success of current measures after 45 days and see if they're working or if more needs to be done.

But it wasn't clear whether Trump could trigger an agreement, as he asserted. Trump said the agreement he was referring to would need to be ratified by the Mexican Congress.

"If they bring the numbers way down, we won't have to, but this is my option," Trump said. "It goes into effect when I want it to, but I have a lot of respect for the president of Mexico. I have a lot of respect for the people we dealt with, so I don't want to do that, and they have to go back to Congress to get that approved."

Moments later, he said that "it will go into effect when Mexico tells me it's OK to release it."

A close-up photograph taken by a Washington Post reporter of the paper that Trump waved shows what appears to be a one-page letter signed Friday by two people whose names are unclear.

The final paragraph of the letter seems to refer to the agreement announced Friday, called a joint declaration, and describes what will happen if the United States is not satisfied that the flow of migration to the southwestern border has slowed sufficiently.

"If the United States determines at its discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the Joint Declaration, that the measures adopted by the Government of Mexico pursuant to the Joint Declaration have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border of the United States, the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring that the agreement will enter into force within 45 days," the letter says.

Because of Trump's mention of approval by Mexico's Congress, Mexican officials and others have said they believe the president is referring to discussions about changes to the region's asylum rules, which Mexico has said it would consider if the flow of migrants to the United States is not reduced over the next several months.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday that if illegal immigration into the U.S. isn't reduced, the U.S. is proposing that Mexico accept asylum applications from migrants from Central America instead of allowing them to apply in the U.S.

"If the measures that we have proposed do not work, we would have to enter into a discussion of other measures," Ebrard said.

Later Tuesday, Ebrard again said that there was no additional deal beyond what both governments had announced on Friday. "We don't have anything to hide," he said.

Reading from a letter that he sent to the Mexican Senate, Ebrard gave a detailed account of the negotiations between the Mexican and U.S. governments, emphasizing how U.S. officials had repeatedly insisted that Mexico sign an agreement that would require migrants traveling through Mexico to seek asylum there rather than in the United States -- known as "safe third country."

Instead, Mexico negotiated a 45-day window to show that its own measures to stem the flow of migrants would work. If they do not, Ebrard said, then the two sides agreed to an additional 45-day period to discuss a bilateral or regional agreement to return migrants.

The letter to the Mexican Senate suggested that the Mexicans had agreed that should the current measures fail to reduce migration, they would enter into negotiations about alternative solutions that would, at a minimum, require Mexico to assume more of the burden of asylum seekers heading toward the United States.

"Instead of accepting a safe third country agreement as the United States proposed, or the beginning of a trade war," Ebrard's letter said, "we managed to get a period of 45 days to demonstrate the efficiency of the measures that will be adopted and prepare ourselves as best we can for the negotiation that could follow in the next 45 days."

Ebrard had given a similar explanation of the agreement on Monday, but he said Tuesday that he was taking the unusual step of making his letter public to be as transparent as possible.


In Mexico, officials said on Tuesday that they are beginning deployment of the country's new National Guard for immigration enforcement, an accelerated commitment of a 6,000-strong force made as part of the agreement with the U.S.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Ebrard also announced that a team of five officials, including a general and a prison director, has been formed to implement the immigration plan.

Ebrard said that Gen. Vicente Antonio Hernandez Sanchez, commander of the Tapachula military zone near the border with Guatemala, will begin a tour of the south "to speed up the deployment in the area."

The main objective is to register migrants, offer them options for regularizing their immigration status and return those who don't want to register, he added.

Ebrard did not mention detentions, which have risen notably in recent months, but he said there is a need to expand and improve crowded immigration facilities that operate as detention centers.

Another deployment is going to the frontier with the United States to attend to migrants who have been returned to Mexico while their asylum claims are processed in U.S. courts.

Information for this article was contributed by Justin Sink, Eric Martin, Katia Dmitrieva and Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News; by Michael D. Shear of The New York Times; and by Marco Ugarte of The Associated Press.

A Section on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: Trump says secret deal is up to him


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Archived Comments

  • RBear
    June 12, 2019 at 6:24 a.m.

    More bluster from the liar in chief. Many components of this "deal" were already in place. Trump's threat of tariffs was just something to grab headlines, which he did, but hardly any reason for Mexico to come rushing to the table (more hype from the chief hyper). Regarding the National Guard, it's newly forming and is nowhere near the 6,000 committed. As anyone knows, it takes time to recruit and train these young men and women (I assume there will be women in it). But Trump and his minions make it out almost like it's a special forces unit in the Mexican military.

  • 3WorldState1
    June 12, 2019 at 8:50 a.m.

    Trump showed a “piece of paper” of the deal but refused to read it? I just can’t believe we have such a moron as President. Everything bad about America rolled up into one big fat trust fund baby douche bag.

  • Seitan
    June 12, 2019 at 8:50 a.m.

    Next week on Fox News's "Transparency In Action!": the President uses his secret decoder-ring to figure out why Ted Cruz's father killed JFK. "Only I know, and maybe I'll share that information or not. I am the most transparent President in HISTORY!"

    June 12, 2019 at 9:07 a.m.

    Another embarrassing spectacle by Cheetolini. And clearly, “auspices” was the Word Of The Day on his calendar.

  • BoudinMan
    June 12, 2019 at 9:42 a.m.

    We all know how all former presidents kept details of important trade deals on a folded up piece of paper in their jacket pocket. No need for folders, binders, or briefcases to hold info he. trump's brain is so brilliant and powerful, he really doesn't need anything written down for him to remember. He has the most powerful and beautiful brain. And it's almost as big as his huge hands.

  • mrcharles
    June 12, 2019 at 9:49 a.m.

    Shame on everyone here. Do you have a beautiful letter from a thug and top tier dictator? Nor would I bet do you believe putin.

    How can you question our god/king? After all , his supporters tell us he cannot commit an error in pronouncements made.

    sea bass , does this qualify as a me, me, me ,me type statement you are so offended by? Or did you just fib with your statement like when you said you were working on being a good methodist?

    perhaps this is jut another DT violation of the injunction of There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. I would point out that whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 9:52 a.m.

    "Many components of this "deal" were already in place".
    A lie of omission, RB. The components may have been in place, but no actions were being taken. The tariffs got AMLO off his a**. We're now seeing concrete actions.

  • RBolt
    June 12, 2019 at 9:56 a.m.

    We need only to accept the word of a documented compulsive liar in order to believe anything Trump says. Who admits to being that foolish?

    June 12, 2019 at 10:21 a.m.

    moz does. Every day.

  • mozarky2
    June 12, 2019 at 12:04 p.m.

    Remember the price spikes for appliances after Trump’s tariffs? Well, they’re gone now
    By Jeffry Bartash
    Published: June 12, 2019 12:38 p.m.

    Tariffs were supposed to boost inflation, but there’s not much proof

    The prices of washers and dryers spiked after U.S. tariffs took effect last year, but now they are coming back down.
    An army of studies have contended for months that President Trump’s import tariffs were costing American families hundreds of dollars a year through higher prices of goods such as washers and dryers. The only problem is, there’s not much evidence.

    Take washers and dryers. Prices did spike after tariffs took effect in mid-2018 on models manufactured outside the U.S., but the cost of new appliances have since returned close to pre-tariff levels, government data show.

    At one point last fall, prices for laundry equipment were rising at a 15% annual pace. And now? Prices have fallen 1.2% in the 12 months ended in May, according fresh government data.

    Inflation more broadly has also declined since Trump resorted to tariffs last year. Consumer prices have increased just 1.8% in the past 12 months, down from a six-year high of 2.9% last summer.

    Read: Inflation tame: CPI shows consumer prices rise 0.1% in smallest bump in 4 months

    The low rate of inflation is pushing the Federal Reserve closer to a reduction in interest rates, an expectation that has fueled a recent rally in the U.S. stock market DJIA, -0.12% SPX, -0.18% .

    What’s going on? Economists point to a variety of explanations.

    The global economy has gotten weaker and the U.S. dollar stronger, making imports cheaper for Americans to buy and lessening the impact of tariffs. The cost of imports excluding foreign oil have fallen almost 1% in the past year.

    “We are importing deflation,” asserted chief U.S. economist Chris Low of FTN Financial.

    Companies can also shift production to lower-cost manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad to keep prices low. LG and Samsung, for instance, now make more appliances in the United States.