Mexico published the full contents of the sheet of paper that President Donald Trump waved in front of reporters earlier this week, claiming it contained details of the secret deal he had reached with the Mexican government. “Right here is the agreement,” Trump said. “It’s very simple. It’s right here. And in here is everything you want to talk about. Done. It’s done. It’s done.” He refused to release the contents of that paper, even though some photographers managed to take pictures that allowed much of the contents to be revealed.
The Mexican government presented the letter to the Mexican Senate on Friday as officials insisted it was not a binding bilateral agreement but rather an agreement to begin talks on what could eventually become a binding deal. Ever since the two countries reached an agreement earlier this month the Mexican government has taken pains to insist there was no secret agreement between the two nations, despite Trump’s repeated assurances to the contrary.
The document refers to the joint declaration released by the United States and Mexico containing a series of measures on migrants that the New York Times quickly revealed were little more than rehashing of things that had already been agreed to months earlier. The document says the two countries “will immediately begin discussions to establish definitive terms for a binding bilateral agreement to further address burden-sharing and the assignment of responsibility for processing refugee status claims of migrants.” That appears to be a reference to demands that Mexico be declared a “safe third country,” forcing migrants to seek asylum in Mexico rather than the United States. But any agreement of this would be “part of a regional approach” to dealing with migrants, notes the document.
As part of the general agreement, Mexico also committed to “immediately begin examining domestic laws and regulations with a view to identifying any changes that may be necessary to bring into force and implement such an agreement.” The document details that if after 45 days the United States determines that the measure Mexico takes “have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border” then Mexico will have an additional 45 days to take further steps.