Mexico's foreign secretary rejects Trump deportation policy

Image copyright AP Image caption Mexico will not hesitate to defend human rights, the foreign secretary said

Mexico has condemned new guidelines issued by the United States on deporting undocumented immigrants.

Under plans unveiled by the Trump administration on Tuesday, almost all people staying in the US illegally can be subject to deportation.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said his country could not "accept unilateral decisions imposed by one government on another."

The row comes as two top US officials are preparing to visit Mexico.

The White House said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the head of Homeland Security, John Kelly, would talk to Mexican officials and "walk through" the implementation of the new immigration guidelines.

They include plans to enforce an existing provision of the US Immigration and Nationality Act that allows authorities to send undocumented migrants back to Mexico, regardless of where they are from.

It is unclear whether the US has authority to force Mexico to accept foreigners.

But Mr Videgaray said on Wednesday: "We are not going to accept that because we don't have to and it is not in the interest of Mexico."

Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Kelly, who signed both memos, will now meet with officials deeply opposed to them

Mr Videgaray also warned the US about treatment of Mexican citizens.

"The Mexican government will not hesitate in going to international organisations, starting with the United Nations, to defend human rights, liberties and due process for Mexicans abroad according to international law."

Image copyright Reuters Image caption US immigration agents detain a suspect in Los Angeles this month

Mr Tillerson and Mr Kelly were scheduled to discuss a range of issues with President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday, but Mr Videgaray said the new changes to policy would now dominate the discussion.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Wednesday that he expected a "great discussion".

Read more from BBC on the Trump administration and immigration:

  • A Mexican man killed himself, hours after being deported from the US
  • How an updated executive order expected soon from President Trump will attempt to revive the travel ban struck down by the courts
  • National Park Service police are investigating after a giant "Refugees Welcome" banner was illegally attached to the Statue of Liberty

An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the US, many of them from Mexico. President Donald Trump made immigration and border control a key part of his campaign.

The new priorities are broad enough to apply to almost any illegal immigrant, including anyone who has been charged with a crime, misrepresented themselves, poses a risk to public safety, or "have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits".

Media captionAn estimated seven million undocumented immigrants live in these in 20 metro areas

The new guidelines also allow Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people immediately.

Expedited deportations can now be used against undocumented immigrants who are unable to prove they have been in the country for more than two years, anywhere in the US.

Previously, expedited removals were applied to people who had been in the country for less than two weeks and were within 100 miles of the border.


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