Mexico condemns Trump administration proposal to separate families crossing border

Mexico condemns Trump administration proposal to separate families crossing border
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Mexico's top diplomat condemned the potential separation of families caught trying to cross the border into the United States after meeting with top U.S. officials.

In a meeting with top White House officials, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray called a proposal to separate children and parents caught entering the United States illegally unacceptable.
Videgaray said in a press conference Thursday that he'd informed national security adviser Gen. H. R. McMaster, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and senior adviser Jared Kushner that Mexico was open to constructive dialogue as long as the human rights of its citizens were respected by U.S. authorities.
"We believe that to separate families at their arrival, independently of the reasons that may motivate this policy, represents an attack against the integrity of the fundamental unit of social life that is family," Videgaray said.
The proposal, floated by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly this week, would allow immigration agents to detain adults traveling with their children as they await deportation orders, while turning the children over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services while they go through the court process.
Kelly said the tactic would serve as a further deterrent to keep Central American migrants from embarking on the dangerous smuggling routes to the United States.
Videgaray also railed against another immigration proposal that would deport Central American citizens to Mexico if they are caught crossing the southern border of the United States.
Unlike the family separation tactic, deportation to Mexico of Central Americans was put in writing in an implementation memo signed by Kelly last month.
Under the regulation, U.S. immigration agents would forcibly send illegal immigrants to Mexico, even if that's not their country of origin. 
"Decisions on who enters Mexico are taken by Mexico and only Mexico," Videgaray said.
Videgaray answered questions about a 40 percent drop in border apprehensions reported by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in February but said he would wait for future reports before considering the shift a true trend.
Kelly touted the DHS numbers Wednesday, saying they showed the administration's dissuasion tactics were successful.
Mexico also produces reports on Central American migration, but it usually releases its results weeks after American agencies.
Videgaray said President Trump's proposed border wall was not discussed at the White House meeting.