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Mexico’s president rejects US request for migrant transit centers, seeks regional approach

Mexico’s president said Tuesday that he rejected a U.S. request to set up migrant transit centers in Mexico. Neighboring Guatemala has set up one such center, where migrants can apply for U.S. work and refugee visas.

But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has so far rejected a U.S. request to set up sites in Mexico, noting he would prefer to have such centers in countries that are the sources of migration, despite the fact that a considerable number of migrants enter the United States from Mexico.

López Obrador said that he would raise the subject in a meeting of Latin American leaders he will host later this month, suggesting that the countries might agree to a common plan on such sites.

“We have been looking at setting up sites in Mexico, because they (the United States) have asked for it,” López Obrador said. “We have not accepted it, first we want to talk to the presidents,” referring to the Oct. 22 meeting with the leaders of 11 countries that are on migration routes.

The meeting will be held in the southern Mexico city of Palenque. Among those expected to attend are Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize.

Mexico also protested Texas’ truck inspections that have caused major delays at border crossings. López Obrador claimed Monday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to enforce additional truck inspections was “very irresponsible” and politically motivated.

Mexico’s national freight transport chamber said Sunday that 19,000 trucks were delayed at the border. The freight association claimed the delayed trucks were carrying about $1.9 billion in goods.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said it had started “enhanced commercial vehicle safety inspections” on Sept. 19 in crossing around El Paso and Del Rio, Texas, “to deter the placement of migrants and other smuggling activity” and detect unsafe vehicles.

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