(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump claimed migration through the U.S. southern border has already slowed dramatically following a deal with the Mexican government, and that former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan would return to his administration as “border czar.”
“The stoppage is unbelievable,” Trump said in a phone interview with Fox News on Friday. “I got reports yesterday. It’s like night and day.”
He said he had planned to announce Homan’s re-appointment next week. Homan will report directly to the president, Trump said.
U.S. immigration authorities have not publicly released any information about changes in migrant flows across the border since the Mexico deal, which came after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports. As part of the agreement, Mexico agreed to deploy about 6,000 of its national guard to interdict migrants traveling north and reinforce its own border with Guatemala.
“It’s really incredible what’s happened and all because of the tariffs, and because of relationships, but again for 25 years they’ve been trying to make a deal with Mexico, they’ve never been able to do a deal like I did, and I did it in two days,” Trump said.
Trump on Friday said he would drop the plan for tariffs on Mexico after the country promised new steps to stem an surge of migration into the U.S. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his country has 45 days to show the U.S. that additional measures aren’t needed under the agreement.
Mexico says about 600,000 migrants traveled through the country to the U.S. border between January and May. U.S. border officials apprehended about 133,000 people at the border in May, triple the amount a year earlier, though still below historic highs.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have said it’s a crisis that’s straining the agency’s resources, while Trump and other Republicans have demanded Congress change the law to allow migrants to be detained longer, and to require them to file asylum claims abroad.
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