What Happened: Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Washington to discuss progress on curbing illegal migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, Voice of America reported Sept. 10. According to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrants who were either apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the U.S.-Mexico border dropped by 56 percent compared to peak numbers in May.
Why It Matters: During his meeting with Pence, Ebrard will likely point toward substantial progress on reducing migrant flows to the United States to ward off additional U.S. tariff threats. Although U.S. President Donald Trump has previously acknowledged progress, he still intends to pressure Mexico to sign a "safe third country" agreement to prevent migrants from reaching the U.S. border.
Background: The White House has directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to secure safe third country agreements with Honduras and Nicaragua by the end of October despite the countries' severe resource limitations. The White House already succeeded in convincing Guatemala to sign a similar deal after applying economic and political pressure, although the agreement is under challenge in local courts.