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Incoming Mexican government disputes report of tentative deal with U.S. on asylum-seekers

Reports on Saturday said the Trump administration had struck a tentative deal with Mexico’s incoming government to require all asylum-seekers from south of the border to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims go through court.

But by early evening, the picture grew more complex, as the incoming Mexican government said there was “no agreement of any sort.”

The Washington Post, citing Mexican officials and senior members of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition team, reported early Saturday that the Remain in Mexico plan would require asylum applicants to stay in Mexico, therefore ending the “catch-and-release” practice whereby those seeking asylum are allowed to stay in the U.S. while their claims are being processed. This is one of several options the Trump administration has been pursuing in negotiations for months.

Implementation of such a policy would mark a significant victory for President Trump, whose tough immigration stance — including his promises to end catch-and-release and build a wall — has formed a central part of his political platform both before and after his election.

The Wall Street Journal, in its own report on the agreement, said it strives to control how many migrants are allowed to stay on the American side of the border during the asylum process.

The White House did not comment on the reported deal on Saturday. “President Trump has developed a strong relationship with the incoming Obrador Administration, and we look forward to working with them on a wide range of issues,” Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News.

But according to The Associated Press, the new Mexican leadership was telling a somewhat different story.

“There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government,” future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement. That ran contrary to The Post’s account of the agreement with the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who takes office Dec. 1.

The Post had also quoted Sanchez as saying, “For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico.”

Sanchez, in her statement to AP, did not explain why The Post had quoted her affirming the existence of an agreement.

The statement shared with AP said the future government’s principal concern related to the migrants is their well-being while in Mexico.

Trump has been battling with international pressure, a tight control of the Senate, and significant judicial pushback over a number of his immigration policies.

JUDGE BARS US FROM ENFORCING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ASYLUM BAN

This week a federal judge in San Francisco barred the administration from refusing asylum to those who cross the southern border illegally, after the White House said that anyone crossing illegally would be declared ineligible for asylum.

The deal appeared to be coming at a time when Trump has set his sights on the latest migrant caravan to travel through Honduras and Guatemala toward the U.S. southern border. He has expressed determination to stop the caravan from reaching the U.S., deploying troops to the border and warning of consequences should countries assist the caravan in its journey.

It was not clear at press time what the policy consequences of this latest disagreement on an asylum-seeker deal might be.

Fox News’ Marta Dhanis, Jeffrey Rubin and Elizabeth Zwirz, and The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

Major snow storm in central U.S. threatens Thanksgiving holiday weekend travel

A major storm is bringing heavy snow and high winds to a significant portion of the country from Kansas to Chicago that could make it more difficult for travelers heading home this Thanksgiving weekend.

The National Weather Service is predicting blizzard-like conditions in some places.

“Dangerous travel conditions caused by heavy snow and reduced visibility are expected to end the holiday weekend,” NWS said, according to USA Today.

Chicago is bracing for heavy snow Sunday afternoon that could cause flight delays and cancellations at O’Hare International Airport, a major hub.

“The combination of extra moisture from Lake Michigan, colder air and strong winds may lead to whiteout conditions and a rapid accumulation of snow in Chicago during the second half of the storm,” AccuWeather meteorologist Steve Travis said, the paper reported.

The snow could also have an impact on travelers into and out of airports in Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, USA Today reported.

The storm could also bring snow to parts of upstate New York and northern New England into Monday.

CYBER MONDAY SHOPPING STRATEGIES FOR NABBING GREAT DEALS

The Weather Channel reported that snow was falling Saturday in parts of the higher elevations of the West and in parts of the northern Plains.

Up to four inches of snowfall was reported as of early Saturday in Georgetown, Idaho and in Rosalia, Washington.

The combination of increasing winds, heavy snow and poor visibility will create blizzard conditions in some localities, AccuWeather reported around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Roads will become icy and snow-covered along much of the Interstate-80 corridor and portions of I-35, I-39, I-70, I-88, I-90, I-94 and I-196 in the region, AccuWeather reported.

AccuWeather said major cities that can expect at least a few inches of snow include: Topeka, Kansas; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; Kirksville and Kansas City, Milwaukee; Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin; Missouri; and Rockford and Chicago.

U.S. judge gives Florida voters until Saturday to resolve signature challenges

A U.S. federal judge on Thursday gave voters in Florida whose signatures on ballots were rejected by county election officials until Saturday afternoon to resolve the challenges as a recount continues in close-fought races for a U.S. Senate seat and governor of the state.


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Exclusive: U.S. troop levels at Mexico border likely at peak – commander

The number of U.S. troops at the border with Mexico may have peaked at about 5,800, the U.S. commander of the mission told Reuters, noting he would start looking next week at whether to begin sending forces home or perhaps shifting some to new border positions.


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Trump seeks end of Florida recount; Democrats win Arizona U.S. Senate seat

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Florida election officials to end a recount and declare his fellow Republicans the winners of disputed races in last week’s elections, while Democrats picked up a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona.


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