June 7, 2019 / 2:10 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. welcomes Mexico immigration offers, but 'long way to go': official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials were very encouraged by Mexican immigration proposals but there is still a long way to go as negotiators begin their latest round of talks on Friday, a White House official said.

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, told Fox News that negotiations had resumed with White House counsel Pat Cipollone leading the talks “to try to hammer out some more details.”

Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put forth some recommendations after an initial round of talks on Wednesday was disappointing, he said.

“As negotiations continued yesterday, we were more encouraged that they came forward with some of the things we put on the table Wednesday to say they were open to that,” Short told reporters outside the White House.

He said U.S. officials were pleased that Mexican officials understood the immigration problem faced by the United States, noting the 144,000 apprehensions the federal government reported at the southern border just last month.

“And so they’re recognizing the problem, they’re offering some solutions but I confess there’s still a long way to go,” Short said earlier on Fox News.

Short said the Trump administration would file a formal “notice” on Friday to clear the way for tariffs to kick in on Monday.

“But, I think there is the ability, if negotiations continue to go well, that the president can turn that off at some point over the weekend,” he told reporters.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas

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