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Mexico To Utilize Sale Proceeds Of Presidential Plane To Curb Illegal Migration

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador suggested that the proceeds from the sale of a presidential plane used by his predecessor can be utilized to fund the government's efforts to block the flow of US-bound migrants on its border with Guatemala.

A luxurious jet that former President Enrique Pena Nieto bought in 2012 for $218 million is on sale along with 130 other government-owned aircraft, including 70 helicopters.

It was one of the promises that the leftist leader gave shortly after assuming office in December to save public money and to help poorer communities.

The 787 Dreamliner, which has been on offer since then at a starting price of $150 million, has no takers yet.

The money that the government gets from the sale would be allocated to meet the expenses for the deployment of the newly formed national guard, which has the power to detain illegal migrants, Obrador said.

A 5 percent tariff that US President Donald Trump threatened to impose on goods imported from Mexico was "indefinitely suspended" in return for Mexico's assurance to take strong measures to stem the tide of migration through that country, and to US Southern Border.

Mexico said it will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, including deploying 6,000 members of the National Guard on its southern border with Guatemala.

Central American migrants trying to enter the United States through Mexico is a thorny issue in the relations between the two neighboring countries.

In an attempt to press Mexico to stem the flow of illegal migration, Trump threatened to raise duties by 5 percent every month on goods including cars, beer, tequila, fruit and vegetables.

Following hectic bilateral talks in Washington last week, both sides struck a deal to curb migration, averting an escalation of tensions in ties between the neighbors.

"About how much this plan is going to cost, let me say, we have the budget," Lopez Obrador said at his routine news conference on Wednesday. "It would come out of what we're going to receive from the sale of the luxurious presidential plane," he told reporters.

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