The president has had enough of what he previously termed as “all talk and no action” on the part of Mexico when dealing with the crisis on the U.S. southern border. Trump, late on May 30, announced he will impose a 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico, effective June 10, “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP.” The tariffs would increase monthly until they reach 25% on Oct. 1, unless Mexico acts to shut down its key link in the global migrant highway to America.
“As everyone knows, the United States of America has been invaded by hundreds of thousands of people coming through Mexico and entering our country illegally, a statement issued by the White House read. “This sustained influx of illegal aliens has profound consequences on every aspect of our national life — overwhelming our schools, overcrowding our hospitals, draining our welfare system, and causing untold amounts of crime.”
The statement pointedly chided Mexico for its failure to act to halt the flood of migrants to the United States. “Mexico’s passive cooperation in allowing this mass incursion constitutes an emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States. Mexico has very strong immigration laws and could easily halt the illegal flow of migrants, including by returning them to their home countries. Additionally, Mexico could quickly and easily stop illegal aliens from coming through its southern border with Guatemala.”
Not Up to Us
The southern border has been inundated to an unprecedented degree in recent months. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that over 100,000 migrants were apprehended or turned away in April for a second straight month. In a May 8 tweet, the CBP announced that in the first seven months of fiscal year 2019, the Border Patrol had already exceeded the total apprehensions in the Southwest “for every fiscal year since 2009.”
— CBP (@CBP) May 8, 2019
In March, Trump chided Mexico for “doing nothing” to stop the ceaseless flow of humanity towards the U.S. border. In spite of the stunning numbers involved, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in response that stopping illegal immigration into the U.S. was “not up to us.” “[T]his is a problem of the United States, or it’s a problem of the Central American countries. It’s not up to us Mexicans, no,” Lopez Obrador told reporters.
Mexican leaders were apparently taken by surprise by Trump’s sudden tariff announcement, with Lopez Obrador quickly saying his foreign relations secretary would lead a delegation to negotiate with the U.S. on the matter. In a public letter to Trump, Lopez Obrador asked him to “please, remember that I do not lack valor, that I am not a coward nor timorous but rather act according to principles,” the Associated Press reports.
“We’re in a good moment building a good relationship (with the United States) and this comes like a cold shower,” Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesus Seade, said of the tariff threat, Reuters reports.
Trade vs. National Integrity?
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) slammed Trump over the move. “Trade policy and border security are separate issues, the powerful Capitol Hill Republican said in a statement. “This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-NC), once a strong GOP critic of Trump, backed the president. “I support President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Mexico until they up their game to help us with our border disaster,” he tweeted.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot program has determined that 9 out of 10 illegal aliens released into the interior of the U.S. as they await asylum hearings do not show up in court, Breitbart’s John Binder reports. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan on May 7 stated that 1% of the entire populations of Guatemala and Honduras had migrated to the U.S. since September. McAleenan cited a USAID-funded study made by Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project in Guatemala that stated that 25% of Guatemalans planned to leave the country, with 85% of them seeking to go to the United States.
“Mexico cannot allow hundreds of thousands of people to pour over its land and into our country — violating the sovereign territory of the United States,” the White House statement on the new tariffs declared. “If Mexico does not take decisive measures, it will come at a significant price.”
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