After Two Years of Immigration Inaction, Mexico Has Run Out of Time

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President Donald Trump made it clear on Thursday that Mexico has had more than enough time to step up their game and help the U.S. with the illegal immigration crisis. To that end, the president announced he was slapping our southern neighbor with a 5% tariff on all imported goods, with the percentage only to grow as Mexico’s inaction on immigration continues.

“On June 10th,” Trump wrote on Twitter, “the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”

Moments after Trump’s tweet, the White House released a statement from the president explaining the tariff situation in more detail:

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.  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.  Gang members, smugglers, human traffickers, and illegal drugs and narcotics of all kinds are pouring across the Southern Border and directly into our communities.  Thousands of innocent lives are taken every year as a result of this lawless chaos.  It must end NOW!

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.

Unfortunately, President Trump said, they have done nothing of the kind. As such, it is incumbent on us to fix the problem from our end. In addition to imposing the tariffs (starting at 5% and increasing to a maximum of 25% if no action has been taken by October), the Department of Homeland Security is considering a new rule that would put an end to Central American migrants claiming asylum in the U.S. The rule, which is based off existing international refugee agreements, would require migrants to apply for asylum in any country they have resided in between leaving Central America and entering the United States.

“We have confidence that Mexico can and will act swiftly to help the United States stop this long-term, dangerous, and deeply unfair problem,” said Trump in his statement. “The United States has been very good to Mexico for many years.  We are now asking that Mexico immediately do its fair share to stop the use of its territory as a conduit for illegal immigration into our country.”

Will the imposition of these tariffs finally convince the Mexican government that Trump is done playing around? With a 25% tax on goods coming in just five months, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out.