Trump’s promise to end America’s illegal immigration crisis is arguably what won him the White House more than anything else he promised on the campaign trail. Since taking office, though, President Trump has faced stiff opposition from Congressional Democrats when it comes to cracking down on illegal immigration, as Trump’s opponents are trying their best to keep him from delivering on this key campaign promise before the 2020 election.
This opposition has forced President Trump to be very innovative in coming up with solutions to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States.
Now, Trump is targeting illegal immigration at its source by presenting Mexico with a harsh ultimatum – either help put a stop to the thousands of illegal immigrants crossing over the Mexican border into the United States or face crippling sanctions.
In an announcement that took most everyone by surprise, Trump promised to levy a 5% tariff on all goods imported from Mexico starting this Monday if the Mexican government does not improve their own border security. If no solution is reached, Trump says that this tariff will increase by another 5% every month.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was reportedly outraged by this ultimatum and sent a letter to the White House condemning it. It didn’t long for the liberal media to decry Trump’s ultimatum either, arguing that it would never work and saying that it will only hurt the US economy.
However, it seems as if Trump’s ultimatum to Mexico is already having the desired effect.
President Obrador may not be too pleased with Trump’s negotiation style, but he is also very eager to avoid a trade war with the United States. Having the United States place steep tariffs on all Mexican goods is something that Mexico’s economy can ill afford given that 76.5% of all products produced in Mexico are sold to the United States.
Now, President Obrador has hinted that he will be willing to comply with Trump’s demands if it means avoiding a trade war, and he is already set to begin talks in Washington.
Should Mexico comply with Trump’s demands and tighten its border security, it will go a long way toward helping the United States solve our immigration crisis.
In order to reach the United States, the majority of illegal immigrants from Central America must first pass through Mexico. So far this has been a relatively easy thing to do given Mexico’s lax border security.
Rather than stopping illegal immigrants before they ever make it to the United States, the Mexican government has actively encouraged illegal immigration to the US by sending its poor and unemployable citizens to our borders.
This practice has been beneficial for the Mexican economy, and, up until now, they’ve had no reason to stop it. Avoiding a trade war with their biggest trading partner by far, though, should be more than enough motivation for Mexico to reconsider their immigration practices.
In a recent press conference, President Obrador said, “The main thing is to inform about what we’re already doing on the migration issue, and if it’s necessary to reinforce these measures without violating human rights, we could be prepared to reach that deal…We’re doing all we can to reach a deal through dialogue. We’re not going to get into a trade war, a war of tariffs and of taxes.”
Officials close to President Trump, meanwhile, have promised that he is deadly serious about his ultimatum and that he will indeed levy a 5% tariff against Mexico starting this Monday if Mexico doesn’t immediately take action.
The White House also responded to criticism from Democrats, reminding them that they have ignored all of Trump’s requests for the increased funding necessary to secure our border and care for the massive migrant caravans crossing over into our country. If Congress is not going to do what is necessary to fix the crisis at the border, the Trump administration is ready and willing to pursue other avenues.
There’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made before we can call Trump’s ultimatum to Mexico a success. So far, though, it seems to be working, providing a rare beacon of hope at a time when it was starting to look as if President Trump had run out of options for solving our immigration crisis.