Wednesday, 05 June 2019

Following Trump Tariff Announcement, Mexico Claims It Is Already Helping to Stem the Migrant Tide

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In response to President Trump’s May 30 announcement that he would impose tariffs on Mexican imports if our southern neighbor did not adequately stop illegal migrants from traversing its territory and crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat posted a statement on June 3 claiming the country was effectively providing humanitarian visas to Central American migrants and strengthening immigration enforcement operations in southern Mexico.

“Without these important Mexican efforts in immigration matters, the U.S. would receive 250,000 additional migrants, only in 2019,” the prepared statement revealed. 

Despite the Mexican government’s claims that it is doing more to stem the migration flow, Reuters reported on June 3 that Mexico said it would reject a U.S. idea to take in all Central American asylum seekers if that point is raised at talks this week with the Trump administration.

The Reuters report cited Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who said his country was committed to continuing it efforts to keep migrants from Central America from reaching the U.S. border. Countering Trump’s charge that Mexico was doing “nothing” to help, the Mexican government made the above-noted claim that a quarter million more migrants from Central America would reach the United States in 2019 if it had not taken the steps it has.

Ebrard said, however, that a proposal favored by some U.S. officials to designate Mexico a “safe third country,” which would force Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States to apply instead for asylum in Mexico, was not an option.

“An agreement about a safe third country would not be acceptable for Mexico,” Ebrard told reporters in Washington. “They have not yet proposed it to me. But it would not be acceptable and they know it.”

President Trump announced in a tweet on May 30 that the United States would impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on Mexican imports if Mexico does not stop the flow of illegal immigrants migrating across its territory to get to the United States. The tweet followed a video Trump posted showing more than 1,000 illegal aliens crossing the border in the El Paso sector in the pre-dawn hours of May 29.

“On June 10th, 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 president tweeted.

“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.”

Invoking the Emergency Economic Powers Act, Trump stated that if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, the tariffs will be removed. If the crisis persists, however, the tariffs will be raised incrementally to 10 percent on July 1, to 15 percent on August 1, to 20 percent on September 1, and to 25 percent on October 1, 2019.

Goldman Sachs economists on June 3 gave a 70-perent chance of the tariffs on Mexican imports coming into effect on June 10.

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Photo: AP Images

Related article:

Trump Tariffs on Mexico Could Hit 25 Percent, Asylum Rules to Change

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