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Trump optimistic about immigration enforcement deal with Mexico
President Donald Trump is feeling good about his newly-minted deal with Mexico to get control of the border crisis.
In a last-minute agreement Friday, Trump agreed to back off planned tariffs on Mexican goods in exchange for more immigration enforcement by Mexico. In a tweet Saturday, Trump said that Mexico “will try very hard, and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico!”
However, Trump was more cautious in his tone Sunday, warning that Mexico could still face tariffs if they fall short in making good on their promises.
Trump hails immigration plan
The agreement came barely a week after Trump, in an effort to pressure Mexico to do more to stop America’s worsening immigration influx, threatened on May 30 to slap a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods. Trump’s tariff threat met immediate blowback from Democrats and many Republicans, who called it a dangerous and reckless move that would harm the economy and imperil a trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
But not long after making the threat, Trump announced Friday that the United States and Mexico had reached a deal. After three days of negotiation, it was agreed that America would suspend tariffs planned to take effect on Monday in exchange for more comprehensive immigration enforcement efforts on Mexico’s part.
Mexico will reportedly send 6,000 troops to its southern border with Guatemala as part of its agreement to “take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration” and work to stop “human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks.”
Mexico also agreed to expand cooperation with Trump’s so-called Remain in Mexico policy. The Remain in Mexico policy, enacted in January, forces non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. Mexico reportedly agreed to help America enforce the policy, initially implemented at specific points of entry in California and Texas, across the whole southern border.
Trump initially threatened to slap 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods, with tariff rates scaling to as high a 25% in October, before backing off the threat on Friday. The threat came after Trump, in a statement, labelled Mexico’s heretofore passive attitude on immigration an “emergency and extraordinary threat to the national security and economy of the United States.”
But Mexico has not been the only passive partner. Trump’s tariff threat was met with resistance by Senate Republicans, who joined Democrats in opposing the plan. Republicans similarly worked against Trump’s national emergency declaration to seal the border earlier this year. Meanwhile, seven House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for a mass amnesty bill last week.
Trump assails Fake News, floats new tariff threats
The agreement marked a rare victory for a president who, while making immigration the center of his presidential campaign, has failed to deliver on his biggest campaign promise. With Democrats, ideologically-motivated federal judges and Big Business Republicans working against him, Trump has struggled to get control of a migration crisis that has actually worsened, with 144,000 migrants — the highest number in over a decade — caught at the border last month.
While hailing the new plan, Trump blasted the “Fake News” media for deceptive coverage of the agreement. The New York Times sought to deny Trump his rare victory on immigration by claiming that Mexico had already agreed to much of the deal months before, making Trump’s tariff threat pointless.
Trump blasted the article Sunday as “another false report from the failing New York Times,” while acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan insisted on Fox on Sunday that “all of it is new.”
“This is the first time we’ve heard anything like this kind of number of law enforcement being deployed in Mexico to address migration, not just at the southern border but also on the transportation routes to the northern border and in coordinated patrols in key areas along our southwest border,” he said.
Democrats including former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke also sought to deny Trump a win, with O’Rourke — who has called for existing sections of border wall to be torn down — saying that Trump “achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has.”
On Sunday, Trump again said that he believes Mexico will cooperate, but warned that he is not taking tariffs off the table, either, tweeting:
There is now going to be great cooperation between Mexico & the USA, something that didn’t exist for decades. However, if for some unknown reason there is not, we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs – But I don’t believe that will be necessary. The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail! They are truly The Enemy of the People!
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