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Thomas Gallatin / Jun. 7, 2019

Mexico Blinks Over Trump’s Tariff Threat

Mexico agrees to send troops to its southern border and work on changing asylum protocols.

President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs against all Mexican imports if that government doesn’t act to stop the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. border appears to be working. On Thursday, Mexican officials offered a big concession, promising to immediately deploy 6,000 National Guard troops to Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Furthermore, Mexico froze the bank accounts of 26 individuals for allegedly participating “in migrant smuggling and the organization of illegal migrant caravans.”

On Friday night, Trump announced, “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.”

Mexico also reportedly agreed to significantly overhaul asylum protocols so as to require applicants to take permanent refuge in the first safe country in which they arrive. Should this asylum overhaul go into effect it would, in theory, stem the flow of migrant caravans through Mexico. Any migrant requesting asylum in the U.S. whose country of origin was south of Mexico would be sent to the closest country of refuge adjacent to their homeland.

Vice President Mike Pence noted the progress, stating, “There has been movement on [Mexico’s] part. It’s been encouraging. The discussions are going to continue in the days ahead.” However, Pence made it clear that Trump has the final say.

As the border crisis only intensifies, May saw more than 132,000 migrants detained after illegally crossing the border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is overwhelmed, overworked, undermanned, and bursting at the seams with migrant detainees. With Democrats unwilling to act in any manner to help end the crisis — instead passing an amnesty bill in the House this week — Trump is left to wield one of the few effective tools he has to deal with the problem: tariffs.

While many Republicans and conservatives are rightly concerned over the economic impact of Trump’s tariffs, one question few seem willing to address or even acknowledge is the greater and arguably longer-term economic impact upon the American worker that illegal immigration creates. Clearly, the free market is the best system — so long as everyone is playing by the same rules. Illegal immigration undercuts these rules, cheating American workers and taxpayers. Rectifying such problems is never easy or painless.

Trump’s nationalism is not negative but virtuous in that he recognizes that his primary job is to protect and promote the welfare of Americans above all other nations. This is not an “us against them” message as the Leftmedia fallaciously claims. Rather it is more the attitude of a father prioritizing the needs of his own children over those of others. It is what any nation should expect and demand from its leaders. Democrats object because theirs is a commitment to globalism over nationalism.

(Updated.)

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