Trump Announces Escalating Tariffs Against Mexico, Starting at 5 Percent, Until Illegal Immigrants ‘STOP’
Gregg Re, Fox News, May 30, 2019
President Trump on Thursday abruptly announced a new 5 percent tariff on Mexico beginning in early June, saying the levy will “gradually increase” until the ongoing illegal immigration surge at the southern border is “remedied” and illegal migrants “STOP.”
Fox News is told the tariff on all goods by land, sea, and air from Mexico will hike to 10 percent on July 1 — and potentially increase substantially from there.
The statement added: “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.”
Specifically, White House sources told Fox News that Mexico would need to step up security efforts on the border, target transnational smugglers, crack down on illicit bus lines and align with the U.S. on a workable asylum policy. Mexico could use certain so-called choke points on the southern border to curb illegal migration sharply, according to the sources.
The International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 permits tariffs to be levied by the executive in the event of a national emergency originating from a foreign source. Trump said he was invoking the powers in the law and would use his “sole discretion” to determine whether Mexico had taken sufficient action.
“If Mexico does not take decisive measures, it will come at a significant price,” Trump concluded in his statement.
The news of the tariff came hours after Politico reported that an internal plan under consideration at the Department of Homeland Security effectively would block Central American migrants from bringing asylum claims, by prohibiting claims from applicants who resided in a country other than their own before seeking entry to the United States.
Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, with border agents making more than 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high. Immigration courts that process asylum claims currently have faced a backlog of more than 800,000 cases and asylum applicants increasingly have been staying in the U.S. even after their claims for asylum have been denied.
More than 4,000 individuals have been apprehended at the border with children who are not their own in recent months, administration officials tell Fox News.
And, Customs and Border Protection said it apprehended or turned away over 109,000 migrants attempting to cross the border in April, the second month in a row the number has topped 100,000.