- The President's Words May Not Have Been Meant to be Taken Literally.
- Trump Suspended Tariffs in Exchange for Mexico Securing Their Border.
- Cooperation with Mexico Regarding Southern Border Security Seems to be Increasing.
One of the President’s loftier promises during his 2016 campaign was that there was going to be a southern border wall, and that Mexico was going to pay for it. Some laughed off the idea as another crazy Trump outburst, much like when he questioned President Obama’s country of birth. Others believed that the then candidate’s words should not be taken literally, but could be used more as a loose metaphor for Mexico helping to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
In early January of 2018, while defending his promise of a border wall paid for by Mexico, President Trump leaned towards the latter interpretation of his words, claiming that Mexico would pay for the wall indirectly through a revised NAFTA.
Earlier this month the President seems to have made real progress in regards to getting Mexico to pay for the wall, assuming his words are to be interpreted as a loose metaphor and not taken at face value. On June 8th Mexico and the United States reached an agreement that suspended tariffs set to take effect on June 10th. In exchange for the tariff suspensions Mexico agreed to send National Guard troops to its southern border, take action against human trafficking organizations, and adopt other measures to prevent Central American migrants from illegally entering Mexico and consequently the United States.
Although this is not a physical barrier on Mexico’s northern border, it is a large step in the President’s efforts to decrease illegal immigration into the United States. It’s impossible to know whether or not using tariffs to force Mexico to strengthen their southern border was a consideration when President Trump promised that he would “build a wall” and that “Mexico would pay for it.”
Although the President has continually pushed for a “physical barrier,” eventually to the point of a government shutdown, it does not seem likely that one will be built, at least not in the immediate future. For now, it is likely that increased border regulations and enforcement by both the U.S. and Mexico will be the primary weapon used in fighting illegal immigration.
The southern border continues to be a major focus of both the major media outlets and the two parties. On June 21st President Trump tweeted “I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to Asylum and Loopholes. This will fix the Southern Border, together with the help that Mexico is now giving us.” The issue of illegal immigration isn’t going anywhere, and fortunately cooperation with Mexico regarding the issue seems to only be increasing.