The United States and Mexico appear to have reached an agreement on the current immigration crisis which will avert the harsh and draconian tariffs that President Donald Trump threatened to levy on all Mexican imports.
President Trump announced the agreement in two tweets:
“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. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States. Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department. Thank you!”
In a press statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked his Mexican counterpart, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. “The United States looks forward to working alongside Mexico to fulfill these commitments so that we can stem the tide of illegal migration across our southern border and to make our border strong and secure,” said Secretary Pompeo.
Minister Ebrard appeared to be pleased with the agreement. In a tweet, he thanked Secretary Pompeo “for his valuable participation in achieving today’s agreement with the US.”
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also voiced his support for the arrangement in a tweet.
In a media note from the Department of State, the US and Mexican governments agreed to “work together to immediately implement a durable solution” and to crack down on “irregular migration” in their countries.
Mexico agreed to beef up immigration enforcement. Under the agreement, the National Guard will be deployed Mexico’s southern border and throughout the country. Mexico also agreed to allow the US to send immigrants claiming asylum back to Mexico while their asylum case is being adjudicated in the US and to provide migrants with jobs, healthcare, and education. For its part, the United States agreed to speed up the adjudication process for asylum claims.
United States committed to expand the practice of returning migrants seeking asylum at the southern border to Mexico while their asylum case works its way through the courts.
Both countries also agreed to continue to cooperate on security concerns along their shared border and to address the underlying issues driving migrants to leave their homes in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
While the tariff threat appears to be lifted for now, the agreement leaves much to be desired. The White House has not specified if it will require additional appropriation from Congress to increase border security to implement the new agreement or if everything can be accomplished under current allocated funding.
Additionally, the process of sending migrants who crossed into the United States to claim asylum back to Mexico, known as Migrant Protection Protocols, may violate several laws. According to the Washington Post, federal judge blocked the controversial policy in April noting that it probably violated the Immigration Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.
Furthermore, President Trump may decide to use this tactic of essentially extorting Mexico to change its domestic policy by threatening massive and indiscriminate tariffs in the future if Mexico is unable to sufficiently stop the flow of migrants coming from Central America.
So while the immediate issue may have been resolved, the underlining problem President Trump’s willingness to break norms and use threats of a trade war continues to undermine the relationship between the Mexico and the United States.