‘We Need Them at the Table’: Homeland Security Sec Explains How Tariffs Could Be a Tool to Work With Mexico

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The acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) weighed in on President Donald Trump’s threats to levy a tariff against Mexico if they do not address the immigration crisis taking place at the southern border.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan was asked if the president’s threat to put a tariff on Mexico if they do not work to prevent illegal immigration would incentivize more illegal immigration since it would harm the Mexican economy.

McAleenan — who took over the department after former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned earlier this year — responded by saying that the situation down south needed to be “address[ed] in [a] partnership with Mexico” and pointing out that “a group of 1,036 migrants” crossed the southern border illegally in the early hours of the morning with no “interdic[tion]” from the Mexican government.

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McAleenan then raised the point that the “movement” of the hundreds of thousands of migrants flowing through Mexico to the U.S. was “overt” and was using cartel-owned bus lines before calling on Mexico to “step up and do more.”

“And these crossings into Mexico are happening at a 150 mile stretch of their southern border,” continued McAleenan. “This is a controllable area. We need them to put their authorities down there and interdict these folks before they make this route all the way to the U.S.”

Host Jake Tapper then pressed McAleenan again on whether or not the proposed tariff would further increase illegal immigration by hurting the Mexican economy.

McAleenan told Tapper that the “bottom line” he had was that Mexico needed to be “at the table” so that the two nations could “look at new strategies” to deal with the growing crisis at the border.

The acting DHS secretary continued on to say that he wanted to work on three things with the Mexican government to reduce the number of people crossing the border illegally: “interdictions on their southern border,” tackling the transnational criminal organizations (TCO) that are “profiting” off the transport of migrants, and “partnering and coordinating on asylum.”

As IJR Red previously reported, there have been 531,711 apprehensions at the southern border from October to April of fiscal-year 2019, nearly doubling the number of apprehensions from the same date range in fiscal-year 2018.

As IJR News noted, Trump threatened to slap Mexico with a five percent tariff on all goods if they did not curb the illegal immigration to the U.S. coming through their country. The tariffs would go into place on June 10.

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Otis
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To hell with the Mexican drug cartel economy. We don’t need their oil like we once did either. The immigrants don’t want to stay in stinking Mexico. They are making a beeline for The United States and are abetted by the Mexicans. Their siesta needs to end and they’d better decide whether they want to continue to export goods to us or allow a stampede from Central America to cause them economic grief.

FILE PHOTO: Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, speaks during multilateral meetings with government officials representing Northern Triangle countries, in Guatemala City, Guatemala May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria

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