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Home | Tag Archives: trump’s tariffs

Tag Archives: trump’s tariffs

Arrests along U.S.-Mexico border are falling, preliminary figures show

The number of migrant families crossing the border illegally has been falling in recent weeks, according to preliminary figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, though U.S. officials say it is too soon to get a full picture of the impact on migration trends from President Donald Trump’s deal with Mexico.

U.S. authorities detained more than 85,000 “family unit” members at the border in May, an average of nearly 2,800 per day. That number has declined about 13% since the beginning of June, a period during which Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexico and the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador agreed to an immigration crackdown to avoid the penalty.

Overall, U.S. officials say they are expecting a 15-20% decline in border arrests from May, when authorities detained more than 144,000 and migration levels reached their highest point since 2006. The portion of migrants arriving as part of a family group has reached unprecedented levels in recent months, overwhelming U.S. border authorities who say they are ill equipped to care for so many parents with children.

Since the June 7 immigration deal with Trump, Mexico has begun to deploy thousands of national guard forces to set up highway checkpoints and catch more Central American migrants as they head northward toward the U.S. border. The United States also has begun to send more asylum seekers back across the border into Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court hearings, an expansion of the Migrant Protection Protocols program that prevents the migrants from staying in the United States while they go through the asylum process.

The Mexican immigration enforcement crackdown has been concentrated in southern Mexico, so U.S. officials say it could take several weeks for the full effect of the effort to show up as a reduction in crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. As the United States turns more people away to Mexico during the asylum process, authorities hope it will act as a deterrent.

“We are seeing initial actions, and we are seeing some signs they’re having an impact,” said one U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary figures that are not yet public. “But I think it’s still too early to tell.”

Border arrests typically surge in the spring, when demand for U.S. farm labor grows, then subside during peak summer months. Border arrests declined 17% from May 2018 to June 2018, an indication that the expected decline this month could follow that same trend.

But Department of Homeland Security officials say current migration patterns are less linked to seasonal labor demand than in the past and are instead driven by the widespread view in Central America that those who migrate with children have an opportunity now to gain entry to the United States by taking advantage of legal gaps in the U.S. immigration system.

If the June arrest numbers continue to decline, it would be the first month this year that Customs and Border Protection has recorded a decrease in enforcement actions.

During the negotiations to avert tariffs, White House officials told Mexico that Trump wanted to see border crossings back at the historic lows tallied during 2017.

The Mexican government did not commit to a specific, numerical enforcement goal during the negotiations, a senior Mexican official said Monday. But Mexico has assured the United States that its enforcement efforts will deliver the major reductions in migration levels Trump is demanding.

The United States, via the MPP program, has been sending about 250 asylum seekers back to Mexico per day, but U.S. officials plan to increase that to at least 1,000 per day in coming weeks.

The procedure is facing legal challenges, and critics say it exposes vulnerable families to grave danger by stranding them in mafia-dominated Mexican border cities with few services and little protection. Local Mexican officials say they are ill prepared for a massive return of migrants.

A senior Mexican official told reporters Monday that the Mexican government’s efforts had cut daily arrests at the U.S. border from 4,500 to 2,600, but U.S. officials said those figures were not an accurate reflection of daily averages since the two countries reached their accord.

Mexican officials said Monday that their enforcement efforts would target more than the highways and rail lines of southern Mexico, noting that some of the country’s national-guard units would deploy to the U.S. border to increase enforcement.

Read related Tribune coverage

Author:  NICK MIROFF, THE WASHINGTON POST

Migrant apprehensions continue to surge on Texas-Mexico border

The surge of unauthorized migration that has the U.S. Border Patrol sounding alarm bells continues to rise to modern-day records, according to government statistics released Wednesday.

Across the southwest border, about 133,000 migrants were apprehended or surrendered to border agents on the southwest border in May, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approximately 11,400 more were deemed inadmissible at ports of entry. The total represents an increase of about 32% from April.

The El Paso and Rio Grande Valley areas continue to see the largest influx of migrants — the vast majority of whom were unaccompanied minors or families from Central America who are seeking asylum in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Del Rio area is becoming the latest hot spot for migrants; agents in that sector have also seen apprehensions increase by the thousands each month.

About 49,880 migrants crossed the border in the Rio Grande Valley, a 35% increase over April. Another 38,630 came through the El Paso sector, which also includes New Mexico — a 43% jump since April; and about 8,560 crossed in the Del Rio sector, representing a 46% increase.

From October, when the government’s fiscal year began, through the end of May, the number of migrant family-unit apprehensions in the El Paso sector increased by about 100,000 – about 2,100%, compared to the same time period during the 2018 fiscal year. In Del Rio, agents apprehended 15,600 more families from October to May compared to the same period in 2018, a spike of 1,034 percent.

The surge of migrants at the southern border has led President Donald Trump to issue his latest threat toward Mexico. Last week, Trump announced he would slap tariffs on all imports from Mexico as soon as next week unless the Mexican government halts the flow of migrants through its territory.

Border Patrol stations, which are designed to hold a relatively small number of people for short periods, have been overwhelmed and have been forced to construct temporary facilities to hold and process migrants. Last month agents unveiledmassive, 500-person tent facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grade Valley city of Donna to deal with the crush of migrants; about two weeks later Customs and Border Protection announced that they needed more space and planned to build even more facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.

On Tuesday, the agency announced it also has erected tents in Eagle Pass, part of the Del Rio sector, where overall apprehensions have increased by 200 percent this fiscal year.

Agents have also seen a significant number of undocumented immigrants traveling in large groups. Through the end of May, more than 180 groups of more than 100 people have been apprehended on the southwest border, according to a Border Patrol statement. That includes a group of more than 1,000 apprehended in El Paso last week.

On Memorial Day alone, agents in the El Paso sector apprehended about 2,200 migrants, including groups of 200 and 430.

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Author:  JULIÁN AGUILARThe Texas Tribune

Video+Info: Cornyn – HUMANE Act Would Address Crisis at the Border

WASHINGTON – Wednesday on the floor of the Senate U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) called on Democrats to support a real solution to the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border, like his HUMANE Act.

Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below:

“First, we need to get additional funding to the departments and agencies that are trying to manage this crisis and care for the migrants in their custody.”

“Without action here in Congress, funding could dry up by the end of this month, creating an even more dire situation.”

“But that’s not a fix. That’s a patch. Any sort of lasting change cannot be solved by a funding bill or by tariffs. It has to be solved by something only Congress can do, by passing legislation that addresses the root of the problem.”

“The HUMANE Act is bipartisan, it’s bicameral, and it would provide real relief for folks in Texas and other border states who are struggling to manage the crisis.”

“I know most of our Congressional Democratic friends have adopted the posture of reflexively standing against the President on anything and everything that he asks for.”

“I think this is a much better solution than tariffs on Mexican goods brought into the United States.”

“I would urge all my colleagues to take a serious look at the HUMANE Act so we can finally do our part, that only we in Congress can do, to stem the flow of Central American migrants who are flooding our borders and prevent criminals and human smugglers from infiltrating our country as they are doing now.”

Background on the HUMANE Act:

Improving Care of Children and Families at the Border:

  • Requires DHS to keep families together during court proceedings and provide additional standards of care for families being held in DHS facilities*
  • Improves Due Process for unaccompanied children and family units by prioritizing their claims for relief in immigration courts.
  • Provides safeguards to prevent unaccompanied children from being placed in the custody of dangerous individuals.
  • Requires DHS to continually update their regulations to prevent and combat sexual abuse and assault in DHS facilities.
  • Fixes a loophole in current law to allow unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries to be voluntarily reunited with their families in their home country.*
  • Clarifies that the Flores settlement agreement applies to unaccompanied children apprehended at the border.

 

Streamlining Processing and Increasing Resources at Ports of Entry:

  • Mandates the hiring of additional DHS personnel, upgrades and modernization of our nation’s ports of entry to expedite legitimate trade and travel.
  • Improves processing of humanitarian relief claims by requiring certain applications take place at designated ports of entry.*
  • Requires DHS to establish four or more Regional Processing Centers in high-traffic areas to process and house family units in a humane environment.*
  • Requires the Executive Office for Immigration Review to assign at least two immigration judges to each of the Regional Processing Centers that DHS is required to establish along the southern border.
  • Mandates a strategy and implementation plan from the Department of State regarding foreign engagement with Central American nations.

 

*Recommendation of the bipartisan DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council

 

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

Trump’s tariffs could hurt Texas, U.S. economies as much as Mexico’s, border leaders and analysts say

With a looming trade war with Mexico on the horizon, Texas’ proximity to its southern neighbor could spell economic trouble for the state’s consumers and workforce.

But it’s the added dynamic of how this country trades with Mexico that could do far greater damage to the state and national economies than President Donald Trump’s current trade battles with China or Canada, analysts warn.

Late Thursday, Trump announced he would begin imposing 5% tariffs on all products imported from Mexico on June 10 if that country didn’t do more to curb the flow of unauthorized immigrants traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States. Trump said he would increase it to as high as 25 percent by October if Mexico doesn’t act.

Since October 2018, when the federal government’s current fiscal year began, more than 460,000 undocumented immigrants have been apprehended on the southern border, surpassing 2018’s fiscal year total of 396,579. The administration has built temporary holding facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley to house more immigrants and announced earlier this month that more would be built within a couple weeks.

The tariff announcement comes as the Trump administration escalates its trade war with China, which has led both countries to impose billions in duties on goods imported to their respective countries.

But the impact from tariffs on Mexican goods could have a deeper reach because of just how many U.S. products contain parts or labor supplied by both countries, said Shannon O’Neil, the vice president, deputy director of studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller senior fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The way U.S. workers will be hit by this is very different. The imports coming in from Mexico have the highest percentage of U.S.-made products within them,” she said. “On average, 40 percent of products are made in the U.S. so those American workers that are making that 40 percent are going to get hit as hard as their Mexican counterparts.”

Some industries — including automakers — import and export products back and forth across the border more than once, which means those goods could be subject to multiple tariffs. For example, two of the top U.S. exports to Mexico are auto and computer parts, while two of the top imports from Mexico are auto parts and computers, according to trade data analyzed by WorldCity.

The threat by the president comes after Mexico recently became the United States’ largest trading partner — it has been Texas’ top trade partner for several years. Through March, more than $150.58 billion in two-way trade passed through the countries’ ports: The U.S. exported $63.95 billion worth of goods and imported $86.63 billion worth of goods from Mexico. Texas’ ports at Laredo and El Paso are the the two busiest on the border, with $55.8 and $18.6 billion passing through those regions, respectively.

That means the effect from tariffs will be felt first in border states, O’Neil said.

“Many of those jobs in those regional supply chains where goods and parts come back and forth across the border, many of those jobs are in Texas,” she said. “And the whole logistics industry, the people whose lives depend on trade that move things back and forth, all of those jobs will get hit as this trade gets more expensive.”

Ray Perryman, the president and CEO of the Perryman Group, said a 5 percent tariff, once absorbed through supply chains and market adjustments, could eliminate more than 400,000 U.S. jobs and cause economic losses he estimated at $41.5 billion in gross domestic product.

“If Mexico were to retaliate and impose tariffs on the U.S., which is likely, the effects would be even greater. Texas would bear the lion’s share of this loss given the extensive commerce that occurs between the state and Mexico,” Perryman said in an emailed statement.

Some of the state’s lawmakers and business groups condemned the president’s move and questioned its legality.

“[We] strongly opposes President Trump’s threat to impose unilateral tariffs on Mexican imports. Our analysis suggests the tariffs may not rest on firm constitutional or legal ground, and probably violate international agreements including the North American Free Trade Agreement and those underlying the World Trade Organization,” said Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, who serves as chairman of the Texas Border Coalition, a group of elected officials and private sector leaders that advocates for more resources at the nation’s land ports.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said the announcement could negatively impact ongoing negotiations between the United States, Mexico and Canada over the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade pact seen by some lawmakers and economists as a much-needed improvement to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

“The President’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico is a dangerous mistake that will have significant consequences to our economy,” he said. “To properly address the crisis at the southern border, we need to invest in our ports of entry, including increasing personnel, improving infrastructure, and advancing technology.”

Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement saying that the situation at the border has reached a “breaking point” and he put the blame on Congress.

“I’ve previously stated my opposition to tariffs due to the harm it would inflict on the Texas economy, and I remain opposed today,” Abbott said. “Nevertheless, the President is trying to address this emergency. Now, Congress must do its job and start passing laws to fix our broken immigration system.”

An aide to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, added: “Senator Cornyn supports the President’s commitment to securing our border, but he opposes this across-the-board tariff which will disproportionately hurt Texas.”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, said he understands Trump’s frustrations, but added there is still time to work on a solution before the tariffs are implemented in 10 days.

“The President has made it clear that Mexico must do more to stop this crisis at the border which seemingly has no end, and he is serious about taking whatever actions are necessary to find a real lasting solution,” said Brady, the ranking member on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. “Mexico is a valued ally and the new tariffs are not yet in effect, so there is a window here for both countries to find common ground. It is in both of our interests to do so, economically and for stronger security.”

O’Neil said Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador has already tried to meet some of Trump’s long-standing demands that Mexico do more to curb the flow of Central American migrants.

“He has deported as many people [in less than a year] as [former President] Enrique Peña Nieto did in his last year,” she said. “But the number of people coming has increased so that is the challenge. And with many fewer resources [than the United States].”

Abby Livingston and Patrick Svitek contributed reporting

Read related Tribune coverage

Author:  JULIÁN AGUILARThe Texas Tribune

Statement from Borderplex Alliance CEO Barela on President Trump’s Tariffs on Goods from Mexico

President Trump’s misguided plan to impose tariffs on goods from Mexico is a consumer tax on Americans that will lead to job losses in the Borderplex region and throughout America.

Uncertainty is the enemy of job creation, private investment and economic growth. The President’s comments create great uncertainty and businesses are looking to Washington for solutions, not counterproductive threats. President Trump’s actions also undercut his own efforts to ratify the USMCA at a critical time in its attempted passage.

Mexico is an economic and strategic ally of the United States. It is not a foe. Mexico is now America’s largest trading partner and between 5 to 6 million U.S. jobs rely directly on trade with our southern neighbor.

The Borderplex region is the fourth largest manufacturing hub in North America and the President’s actions will have a devastating impact on our local economy.  This action will also have dire consequences for jobs in the sophisticated supply chain between the U.S. and Mexico.  Jobs in states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania will especially be at risk.

Every minute, there is $1 million in trade conducted between our two countries. If Mexico retaliates with its own tariffs on U.S. goods, the resulting trade war would not only have a chilling effect on our bilateral relationship, it will open the door for investment from other countries like China into Mexico.

Rather than threatening a close ally, President Trump should be working, in a bilateral fashion, to solve the migrant crisis while at the same time creating jobs, opportunity, and a more secure border.

Therefore, the Borderplex Alliance will continue to work with our elected officials to promote border security and cross-national commerce. We call on all sides to work toward a long-term solution that will stem unlawful crossings and bolster the economy on both sides of the border.

Author: Borderplex Alliance CEO Jon Barela 

***

The El Paso Herald-Post welcomes all local guest columns, open letters, letters to the Editor and analysis pieces for publication, to submit a piece or for questions regarding guidelines, please email us at news@epheraldpost.com

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