UPDATED 1:28 PM PT — Thursday, April 4, 2019
President Trump is ramping up pressure on Mexico by warning the U.S. will impose auto tariffs on the country if it does not help stem the flow of the illegal immigration.
While speaking from the White House Thursday, the president gave Mexico a one-year deadline to step up efforts to curb the crisis. He warned if the country does not help by that time then the U.S. will close the border.
The president also expanded his threat to shutdown the border by acknowledging there would likely be economic impacts, but saying security is more important.
“Mexico understands that we’re going to close the border or I’m gonna tariff the cars — I’ll do one or the other and probably start off with the tariffs, that’ll be a very powerful incentive because Mexico has the strongest immigration laws anywhere in the world,” said President Trump. “They don’t have courts like we do, we have a stupid system of courts — it’s the craziest thing in the world.”
The president’s comments come ahead of his trip to Calexico, California Friday, where he will tour the recently replaced portions of a 30-foot tall border fence.
Meanwhile, House Democrats are introducing a resolution condemning President Trump’s plans to close the southern border. Representatives from Texas — Henry Cuellar and Veronica Escobar — have introduced a bill to keep the border open. Democrats have claimed closing the border would hurt tourism and create economic risks for Mexico and the U.S.
This comes as Customs and Border Protection warns the border is being overwhelmed by thousands of illegal aliens crossing from Mexico every day. Border officials have urged Democrats to visit the border to witness the scale of the crisis for themselves.
The Democrat-led resolution also calls for better treatment and conditions for illegal immigrants detained at the border.