The U.S. and Mexico reached a deal Friday to avert a 5% tariff on all imported Mexican goods that was due to take effect today and increase to 25% by October. The Trump administration said the deal was based around Mexico’s commitment to deploy National Guard forces throughout the country, in particular to its southern border, in order to stem the flow of northbound migrants headed toward the U.S. Under the deal, Mexico also agreed to expand what is known as Remain in Mexico policy, which allows the U.S. to send back Central American asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico while their cases make their way through immigration courts.
However, on Saturday, The New York Times reported that the plan to send troops to the border had already been agreed to in March. Trump lashed out at The New York Times report Sunday, tweeting, “We have been trying to get some of these Border Actions for a long time, as have other administrations, but were not able to get them, or get them in full, until our signed agreement with Mexico.” He added, in another tweet, “They are truly The Enemy of the People!” referring to both The New York Times and CNN.
Trump also said Mexico agreed to start buying large quantities of agricultural goods from the U.S., though it’s unclear if this is related to the immigration deal.
At a rally in Tijuana Saturday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated the passing of the deal and said Mexico would carry out the immigration plan while respecting the rights of migrants, but many immigrant rights advocates and migrants said the plan would further harm asylum seekers. This is migrant activist Luis Garcia.
Luis Garcia: “This migrant policy has been pushed through because of statements and the dispute between Republicans and Democrats, and a paranoid man, a mentally ill man, in power in the United States, the tyrant Donald Trump, pressuring Mexico so he can get votes. There’s no other reason. The exacerbation of this crisis that he says will infect the United States, it’s just in Donald Trump’s head.”