President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico until its leaders took unspecified steps to curb illegal immigration to the United States.
“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” Trumpwrote on Twitter. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied … at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow.”
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The president is also considering sweeping restrictions on asylum that would effectively block Central American migrants from entering the U.S., several administration officials and advocates briefed on the plan said earlier Thursday. A draft proposal circulating among Trump’s Homeland Security advisers would prohibit migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before coming to the U.S.
Trump’s idea to use tariffs as leverage on immigration is not new. He said last month that a recent deal with Mexico on auto exports wouldn’t count if the country failed to stop Central American migrants from illegally crossing the border. The president said he would give Mexico one year to curb illegal border crossings before pulling the trigger on new tariffs — a softening of his earlier threat to close the border entirely, but one that could still inflict economic damage on both countries.
Trump did not describe what changes his administration would demand from Mexico, or whether it would withdraw from the renegotiated NAFTA deal.