Compiled by the staff of the Corporate Responsibility office of the Benedictine Sisters, Boerne,Texas
Recent News Articles on Immigration
(click through the headline to read the entire article)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained 109,144 migrants during April. CBP made 5,075 arrests on May 4, the highest one-day total since 2017. On April 30, a group of 421 adults and children crossed in the El Paso area, the single-largest group CBP has ever seen. During the month of April, more than 8,800 unaccompanied children have crossed the border.
Daily Beast: Border Detention Centers Are So Overcrowded, Authorities Are Now Using Planes To Relocate Migrants: Report
Customs and Border Protection began transporting migrants by plane May 10, to several border detention centers along the border. Each flight costs $16,000 and can transport about 135 adults.
"Washington Post: Pentagon Will Pull Money From Ballistic Missile & Surveillance Plane Programs To Fund Border Wall"
The Pentagon will shift $1.5 billion for the President’s border wall from programs that include a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile system and a plane that provides surveillance and communications to fighter jets, according to a Defense Department document. The $1.5 billion in reprogramming comes on top of about $1 billion in Army personnel money that the Pentagon said it would set aside for the border wall and $3.6 billion in military construction projects that the Defense Department intends to delay to build other sections of the wall.
The River and the Wall film shows just how damaging a Southern wall would be. This film follows Masters and four friends as they travel 1,200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico to better understand how the environment would be affected by a border wall. The River and the Wall is now available in theaters and on iTunes and Amazon.
Washington Post: The GoFundMe Border Wall Finally Broke Ground. Then A Cease-And-Desist Order Arrived.
Brian Kolfage, who launched the GoFundMe “We Build the Wall” seeks to build a wall along the southern border. When Kolfage fell short of his $1 billion goal (the group only raised $23 million), he channeled the money to construct wall segments on private property. As a result, the legality of the GoFundMe is now being questioned by local Mayor Javier Perea, of Sunland Park, New Mexico, who issued a cease-and-desist order to stop construction of the wall.
Washington Post: A Half-Mile Of Crowdfunded Border Wall is Nearly Done, Even Though A City Tried To Pause It
After dramatically issuing a cease-and-desist order, Mayor Javier Perea of Sunland Park, New Mexico, said the nearly completed project would be allowed to move forward. Perea conceded that it was essentially too late to stop construction on the fence, because so much of it had already been built.
U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam has partially blocked President Trump’s plan to fund construction of a border wall. The preliminary injunction issued May 24, immediately halts a $1 billion transfer of Pentagon counterdrug funding to cover expansions and enhancement of border barriers. However, the judge’s order only limits construction in specific border areas in Texas and Arizona and does not prevent the administration from tapping other funding sources to advance those projects. Congress passed a spending package in February that gave $1.4 billion for roughly 55 miles of new border barriers.
Federal Judge Trevor McFadden, denied a request by House Democrats to block the President from transferring funds from appropriated accounts to construct a border wall on June 3.
A 2½-year-old Guatemalan boy apprehended at the border died May 14, in El Paso after several weeks in the hospital. The boy, who had spent three days in federal custody, appeared to have developed a form of pneumonia.
The 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who died May 20, in immigration custody in south Texas, was diagnosed with the flu. Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez was found unresponsive May 20, during a welfare check at Weslaco Border Patrol Station. In December, Jakelin Caal Maquín, 7, died of a bacterial infection, and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, died of complications from the flu and an infection while in CBP custody. On April 30, Juan de León Gutiérrez, 16, died following at a hospital after falling ill while in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. On May 14, a 2½-year-old died after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
On May 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials released a timeline of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez-Vasquez’s detainment, revealing that he spent six full days in custody. Under CBP regulations, the agency must transfer its custody of any migrant, regardless of age, after 72 hours.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced the temporary suspension of intake operations at the Central Processing Center in McAllen after a “large number” of migrants “were displaying signs of a flu related illness."
A facility for migrants in McAllen, Texas, has resumed normal operations on May 22, less than 24 hours after the facility suspended intake operations after 32 people testified positive for the flu.
Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle, a 10-year-old Salvadoran girl, was apprehended in Hidalgo, Texas, in March 2018. She spent about 45 hours in CBP custody before being transported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Officials said the girl had a history of congenital heart defects and that the child had surgery complications that had left her in a comatose state. She died due to fever and respiratory distress on September 29.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines by declaring that, "We believe that the President of The United States is engaged in a cover-up." In this case, Pelosi was speaking of the President’s tax returns. But there's potentially an even more appalling cover-up by the President that concerns the death of Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle, just five weeks before the November 2018 midterm elections that the administration didn't reveal at the time.
Photos obtained exclusively by CNN show migrants at the McAllen, Texas, Border Patrol station, many of whom are children, sleeping on the ground on rocks and covered by Mylar blankets.
The U.S. Border Patrol said May 10, that it plans to open a second tent facility to detain migrants in South Texas next to one it opened recently (in Donna, TX). The agency said the 500-person tent it opened in Donna, Texas, is already beyond capacity. The Border Patrol said it made 98,977 apprehensions for crossing illegally in April, including 58,474 adults and children traveling together, encountering more than 100,000 people overall. In the Rio Grande Valley, agents apprehend about 1,600 people daily. Border Patrol has more than 8,000 people detained in the sector.
The U.S. military is going to provide and build tents to house 7,500 migrants at six locations near the border. A Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security made the request, and a Defense official said acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan is expected to sign the request. The tents will probably not be on military bases, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will be responsible for migrant detention.
At least 2,000 child migrants are being held at Homestead detention center, about 30 miles south of Miami, Florida. It’s the largest detention site for migrant children in the U.S. Since 1997, the Flores settlement has limited the amount of time the government can detain children. But because Homestead is considered an “emergency influx shelter” for children – the only one in the U.S. – the Flores settlement does not apply.
Mexico is trying to keep migrants in newly constructed voluntary shelters rather than in detention facilities. Tonatiuh Guillén, director of the National Immigration Institute, told the Associated Press that migrants requesting asylum would be free to come and go from shelters. He said that the first shelter would be built in the state of Chiapas.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to hold up to 5,600 more people in custody in California. The request indicates plans for more contracted detention space in California field offices. The Request for Information specifies that within the San Diego Field Office’s area, the agency hopes to find facilities that can hold between 1,400 and 1,600 people within 75 to 180 miles of the Calexico City Library. In the Los Angeles Field Office’s area, the document seeks potential facilities that could house between 2,800 and 3,000 detainees in a seven-county area from Orange and Riverside to San Luis Obispo and San Bernardino. In the San Francisco office’s region, the agency is looking to hold between 900 and 1,000 people near seven cities that range between Bakersfield and Redding.
The Advocate: As Fewer Inmates Fill Louisiana Jails, Wardens Turn To Immigraton Official To Fill Bunks, Budgets
A steadily declining number of state inmates has helped Louisiana lose its status as the nation’s incarceration capital. Many of the beds left empty by the state are now being filled by asylum-seekers and others detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Several Louisiana sheriffs have inked deals with. Taken together, the agreements will provide about 2,800 detention beds for ICE.
After visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the flow of migrant families crossing into the U.S. is "overwhelming" U.S. authorities. "The processing centers are back open but they're grossly overcrowded because of the unbelievable situation on the border — the out of control nature of it," Johnson said on "Face the Nation". Last month, U.S. immigration authorities apprehended or turned back more than 109,000 migrants, including approximately 58,000 families and nearly 9,000 unaccompanied children along the southwestern border.
On July 15, 2018, 37 migrant children boarded vans for what was supposed to be a 30-minute ride from Harlingen, Texas to Los Fresnos, Texas. But when the children, all between 5 and 12 years old, arrived at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's adults-only Port Isabel Detention Center, they saw a parking lot full of vans just like theirs. Not until 39 hours later, after two nights in a van, did the last child step out of a van to be reunited. Most spent at least 23 hours in the vehicles.
The administration is considering a plan to house migrant children at Fort Benning, a busy military base in Georgia.
Near Mexican Border Johana Medina Leon, 25, died at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso on June 1, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said. On May 28, Medina Leon "requested to be tested for HIV and tested positive" and she was transferred to the hospital after she complained of chest pains. On June 2, a Salvadoran national died of "an apparent seizure" after he was apprehended in Texas, the US Customs and Border Patrol said.
In March, Orange County, California abruptly announced that it would be ending its agreement with ICE to detain immigrants in county jails. Immigration lawyers now fear that ICE could transfer the county's hundreds of detainees to remote detention facilities out of the state, where they can't see their families or attorneys. Last June, Sacramento County in California, announced it would no longer hold detainees at its local jail.
During an unannounced assessment of Border Patrol facilities in El Paso, Texas, a Department of Homeland Security watchdog found that detained migrants were kept in dirty and extremely crowded conditions, forcing some people to stand on toilets to get some breathing room. According to investigators, the detention center has a capacity of 125 people, yet 756 detainees were listed on its custody log on May 7. When investigators returned the following day for another unannounced inspection, the total grew to 900
At least two deaths of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with injuries sustained by multiple immigrants in detention, were preventable, according to an internal memo obtained by the Young Turks. The supervisor of ICE’s Health Services Corps (IHSC) alleged in a memo that they themselves provided senior leadership with “numerous” early warnings on detainees at high risk for harm or death, and that the IHSC was “highly effective” at dispatching these warnings.
Washington Post: Hundreds Of Minors Held At U.S. Border Facilities Are There Beyond Legal Time Limits
Many of the nearly 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children being held in overcrowded U.S. Border Patrol facilities have been there beyond legally allowed time limits. Federal law and court orders require that children in Border Patrol custody be transferred to more-hospitable shelters no longer than 72 hours after they are apprehended. One government official said about half of the children in custody — 1,000 — have been with the Border Patrol for longer than 72 hours, and another official said that more than 250 children 12 or younger have been in custody for an average of six days.
Three Quonset-hut style tents were placed at the Border Patrol station in Eagle Pass. They come on the heels of two other “tent cities” that were built in recent months to relieve pressure in El Paso and in the town of Donna in the Rio Grande Valley. More than 144,000 migrants were apprehended in May.
A new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, will hold as many as 1,600 teens in a complex that once housed oil field workers on government-leased land near the border, said Mark Weber, a spokesman for Office of Refugee Resettlement. The agency is also weighing using Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana and Oklahoma to house an additional 1,400 kids in the coming weeks, amid the influx of children traveling to the U.S. alone. All the new facilities will be considered temporary emergency shelters, so they won’t be subject to state child welfare licensing.
As of November 2017, 71% of detained immigrants were being held in private detention facilities. ICE has awarded more than $480 million in federal funds to GEO Group and more than $331 million to CoreCivic.
Twenty-four immigrants have died in ICE custody during the Trump administration, according to an NBC News analysis of federal data. The number of in-custody deaths remains below the peak of 32 deaths in 2004, the first full calendar year records were kept. As of early June, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 immigrants a day in a sprawling network of more than 200 detention centers across the country.
The city of San Antonio has assisted 8,000 migrants so far, when the city opened a “resource center” to feed, clothe and provide medical care to the asylum seekers. With thousands of more migrants expected to arrive, city officials are asking City Council for an infusion of up $141,000 to offset some of the nonprofits’ expenses. City Manager Erik Walsh is asking the council to provide $86,000 for Catholic Charities, the San Antonio Food Bank and Travis Park Church through the end of June, and up to $55,000 that would match community donations. Local nonprofits and city agencies have contributed more than $100,000. The breakdown: The San Antonio Food Bank provided 11,000 meals worth $35,000, and $10,000 worth of water, clothes, diapers and other toiletries. Catholic Charities has spent $117,000 on bus tickets and hotel rooms for migrants. Metro Health, volunteer doctors and the San Antonio Fire Department have provided medical services to 725 migrants. The Travis Park Church has hosted about 3,100 migrants, housing between 120 to 150 people a night. And 339 city employees have volunteered.
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol are now flying migrants from the Rio Grande Valley to cities across the country. On May 17, 100 migrants arrived for processing in San Diego. It came one day after two south Florida counties (Palm Beach and Broward) were upset with a plan that would bring thousands of migrants there. Florida officials have been told to expect two plane loads of migrants each week, up to 1,000 people a month."
About 6,500 migrants have been dropped off by Border Patrol since April 12, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In San Diego, California, officials recently opened a shuttered downtown courthouse slated for demolition in a joint effort with a coalition of religious and nonprofit groups that has served more than 14,000 members of asylum-seeking families. The Border Patrol has been releasing daily about 65 migrants in the highly remote desert town of Blythe in California. Riverside County spokeswoman Brooke Federico says more than 1,800 asylum seekers have arrived to the town of 20,000 since late March. About 250 migrants have been arriving each day in Deming, New Mexico.
Hundreds of detainees from U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas and elsewhere were flown to San Diego for processing on May 17. The agency said the number of people apprehended at the border since Oct. 1 was nearly 520,000. For the month of May there has been an average of 4,500 arrests a day. Flights operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will land at San Diego International Airport and the detainees will be moved to the eight Border Patrol stations in San Diego.
With the surging number of people being apprehended at border, immigration officials are using planes to transport migrants to facilities across the country for processing. On May 17, around 100 migrants were flown from the Rio Grande Valley to San Diego for processing. But the flights come at a price, to the tune of around $20,000 to $60,000 each, or the equivalent of about $9,000 per hour.
A possible government plan to send migrants who are in federal custody to South Florida sparked concern from local officials, and one mayor offered a proposal of his own. "Bring them to the Trump hotels and ask the President to open his heart and home as well," Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen said. The sheriff said the agency had recently informed the county of a plan to transport 135 migrants from El Paso, Texas, to Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Washington Post: The Crush Of Children At Arizona’s Border Shows A U.S. Immigration System On The Brink
In the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector, which stretches from California into the Arizona desert, half of the apprehensions this year have been of children. Nearly 169,000 youths have surrendered at the border in the first seven months of this fiscal year, and more than half are ages 12 and under. Minors now account for nearly 37 percent of all crossings.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is shifting personnel from various agencies to the southern border to assist with the surge of migrants. Volunteers include personnel from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Secret Service. As of May 21, TSA had deployed approximately 100 personnel to the border. TSA volunteers will provide transportation, meal distribution and legal support, but will not conduct immigration duties at ports of entry.
The U.S. has returned around 6,000 asylum seekers to Mexico while they await their immigration proceedings. The individuals have been returned under the Migrant Protection Protocols policy, informally known as Remain in Mexico, that requires some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their immigration hearing. On May 9, around 3,700 individuals had been returned to Mexico until their immigration hearing. In late April, the number was more than 1,600 migrants.
About 25 bikers announced the donation of 30,000 non-perishable meals for migrants being processed at a facility in New Mexico. Their first stop was Camp Hope, where they delivered 5,000 meals. More than 5,000 asylum applicants have been released in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since April 12.
BuzzFeed News: Trump Plans To Make It Harder For Many Unaccompanied Immigrant Children To Apply For Asylum
The administration plans to enact procedures that will make it tougher for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain asylum. The new policies make it so asylum officers must now determine whether an individual who applied is an unaccompanied child at the time of filing. Under the new procedures, those older than 18 at the time of filing cannot apply. The procedures are to go into effect on June 30.
During May, agents in the Big Bend Sector detained about 1,200 people, roughly 900 of them in Presidio, Texas. Almost 50,000 people were detained in May in the Rio Grande Valley sector and nearly 40,000 in the El Paso sector.
A new study co-authored by Dr. Craig Katz called Mental health of children held at a United States Detention Center focuses on the mental health of immigrant kids in detention centers and how family separation affects a child.
ABC News: Only At-Risk Migrant Children Separation Separated from Families: Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Congress that one to three family separations occur every day when the care of the child is at risk. He described these cases as “extraordinarily rare” given the large numbers of families and children that have crossed the border in recent months.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed allowing unauthorized immigrants under 26 to enroll in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Some members of the legislature, have proposed that low-income people of all ages be eligible, regardless of their immigration status. Mr. Newsom has said expanding Medi-Cal to all adults over 25, could be financially unsustainable. Expanding Medi-Cal only to all people in the state under 26 would cost $98 million annually. California already provides Medi-Cal for children under 18 and pregnant women regardless of legal status.
California will become the first state to pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits. The agreement means low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California's Medicaid program, the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Only those in that age group whose incomes are low enough to qualify for the program would get the health benefits. State officials estimate that group will be about 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million per year.
A U.N. commission on May 20, presented a roadmap to boost economic development in Central American nations. The plan calls for hefty increases in social spending, tackling corruption and improving security. Mexico foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard estimated the plan would require $10 billion in annual investment over a decade.
The Senate Democratic bill to tackle the crisis at the border has four main features: (1) stepped-up financial assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; (2) enhanced opportunities to apply for U.S. asylum while in Central America or Mexico, making the border trip unnecessary; (3) increased resources, including a lot more immigration judges, for adjudicating asylum petitions; and (4) more protections for children, including increased penalties for trafficking them, and adult sponsors for those who are unaccompanied.
Mexican immigrants with a bachelor’s degree rose from 269,000 in 2000 to 678,000 in 2017, an increase of 409,000, according to the report by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, and Southern Methodist University’s Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center. Texas has the second-largest number of Mexicans with college degrees.
The national effort to deliver nearly 3,000 letters to the Homestead shelter, is part of a broader campaign calling on the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement to close the detention center. Advocates from the American Friends Service Committee, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and We Count coordinated the collection of letters written by students inside Miami-Dade County classrooms, along with kids from across the country.
NewsWeek: Immigrant Families Forgoing Food, Housing & Medical Care In Fear Of Trump’s Visa Plan, Study Finds
One in seven immigrants avoided public benefit programs in 2018 out of concern they would risk their future green card status, the Urban Institute found in a report out May 22. The report was based on interviews with about 2,000 adult immigrants in December 2018.
To read the study conducted by the Urban Institute go to: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/100270/one_in_seven_adults_in_immigrant_families_reported_avoiding_publi_4.pdf
Companies, trade groups or other organizations that disclosed efforts to influence Washington on immigration matters reached 646 last year. And this year, 428 organizations reported immigration-related lobbying in the first quarter alone. Three enterprises (Crawfish Processors Alliance, BrightView and the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing) have spent a relatively modest amount overall on lobbying in Washington so far this year, between $15,000 and $20,000 each, well below Microsoft’s $2.8 million spent on all lobbying and Facebook’s $3.4 million.
The Texas Legislature voted May 26, to strip $100 million funding request from the state's savings account to expand "surge operations" near the Texas-Mexico border. State Rep. John Zerwas, and the House's chief budget writer, explained the decision before the chamber voted 147-1 in favor of it, saying the $100 million was "a bit redundant." The Legislature authorized a large-scale deployment of state troopers along the Texas-Mexico border in 2015 at a cost of about $800 million for the two-year budget cycle, then appropriated roughly the same amount in 2017.
President Trump new immigration proposal, which the White House has yet to release in legislative form, focuses on reorienting the existing visa system toward skilled workers and away from family-based immigration. To pass Congress, the proposal would require 60 votes in the Senate, and the majority in the House.
The Las Cruces City Council backed a request to the federal government seeking reimbursement for local efforts to shelter asylum-seeking migrants. Separately, the city announced it received $250,000 from the state to reimburse its costs in caring for migrants, an effort local government have been involved since April 12. Since that date, about 8,200 migrants have been dropped off by federal authorities in Las Cruces. The city has allocated $575,000 toward caring for migrants dropped off in Las Cruces.
Mexican immigration authorities cleared a park of camping Central American migrants and another makeshift encampment of Haitians and African migrants outside an immigration detention center near the Guatemala border.
Medical providers are challenging practices by both government agencies and their own hospitals, that they say are endangering patients. The problems range from shackling patients to beds and not permitting them to use restrooms to pressuring doctors to discharge patients quickly and certify that they can be held in crowded detention facilities that immigration officials themselves say are unsafe.
America Magazine: How The Jesuits Got A For-Profit Detention Center Company To Report Human Rights Abuses
The GEO Group, a for-profit provider of “diversified correctional and community reentry services” for local and state governments, faced a rare challenge from its own shareholders on May 7, when they approved a resolution proposed by the Jesuits West province of the Society of Jesus. The province requested that GEO, which runs 134 facilities around the world—including 69 detention centers in the United States—“report annually…on how it implements” its human rights policy. The resolution obtained 87.9% approval rate from shareholders.
The U.S. government said that it won’t build President Trump’s border wall on the site of a historic cemetery (Eli Jackson Cemetery in San Juan, Texas) that might have required the exhumation of graves.
Six migrants who had crossed the U.S. border from Mexico illegally were killed and five critically injured when a sport utility vehicle that earlier fled Texas police crashed into a drainage ditch. The incident began when police in Robstown, 220 miles (354 kilometers) southwest of Houston, tried to stop the SUV for speeding.
Dallas News: Beto O'Rourke Rolls Out Immigration Plan: No Border Wall, Citizenship For 11 Million, New Guest Worker Program
Beto O'Rourke released a plan to rewrite U.S. immigration law that includes: reinstating Obama-era protections for young immigrants and others; immediately halting work on the border wall, and his first budget, and every budget, will include no funding for such a wall; ensuring that industries that depend on immigrant labor have access to a program that allows workers to legally come here and legally return to their home country.
Washington Post: ICE Deported Veterans While ‘Unaware’ It Was Required To Carefully Screen Them, Report Says
A federal watchdog said the government had violated its own rules on deporting former service members — and immigration authorities have no idea how many they have removed. Immigrants have served in uniform since the nation’s founding and have been naturalized in uniform or as veterans for a century. Nearly 130,000 troops have been naturalized since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks alone.
Since the first private prison opened in 1984 in Tennessee, for-profit incarceration has ballooned into a $5 billion industry. In 2017, 121,420 people — about 8% of the U.S. prison population — were housed in private facilities, but the share is much higher in some states. The stocks of the two biggest private prison companies have surged: CoreCivic is up 56% to $22.78 and GEO Group is up 46% to $23.02.
More than 250 Central Africans arrived to San Antonio, prompting the city to open a new shelter and put out a call for French and Portuguese speakers. The migrants from Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrived June 4, coming from Laredo and Del Rio, where many of them had waited weeks to seek asylum at the ports of entry. San Antonio’s migrant resource center has assisted more than 14,000 migrants since it opened March 30. More than 6,000 arrived in the last month alone.
Washington Post: Trump Says U.S. To Impose 5 Percent Tariff On All Mexican Imports Beginning June 10 IN Dramatic Escalation Of Border Clash
On Thursday, May 30, the President said he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods entering from Mexico unless it stopped the flow of illegal immigration to the United States. The White House plans to begin levying the import penalties on June 10. After the 5 percent tariffs are imposed on June 10, the White House said it would increase the penalties to 10 percent on July 1 and then an additional 5 percent on the first day of each month for three months. The tariffs would stay at 25 percent “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” a statement by the president said.
President Trump threatened to start a trade war with Mexico, but Mexico’s President Andrés López Obrador isn’t having it. López Obrador responded to President Trump within a few hours with a letter that he posted on Twitter. In the letter López Obrador wrote, “President Trump: You can’t solve social problems with taxes or coercive measures,….How does one transform, overnight, the country of fellowship with immigrants from around the world into a ghetto, a closed-off space that stigmatizes, mistreats, chases, expels and cancels legal rights to those who are seeking —with effort and hard work— to live free of misery? The Statue of Liberty isn’t an empty symbol.”
Trade between Houston and Mexico averages $23.4 billion per year, according to estimates from the Greater Houston Partnership, and about 75 percent of U.S.-Mexico land trade, worth approximately $343 billion in 2015, crosses through a Texas port of entry, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Trade between Mexico and Texas was more than $187 billion in 2017, making Mexico Texas’s largest export market.
Mr. Trump’s latest threat to impose 5 percent tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico, rising to as high as 25 percent until the Mexican government stems the flow of migrants, has prompted some of the most serious defiance in the Republican ranks since the president took office. Texas would be hit the hardest by the proposed tariffs on Mexican products, followed by Michigan, California, Illinois and Ohio, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A 25 percent tariff would threaten $26.75 billion of Texas imports.
The President said he expects to begin hitting Mexico with tariffs staring June 10 at five percent, in a long-running dispute over illegal immigration. The tariff threat comes just as the administration has been pushing for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which would update the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Over the past few months, Mexico has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of immigrants. In May, authorities detained nearly 23,000 migrants, triple the number in January and about twice the monthly average in the first five months of last year. However, most of that activity has taken place further from the border between Chiapas state and Guatemala. On Friday, June 7, negotiators agreed to send up to 6,000 members of the National Guard security force into Chiapas after Trump’s calls for Mexico to secure the frontier.
Washington Post: Mexico Aims To Avoid Tariffs With Potential Deal Limiting Migrants Going North, Allowing U.S. To Deport Central American Asylum Seekers
Mexican officials have pledged to deploy up to 6,000 national guard troops to the area of the country’s border with Guatemala, a show of force they say will immediately reduce the number of Central Americans heading north toward the U.S. border. The plan, a sweeping overhaul of asylum rules across the region, would require Central American migrants to seek refuge in the first country they enter after leaving their homeland, the two officials said. For Guatemalans, that would be Mexico. For migrants from Honduras and El Salvador, that would be Guatemala, whose government held talks last week with acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan. Any migrants who made it to the U.S. border generally would be deported to the appropriate third country. And any migrants who express a fear of death or torture in their home country would be subjected to a tougher screening standard by U.S. asylum officers more likely to result in rejection.
President Trump announced Friday night (June 7) that a deal was in place that would avert threatened tariffs on imports from Mexico in exchange for that country’s taking “strong measures” to curb the influx of Central American migrants at the U.S. southern border. The two countries would expand a program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), that allows the United States to return Central American migrants to Mexico while they await the adjudication of their asylum hearings in U.S. immigration court, a process that can take months. In addition, Mexico announced new actions to apprehend more Central American migrants traveling across its borders. And U.S. negotiators said that they had reached the outlines of a deal that would dramatically increase Mexico’s immigration enforcement efforts and give the United States far more latitude to deport asylum seekers originating from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.