Mexico’s commitment to restrict Migrants

It is quite clear now that illegal migration into the United States from Mexico is an issue that has undoubtedly been close to President Donald Trump’s heart. On his campaign trail, one of his most elaborate policy agenda was on immigration. He made it the centerpiece of his  successful campaign.

It is quite clear now that illegal migration into the United States from Mexico is an issue that has undoubtedly been close to President Donald Trump’s heart. On his campaign trail, one of his most elaborate policy agenda was on immigration. He made it the centerpiece of his  successful campaign.

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Mexico’s commitment to restrict Migrants

It is quite clear now that illegal migration into the United States from Mexico is an issue that has undoubtedly been close to President Donald Trump’s heart. On his campaign trail, one of his most elaborate policy agenda was on immigration. He made it the centerpiece of his  successful campaign.

Early this month Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of state Mike Pompeo held talks with Mexican Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard. President Trump had invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, threatening to impose taxes starting at 5% and increase over time to 25 %, and would take effect if Mexico did not stem the illegal immigrants flow into the US.

A few days ago, US government officials and their Mexican counterparts finally reached a consensus and president Trump announced that a bilateral deal had been reached. In exchange for Trump, dropping the tariff threat, Mexico will send 6000 troops to secure the southern border specifically their 600-mile border with Guatemala.

The troops are the National Guard created by the Mexican presidentAndres Manuel in February; they are a combination of the Navy, Army, and Federal law enforcement. Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador also known as the Northern triangle are some of the countries borders that the troops will be guarding against illegal crossing.

Trump’s tough stance has finally borne fruit and Mexico now respects the United States. If the Mexicans fulfill their obligations, to a large extent the US will fundamentally be using Mexico’s own very tough immigration laws.

Northern Triangle

The Northern Triangle includes three southern American countries of El Salvador,Guatemala, and Honduras.The migration impasse is closely allied to very difficult social, economic, and political conditions in the Northern Triangle. Major concerns and problems resulting from government failures and inadequacies in this countries force men women and children to flee.

Migration crisis from this area did not start recently but started activity in the 1960s and proceeded to grow in the 80s. Rather than stay in their impoverished countries,  migrants choose to risk their lives on the uncertain, dangerous, and precarious route to seek better livelihoods.

This is also one of the most dangerous parts of the world. Its levels of violence can be compared to those of a war zone, specifically drug trade related gang violence. Mexico’s Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard has been quoted saying that the migrant problem at the United States/Mexico border was not just a Mexican problem but also a regional one. Majority of the migrants and refugees are composed of families fleeing from the northern triangle.

Asylum seekers originally from Honduras and El Salvador first cross into Guatemala and are then trafficked into Mexico through the porous 600-mile long Mexican Guatemalan border. Other migrants such as Cubans and Haitians fly first to Panama before making their way to the US border through Mexico. Africans first fly to Brazil before making the perilous journey.

What’s in the US/Mexico bilateral deal

Mexican enforcement surge

At the end of February 2019, Mexico combined troops from the Army, The Navy and the Federal law enforcement to form the National Guard. It will take unprecedented steps to curb irregular migration by the deployment of this newly formed National Guard while giving priority to its southern border with Guatemala. Mexico will also take decisive action to dismantle human trafficking, smuggling organizations, their transportation and financial networks. They will also strengthen their bilateral cooperation, which includes information sharing and coordinated operations to further secure the border.

Further Actions

In the event that the measures taken do not achieve the desired effects, both Mexico and the United States will continue to work together to come up with better solutions. The agreements made will be under review within ninety days in order to curb any irregularities.

Migrant protection protocols

The United States pledged to strengthen the current migrant protection protocols across the whole of the southern border. Those who cross the border will be immediately returned to Mexico to await the scrutiny of their asylum claims. Mexico in response will allow this to happen on humanitarian grounds, in compliance with its international obligations. Mexico will also offer jobs, medical care, and education according to its principals. In response, the United States will expedite to accelerate the adjudication of the asylum claims and the conclusion of removal proceedings.

Ongoing Regional Strategy

Both Mexico and the United States reiterated their previous positions of recognizing the strong links between promoting the development and economic growth in southern Mexico and the success of promoting prosperity, good governance, and security in Central America. The United States and Mexico will both liaise with other Central American partners to address the underlying reasons for migration

Safe Third Country Agreement

This agreement means that a country can reject a person’s asylum request if the said person had previously been granted protection by another country. The United States and Canada have signed The Canada-United States safe third country Agreement.The European Union also has one with Turkey.

Trump is in favor of Mexico signing a safe third country agreement with the United States. This agreement would enable the US to send any Central American found to have crossed into the United States from Mexico right back across because the treaty requires that the immigrant seek asylum in the first safe country that they arrive in.

Migrants from Honduras and El Salvador would file for asylum in Guatemala, while Guatemalans would file for asylum in Mexico. A good example is Canada/United States agreement. Its first year saw the Asylum claims in Canada drop by 50%. The agreement deterred many asylum seekers from applying in Canada.

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Asylum seekers would have to file their claims on Mexican soil and not in the United States as it has previously been. Mexico has been reluctant to sign the deal mostly because it is also prone to the same kind of violence the migrants are fleeing from their countries and it has fears of being overrun by a flood of immigrants. If the bilateral agreement is not successful within 90 days in rectifying the situation, the Safe Third Country Agreement will be back on the table for discussion.

Mexico’s profit from US and China Trade war

Mexico does an enormous amount of trade with the US, and this has increased to a larger scale due to the ongoing United States and China trade war. Tensions between the United States and China has resulted  in the two countries importing fewer commodities from each other especially the products that have been subject to an increase in Tariffs. This has made importers from both countries to source for goods from countries such as Vietnam and Mexico.

The benefits to the Mexican economy will be suppressed if Trumps threat to impose more Tariffs on all American imports from Mexico, observed the chief economist of the World Trade Organization Mr. Robert Koopman.The Mexican Peso went up more than 2% and the stock markets worldwide hiked, the United States treasury prices dropped as well after the United States shelved the tariffs plan easing uncertainty about the brunt of another trade war on the global economy.

The United States imported $346.5 billion worth of goods from Mexico in 2018, an increase in 10.3% from the previous year, according to United States Trade Representative. Companies with significant dealings with Mexico stand to benefit the most from the tariffs scrap. This includes companies like,

Skyworks solutions (SWKS)

Amplifiers, Attenuators, directional couplers and voltage regulators.

-Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ)

Imports beers, wines, and spirits.

-Lennox International Inc. (LII)

Amplifiers, Attenuators, Directional couplers and voltage regulators.


Trumps administration has yet again proven it means business with matters to do with immigration. The appointment of Kenneth Cuccinelli,as the new acting director of The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is testament to that.

The former Virginia Attorney General has gained a reputation of being a hardliner on Immigration. Some of his views include denying United States-born children citizenship if the parents do not have documents and for law enforcement officers to investigate the Immigration status of anyone they stop.

The deployment of the Mexican National Guard will definitely act as a deterrent for human trafficking networks that operate from there. Signing a third country agreement with Mexico would also be an efficient deterrent to ensure that Central American immigrants cease coming to the United States and Mexican Border.

The left and some sections of the media have been quick to criticize President Trump’s hardline approach to the border crisis. But it’s also good to note that Mexico has made commitments before to do something about their southern border which they didn’t follow through, but it took the threat of tariffs to bring them to the negotiating table with real proposals within hours.

The best part about the United States and Mexico migration deal is that both countries have agreed to jointly address underlying reasons of migration from Central America which in the end could permanently curb the menace.

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