Conservative immigration analysts: Trump tariffs could worsen border crisis

Saturday, June 1, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Anna Giaritelli
June 01, 2019

Conservative immigration experts warned Friday that President Trump’s threat to impose a tariff on Mexican imports would have “devastating” consequences if Mexico retaliates by shutting down its immigration and drug enforcement operations, worsening the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Business groups have expressed major concerns about the penalty’s effect on North American trade, but those affiliated with Trump’s own party say the proposal is a mistake and the fall-out would not be limited to trade issues.

Former Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley balked at the idea in a statement Thursday.

So did officials from the Heritage Foundation, which has consistently backed Trump’s policies.

“These tariffs are the wrong policy for addressing the crisis at the border. Mexico can and should do more. Our nations can only be secure and prosperous if we work together, and the president should press to make this partnership stronger. This policy, however, is not the way to do so,” wrote James Carafano, vice president of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and Jack Spencer, vice president of the Institute for Economic Freedom.

The tariff could prompt a meltdown of U.S.-Mexico relations and put more pressure on an already overburdened immigration system if Mexico were to choose to respond to the U.S. by ceasing its enforcement operations, some conservatives believe.

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