By J. D. Heyes
While the dishonest â€œmainstream mediaâ€, as well as Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress, bash POTUS Donald Trump over his threat to begin imposing a 5 percent tariff on all imported goods from Mexico beginning next week, more evidence that heâ€™s exactly right to do so has emerged.
For years Mexico has done its level best to export its own poverty to the United States, doing virtually nothing to stem the illegal flow of its citizens north of the border. The reason was simple: Money.
One of Mexicoâ€™s historic revenue streams in addition to energy (oil) and tourism has been the inflow of dollars from its citizens â€” remittances â€” working illegally in the U.S. In fact, according to 2016 data, these remittances superseded oil revenues as Mexicoâ€™s primary source of foreign income.
In other words, subsequent Mexican administrations have, forÂ decades, used the United States as an employer, a social relief valve (unrest breeds from discontent and unemployment), and income.
In fact,Â according to Mexican media, remittances from foreign sources totaled more than $26 billion in 2017, the highest figure to date â€” and by far, the lionâ€™s share of that came from the U.S.
Now, POTUS Trump wants Mexico to do more than it ever has in the past to help interdict the newest streams of migrants from Central America who are using Mexican soil as a pathway to America.
And, says Mark Krikorian, executive director of theÂ Center for Immigration Studies, the Mexican government under President AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador, or AMLO, is responding to Trump administration demands to curb illegal immigration and interdict migrant caravans.
But clearly, itâ€™s not enough. In fact, notes Krikorian, much of what the Mexican government has done in terms of â€˜combatingâ€™ illegal immigration is launch an effective public relations campaign.
Mexican officials arrived in Washington, D.C., this week following POTUS Trumpâ€™s 5-percent tariff threat, which is scheduled to take effect June 10 and rise steadily to 25 percent over the course of this year if he doesnâ€™t believe AMLOâ€™s government is doing enough,Â One News NowÂ reported.
In a statement aimed at POTUS Trump, AMLO nevertheless said that â€œsocial problemsâ€ are not solved with â€œduties or coercive measures,â€Â The Associated PressÂ reported.Â He went on to play on our history as a â€˜nation of immigrantsâ€™ â€” which is true.
But we are also a nation ofÂ immigration laws, which Mexico is facilitating. Krikorian notes, â€œThere is lots of room for improvement obviously, but theyâ€™ve been much more cooperative than they have been before in trying to limit this flow of people from Central America.â€
Nevertheless, he added, much of the assistance has just been for the Trump administrationâ€™s consumption, such as stopping migrant caravans at the U.S.-Mexico border.
â€œWhat they ended up doing was just getting people bus tickets to different places along the border to kind of spread them out,â€ Krikorian noted, â€œso that if they were going to cross they wouldnâ€™t be doing it all in one big unit, which would be bad optics, be incendiary.â€
So, the so-called â€˜cooperationâ€™ is as much about creating theÂ illusionÂ that Mexico is helping when really, it isnâ€™t doing nearly enough.
In fact, itâ€™s not just the Mexican government shuttling migrants to the U.S. border so they can cross illegally. Drug-and-smuggling cartels are also getting in on the act, asÂ The National SentinelÂ reported in March.
With so much border for the United States to control â€” itâ€™s nearly 2,000 miles long, the boundary we share with Mexico â€” it is easy to pretend to be helping when in fact, Mexico City is barely lifting a finger because to do any more would be an economic disaster.
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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