While the Democrats reflexively oppose all of President Trump’s solutions to fix the crisis at our southern border, the president suddenly and surprisingly seems to have a much more willing partner in Mexico.
Thanks to the president’s campaign of pressure and persuasion, the Mexican government’s new leadership is showing signs that it is willing to join him in his fight to address the border crisis that continues to put lives at risk on both sides of the border.
President Trump effectively has employed rhetorical pressure to achieve that remarkable result, coaxing, cajoling, and even shaming Mexico into taking responsibility for the migrant caravan as it crossed the country on its way to the United States.
In April, for instance, the president directly urged Mexico to take stronger action on immigration, criticizing its prior effort to fight drug crime on the border.
“Mexico is doing very little, if not NOTHING, at stopping people from flowing into Mexico through their Southern Border, and then into the U.S.,” he tweeted. “They laugh at our dumb immigration laws. They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. NEED WALL!”
In October, as the latest caravan containing thousands of would-be illegal immigrants began to march north, the president asked Mexico “in the strongest of terms” to “stop this onslaught.” Within a few hours, he was able to tweet his thanks to the Mexican government for sending riot police to its border with Guatemala.
President Trump’s strategy clearly is starting to pay off, because the Mexican government has begun to take an increasingly active role in helping U.S. efforts to stop the invasion.
In an attempt to deter the caravan, Mexico offered the migrants temporary work permits if they applied for asylum and stayed in the southern part of the country. The deal also included temporary ID cards, medical care, schooling, and housing initiatives.
Mexican police also have repeatedly clashed with caravaners who have tried to break the law, and even assisted U.S. officials in turning back the recent rush on the border.
Moreover, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office recently, signed a deal with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador designed to deter future caravans as one of his first official acts. The agreement aims to promote economic stability and combat violence in the region to address the root causes of illegal migration to America.
The very next day, Tijuana’s municipal government announced that it had closed down a migrant shelter near the border and transported migrants to a new facility located 10 miles away from the U.S. border and 14 miles from the nearest port of entry at San Ysidro.
The official reason given for the move was “bad sanitary conditions,” but the timing—roughly one week after hundreds of caravaners assaulted U.S. Border Patrol agents while trying to storm the border—suggests it may have been intended, at least in part, as a gesture of good will toward President Trump.
Putting greater distance between the migrants and the U.S. border makes it easier for authorities on both sides to predict, prepare for, and ideally prevent recurrences of the recent lawlessness—and that’s exactly what President Trump has been demanding.
Thanks to these developments, the future of U.S.-Mexico relations looks brighter today than it has for many years.
Mexican President Obrador has already signaled his willingness to work with President Trump on a number of key issues, including immigration and trade. President Trump likewise has expressed his desire to partner with Mexico, and graciously congratulated Obrador on his election.
“Congratulations to newly inaugurated Mexican President Obrador,” President Trump tweeted. “He had a tremendous political victory with the great support of the Mexican People. We will work well together for many years to come!”
In a further gesture of goodwill, the president also sent both Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to attend Obrador’s inauguration, which took place just days after outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto presented President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with the highest honor that the Mexican government can bestow on foreigners, the Order of the Aztec Eagle.
Liberals love to portray President Trump as out-of-step with other world leaders, but Mexico’s new cooperation with the president’s plan to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the United States shows that his persistence at seeking solutions can draw new and even unlikely supporters in time.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images