OPINION: The U.S. needs Mexico’s help to solve border crisis

A section of the existing border wall demarcates San Diego and Tijuana. (PHOTO: buildingtheborderwall.com)

Guy W. Farmer, is a retired U.S.diplomat that follows immigration issues closely and writes a weekly column on the Nevada Appeal. He states that the Trump administration needs to collaborate closely with the Mexican government to solve the border crisis (instead of threatening them).

We need Mexico’s help to solve the dangerous, out-of-control humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border, but President Trump’s plan to slap tariffs on Mexican products entering the U.S. isn’t the solution. Congressional Republicans and leading economists are warning the president tariffs will damage the booming U.S. economy along with American workers and consumers without resolving our border crisis.

As I drafted this column on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were attempting to negotiate a solution to the border crisis with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Washington. If no agreement is reached over the weekend the president’s 5 percent tariffs on Mexican products will go into effect on Monday morning. At the same time seven former U.S. ambassadors to Mexico warned the Trump administration to “de-link trade and immigration and find ways to address the real problems around Central American migration” because tariffs “will cripple Mexico’s capacity to handle migrant flows.” Good advice.

Guy W. Farmer (Photo: Nevada Appeal)

We want Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”), who took office in December, to re-institute tough border control policies that were in effect a few years ago when Mexico was deporting thousands of Central Americans trying to cross its southern border with Guatemala. That’s when National Geographic — yes National Geographic, not Fox News or the Wall Street Journal — reported “for many immigrants heading north, the first dangerous crossing isn’t the one into the U.S. It’s southern Mexico where the peril begins.” Investigative journalist Cynthia Gorney wrote illegal immigrants from Central America face “thugs, drug runners, extortionists in official uniforms, police and migration agents who pack them into filthy detention facilities before deporting them.”

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