Jason Hopkins on June 12, 2019
President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned of implementing a “phase two” if the immigration deal with Mexico does not yield satisfactory results.
“Now, Mexico is moving 6,000 troops to their southern border. That’s a lot of troops. That’s a lot more — we never even heard of a number like that,” Trump said at the White House alongside Poland President Andrzej Duda.
The two leaders met Wednesday for a bilateral meeting.
“That’s a lot of troops. But that’s what they want to do because they want to produce. I think Mexico really wants to produce.”
The president then made a somewhat ominous warning to the press.
“If Mexico does a great job, then you’re not going to have very many people coming up. If they don’t, then we have phase two. Phase two is very tough, but I think they’re going to do a good job,” he said.
When asked for clarification on what a “phase two” would entail, Trump repeated it was a “much tougher” phase.
The president’s comments follow a major deal reached between U.S. and Mexican officials. In return for the U.S. agreeing not to slap their goods with a 5% tariff, Mexico pledged to send 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala, allow more U.S. asylum seekers to stay in their country, and better combat human and drug trafficking.
Trump has put increasing pressure on the Mexican government to prevent illegal migrants from reaching the U.S. southern border. Tens of thousands of illegal migrants from Central America every month pass through Mexico in order to the U.S., with the Guatemala-Mexico border a major hotspot for northbound migrants.
Trump on Wednesday chided the U.S. for having “the worst immigration laws, the dumbest laws anywhere in the world,” while adding that Mexico’s immigration laws were “as strong as they can be.”
However, the president commended Mexico for its recent agreement, saying the Latin American country has done more to prevent illegal immigration than Democratic lawmakers in Congress.
“[I]f the Democrats got together with me for 15 minutes, we could wipe out the loopholes and we wouldn’t need anything from anybody,” he said. “But, right now, Mexico is helping us much more on immigration than the Democrats in the U.S.”
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