Will Trump Use The National Emergencies Act To Impose A Tariff On Mexico For Illegal Immigration?

Flag of Mexico

President Donald Trump declared on Thursday that he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods entering from Mexico unless it stopped the flow of illegal immigration to the United States. The move would set a dangerous precedent of mixing trade and immigration issues — further destabilizing the economy and isolating the United States. If this unprecedented move is based on the National Emergency Act, it would again push the law to its extremes. Yet, as I have previously written on the controversy over the wall construction, Congress unwisely gave presidents sweeping and largely unchecked authority.

The use of a tariff in this circumstance is deeply troubling from both a legal and policy standpoint. Trump is using trade to punish a country for a global problem of migration. Political, economic, and social forces all play a role in such movement. It is certainly valid to object to steps that countries like Mexico can do to prevent illegal crossings. However, Trump in the past has suggested that countries should effectively close their borders or restrict travel within their borders — moves that raise a host of legal and constitutional issues for those countries. Mexico has increased deportations by 300 percent but that has not stemmed the flow into the United States anymore than the United States has been successful in stopping them at the border.

The tariffs will kick in on June 10th and continue to ratchet-up higher until immigration is slowed. We are already in a worsening trade war with China, this could trigger another serious drag on our economy. Moreover, the fight with China has some legitimate elements. It is true that past presidents have utterly failed to deal with the trade deficit and that China has been a bad actor in the theft of intellectual property and the imposition of trade barriers. This is different. This is using trade to punish a countries for the unlawful actions of individuals across a long and largely guarded border.

What is also concerning is the return to impulse or improvisational policies. Once again White House officials seemed caught by surprise and there seems little foundation laid for this major change. Certainly Congress appeared largely unconsulted and Republicans have already come out in opposition. Like the first travel bans, this major diplomatic and economic move had little preparation or planning. Vice President Pence was in Canada on Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. This appeared to catch everyone by surprise and could not compromise those plans.

This is an area where Congress needs to act quickly and clearly to reverse this action. I am admittedly someone who is critical of tax and tariff policies being used for such broader policy goals. With the rising costs associated with the China trade war, this will take a bite out of consumer. Mexico exported $346.5 billion in goods to the United States in 2018. It will also do little to stop illegal immigration and could easily trigger a tit-for-tat trade war with Mexico. It is a uniquely bad idea in my view.

What do you think?

163 thoughts on “Will Trump Use The National Emergencies Act To Impose A Tariff On Mexico For Illegal Immigration?”

  1. I am not surprised the left has not made their presence known nor commented on this subject. Let us go back to 2012 and retrace this MESS. Obama invites these people to the USA and when the subject of young children growing up in a country not their own but the only one they have ever known did TWO things both years apart

    What he should have done was move to publicize his offer which is what ‘inviting’ means and worked with Congress to figure out a way to find ‘a path to citizenship.’

    He did nothing in 2012 and has done nothing since except back his party in obstructing passage of such an Act and that is Obama’s TWO cents on the problem he caused. The one we call DACA.

    He had already abdicated to a new Party Leader long before the end of his final year and it shows to this day. Make that three cents worth of NOTHING.

    Add in the phony deals where he in each instance failed to so much as approach the Senate much less send them a request for advice and CONSENT as required and thus those DEALs had no legal standing. Iran,Kyoto, what else and that makes four, five and six plus cents worth of nothing.

    And that’s the difference between being a President and Presidential or not. One takes on the responsibilty does the job first and then hits the golf course. The other heads straight for golf course having shirked his duty but then… the oath did say “to the best of my ability.’ How much ability? Make that penny seven. Eight, nine, and ten make not a dimes worth of difference as his party flounders leaderless.

    Back to DACA we all know what the problem is and it may not be racist or sexist but it is bigotry. You see that party has only three goals. Raise taxes, take control, and block any attempt to ban in any way abortion… their number one goal.

    Too late they discovered Obama’s guests were all from predominately Catholic Countries, Too late they remembered Catholics are predominately anti-abortion. And there is the reason for four times blocking a DACA solution. Even offering a path to citizenship for some 11 million didn’t work.

    So what do you call this bunch of clowns? Well the founders refused Democracy because of it’s negative aspects one which was called Mobocracy. Instead they took the good parts and put them under the name Representative and rejected Democracy nine times. Instead choosing Representative Constitutional Republic for a social contract res publica… of, by, and for the Citizens. Then guaranteed it to all the member States.

    But 1909 was a bad year as checks and balances and control of one’s own earnings were passed to the government. A Government that since that year has been largely for sure not Constitutional Republic but one form or name or another of the word the founders rejected

    So pick what you want they are known as Democrats but aren’t Democratic, liberals, progressives, scientific darwinists, socialists and that brings us close to the truth when you add in one of their offsprings invention the word fascist.

    But how many of them do personally feel have ever upheld their Oath of Office? To The Constitution? Since 1909. Some openly spit on it and reject it and now some refuse to take the required oath. While others aid and abet that act of a foreign ideology. Right Comrade Collectives? Right Comrade Ocasio?

    Do you really want to leave it to our Military to uphold their Oath of Office?

    Or act like a real self governing Citizen?

    Do you really need a ruling class to tell you who and what to vote for and who to vote OUT!

  2. interesting commentary here, about illegals taking jobs from native born blacks


    Illegal Immigration and Black Workers
    Illegal immigrant workers tend to concentrate in labor markets that have high concentrations of legal immigrants and citizens (native born and naturalized who are from similar ethnic and racial backgrounds). It is more difficult for authorities to identify them under these circumstances and they can rely on networks of friends and family members as well as other employers and community assistance organizations composed of members of their same backgrounds to find employment. As a consequence, there is a tendency for illegal immigrants to cluster in metropolitan areas (especially central cities) or in rural areas that already have concentrations of persons from similar backgrounds.

    Black workers also tend to be concentrated in metropolitan areas – especially in central cities. The only rural labor markets where black Americans are of significant number are in the Southeastern states – a legacy of the slavery heritage of yesteryear.

    Thus, it is not everywhere that there is likely to be significant competition between low skilled black workers and illegal immigrant workers but there are ample circumstances where there is – such as the large metropolitan labor markets of Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington-Baltimore. Moreover, some of the fastest growing immigrant concentrations are now taking place in the urban and rural labor markets of the states of the Southeast– such as Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia which never before were significant immigrant receiving states in previous eras of mass immigration. Indeed, about 26 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population are now found in the states of the South – the highest percentage ever for this region. There is mounting evidence that many of these new immigrants in this region are illegal immigrants.

    Because most illegal immigrants overwhelmingly seek work in the low skilled labor market and because the black American labor force is so disproportionately concentrated in this same low wage sector, there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major looser in this competition are low skilled black workers. This is not surprising, since if employers have an opportunity to hire illegal immigrant workers, they will always give them preference over legal workers of any race or ethnic background. This is because illegal immigrant workers view low skilled jobs in the American economy as being highly preferable to the job opportunities in their homelands that they have left. A job that pays the federal minimum wage of $7.15 an hour (some states and localities have even higher minimum wages) is often several times higher than the daily wage they could earn in their homelands, if they could get a job at all. Even the worst working conditions in the United States are typically better than what many have experienced before they came to this country. Illegal immigrants, therefore, are often grateful to receive these low wages and they will do whatever it takes to get these jobs (even if it means living in crowded and substandard living conditions and working under harsh and dangerous conditions). It is also easier for some employers to exploit illegal immigrant workers by paying them less than the minimum wage and not paying them overtime wages because they are fearful of revealing their vulnerable status if they were to complain. Citizen workers know that paying the minimum wages means that the employer values your work at the lowest level that he/she can legally pay. Furthermore, citizen workers expect labor and safety laws to be enforced because they believe they have legal rights to job protections. It is not that citizen workers will not do the work that illegal immigrants are willing to do. Rather, it is that citizens often will not do the work for the same pay and under the same working conditions as will illegal immigrants – nor should they.

    It is not that employers are evil in their willingness to give preference to illegal immigrants. It is that they are pragmatic in their decision making. Illegal immigrants are available because the federal government has chosen to do little to monitor the work sites of the nation. Seldom are any penalties placed on employers who violate the ban against hiring illegal immigrants working even though it has existed since1986. Moreover, because of this self-imposed impotence by the federal government, employers who try to follow the law are penalized because they must compete with employers who violate the law and benefit by paying lower wages and providing cheaper working conditions that are more profitable to these employer but hazardous to the illegal workers. The status quo, therefore, is a perversity of justice. Law breakers are rewarded while law abiders are punished.

    Economists long ago have realized that there is no way to prove or to measure the job displacement of citizens by illegal immigrants. This is because when immigrants (including the large illegal immigrant component) move into a local labor market, citizens tend to move out. Mass immigration has affected the internal migration patterns of citizen workers. As they leave the area or as they dropout of the labor market because they cannot find jobs, immigrants move in to claim the jobs But there is no way to measure the loss since many of the victims are no longer in the local labor market.

    As for wage suppression, all studies show that the large infusion of immigrants has depressed the wages of low skilled workers. It is the illegal immigrant component of the immigration flow that has most certainly caused the most damage but there is no way to isolate their singular harm. But even these studies most likely underestimate the true adverse impact because there is a floor on legal wages set by minimum wage laws that do not allow the market to set the actual wage level. What is known is that wages in the low wage labor market have tended to stagnate for some time. It is not just that the availability of massive numbers of illegal immigrants depress wages, it is the fact that their shear numbers keep wages from rising over time and that is the real harm experienced by citizen workers in the low skilled labor market.

    What is apparent is that the unemployment rates in the low skilled labor market are the highest in the entire national labor force. This means that the low skilled labor market is in a surplus condition. Willing workers are available at existing wage rates. By definition, therefore, illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly present in that same labor market sector adversely affect the economic opportunities of legal citizen workers because the illegal workers are preferred workers. No group pays a higher penalty for this unfair competition than do low skilled black Americans given their inordinately high unemployment levels

    The willingness of policy makers to tolerate the presence of illegal immigrants in the nation’s labor force exposes a seamy side of the nation’s collective consciousness. Illegal immigrants – who themselves are often exploited even though they may not think so —are allowed to cause harm in the form of unemployment and depressed wages to the most vulnerable workers in the American work force. The continued reluctance by our national government to get illegal immigrants out of the labor force– and to keep them out–by enforcing the existing sanctions at the work site against employers of illegal immigrants is itself a massive violation of the civil rights of all low skilled workers in the United States and of low skilled black American workers in particular. Illegal immigrants have no right to work in the United States. In fact, they have no right to even be in the country. Enforcing our nation’s labor laws – including the protection of the legal labor force from the presence of illegal immigrant workers – is the civil rights issue of this generation of American workers.

    It is time, therefore, to make our immigration laws credible. The way to do this is to adhere to the findings of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by the late Barbara Jordan who boldly stated what should be the goal of public policy: “The credibility of immigration policy can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, do get in; people who should not get in, are kept out; and people who are judged deportable, are required to leave.”

    No one would benefit more by the adherence to that standard than would low skilled black American workers and their families.

  3. I think the tariff is not only called for, but funds generated by it should be spent on additional law enforcement and military expenses required to secure our border with Mexico after they admitted illegal immigrants and allowed them to transit their country to enter the US illegally.

    The tariff should cause Mexico to reconsider their contribution to our border crisis by gradually closing our markets to their goods until their complicity in our border crisis ends.

    Mexican president Obragon, on May 30th, gave an inflammatory speech dictating to the United States what its immigration policy should be. It shows that any diplomacy he and his foreign minister engage in regarding the tarrif is in bad faith.

    President Trump is not only justified in imposing a tariff on Mexican goods to compensate for the costs of dealing with the flow of illegal immigrants through Mexico into the United States of America, the Constitution requires him to abate this clear and present danger to the people of the United States by any means necessary.

    If the tariff isn’t enough, President Trump should explore more coercive options.

  4. Mass, uninterdicted illegal immigration into the United States is a public safety and public health emergency. Mexico benefits by over $30 billion a year in remittance payments sent back home by illegal immigrants because they explicitly encourage their own citizens to enter the United States illegally and allow other nations’ citizens to transit Mexico illegally to enter the United States illegally.

    It should be noted here that ordinarily Mexican immigration law is more restrictive than US immigration law, but they are waiving enforcement of that law to allow illegal passage of other countries’ nationals to enter the United States.

    America’s taxpayers must spend billions to process illegal immigrants who enter the nation through Mexico, feed them, clothe them and treat their illnesses. It also recovers damages to United States taxpayers by illegal immigrants who enter the US from Mexico who break our laws, and the considerable cost of incarcerating criminals who enter the US through Mexico and deporting them to their countries of origin.

    The proposed tariff is the very least coercive action of many the nation can take to end this emergency, by making the problem of illegal immigration through Mexico their problem as well.

  5. Mexican federales did this El Mariachi gig. If Gringos don’t like, they will be arrested.

  6. Update:

    I hear here, this evening another $100,000 plus per yr American job just was outsource to a 3rd world slave camp & I guess the gent that was just laid off will go to work wiping the butts of 3rd word sh*itholes invading our Southern border as our host Prof Turley approves of outsourcing to slaving labor, murdering drug dealing rapist with god knows what kind of diseases?

    (Does P Turley ck any real news? Did he hear the of the recent officers/citizens, etc..,getting sick, some life threatening diseases by these invaders? )

    ( I guess Corps learned to not lay off everyone at once because of bad press & just go with the slow drip method. I’ve been follow this here for some time here)

    That being the case, hell let us expand the current trend of outsourcing, Govt Workers, Teachers, aids & administration workers, all heads, Legal workers, US Professors, Universities, Medical Care, Health care, & the rest so we call all go to work wiping babies butts of the 3rd world’s babies Invaders.


    Dbl LOL:)

    Another topic:

    BREAKING: Attorney General Barr Discloses US Attorney Huber NEVER EVEN STARTED His Investigation — US Attorney John Durham Took Over His Work
    Joe Hoft by Joe Hoft May 31, 2019 923 Comments


  7. We should compile a massive DNA and photo database of every released illegal immigrant so that those who fail to show up to court can never ever become US citizens or receive any benefits.

    1. Biometric data is already taken. Fingerprints. About the entitlement programs, Sessions did that. Cast the net pretty widely, too. Very aggressively. No thanks from blue states however.

  8. Mexico has to act to stop the gangs, cartels, and migrants from coming north. But we need to ship them right back across when they sneak in. Right away. No “hearing”.

    1. it’s all about asylum claims.

      before you throw the asylum baby out with the bathwater, remember that it was jewish asylees from Germany that gave the US the ability to develop the Atom Bomb to end the war.

      right now, maybe there is over in Asia, some Chinese computer guy who has in his head, the key to artificial general intelligence, and he is thinking about sneaking off to America. And if he does, America will be able to capture the edge in developing the most important technology to arise since, um, agriculture? Do we want him to come or stay in the Chicom worker’s paradise? For my part, I want that guy to come.

      i have been a proud nativist nearly my entire life, and an immigration restrictionist. I have been called a racist many times. But, we should remember that receiving one single powerful human mind, into our loving arms here, can sometimes be worth the price of supporting a million losers.

      i approve of Trump’s general restrictionist agenda but they need to be careful. This policy towards Mexico is a good move in my estimation.

      I have no problem at all looking at the various countries where people are coming from and weighing them differently. Germany as a source for migrants, was the most technologically advanced place on Earth. The US was quite lucky it gained them. There have been a thousand others I am sure.

      Here is an article that makes the point.

      1. People who have legitimate asylum claims don’t murder, don’t commit crimes against US citizens and don’t use kidnapped children as human shields to ease their entry into the United States of America.

        Mexico corruptly fails to protect and care for its own citizens, and sends them north so send over $30 billion from illegal labor back home to Mexico. They violate their own immigration law to make illegal immigration from other countries through their own country into the United States easy.

        Once in the United States, an unacceptable number of illegal immigrants break our law through violence and fraud, and embezzle unearned tax refunds by means of fraudulent income tax returns through the Internal Revenue Service.

        Mexico’s encouragement of illegal immigration by their own citizens and other nations’ citizens also has a body count. Illegal immigrants who enter through Mexico kill innocent people. This alone is more than enough reason to force Mexico to enforce their own laws and cease helping their own citizens and other nations’ citizens to enter the United States illegally.

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