Border security isn’t just about curbing illegal immigration — it’s about protecting America from the literal war zone that exists south of the border. President Trump’s new tariff on all imports from Mexico is a proportional and necessary response to this grave national security threat.
“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” the president announced on Twitter. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.”
In an official statement, the White House explained that the U.S. “has suffered the severe and dangerous consequences of illegal immigration” for decades, and that Mexico “has allowed this situation to go on for many years, growing only worse with the passage of time.”
The administration pointed out that Mexico could dramatically reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. simply by enforcing its notoriously-strict immigration laws, and the new across-the-board tariffs will give the Mexican government a strong incentive to do just that.
Solving the border crisis is absolutely imperative, because as the president noted, “Some of the most deadly and vicious gangs on the planet operate just across our border and terrorize innocent communities.”
Indeed, the International Institute for Strategic Studies rated Mexico as the second-deadliest conflict zone in the world in 2017, surpassed only by Syria, which is in the midst of a bloody civil war.
The president’s critics and the media often ignore the fact that drug cartels profit immensely from exploiting our weak immigration system. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the cartels are making between $19 billion and $29 billion every single year — money that funds their unspeakably violent war in Mexico that regularly spills over into American communities. To make matters worse, drug smuggling is helping to fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic, which has taken tens of thousands of American lives and cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1 trillion since 2001.
No country on the planet would be expected to tolerate this sort of national security threat. Why should America be any different?
There are no easy solutions to the ongoing border security crisis, but placing a tariff on Mexican goods will at least force Mexico to take responsibility for its role in creating the problem.
At times, the Mexican government has taken steps to prevent the flow of illegal immigrants to the U.S. by discouraging migrants from traveling north. Sadly, however, these efforts have been few and far between. A tariff on all imports from Mexico will give our southern neighbor a strong incentive to improve its behavior and start making sincere efforts to help Washington solve the illegal immigration crisis once and for all.
As a complement to ongoing U.S. enforcement efforts, such as the border wall the president has already begun constructing, Mexico’s partnership would be decisive in protecting American communities from the violent drug cartels that operate with virtual impunity south of our border.
There’s no escaping it — rampant illegal immigration has made us vulnerable to one of the deadliest conflicts in the world. For far too long, the U.S. failed to insist that Mexico help us solve this challenge, but America finally has a leader who is willing to put national security above political considerations.
Unlike establishment politicians, Donald Trump places the blame for the many crises that threaten our national security where it belongs. Mexico is no exception.
Steven Rogers (@LTStevenlRogers) is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer and a former member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President 2020 Campaign Advisory Board.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.