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6 Jun, 2019 22:20

Mexico moves to curb migration after US threatens tariffs

Mexico moves to curb migration after US threatens tariffs

Mexican authorities are moving to reinforce the southern border in an attempt to stem the tide of illegal immigration and have also taken steps against human trafficking, as Mexico attempts to ward off new tariffs from Washington.

Seeking “orderly, secure and regular” immigration, Mexico will beef up security at its southern border with additional agents, the country’s Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said Thursday.

This was followed up by the Finance Ministry announcing it would freeze 26 bank accounts, citing “probable links with human trafficking and illegal aid to migrant caravans.”

Last week, US President Donald Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico by June 10 if its southern neighbor fails to take steps to curb the migrant crisis, on which Trump says Mexico has been too lax. Mexican officials arrived at the White House Wednesday for talks.

Trump, who is in Europe at the moment, was skeptical about the progress of the negotiations, threatening via tweet to introduce the trade restrictions early next week if there wasn’t more headway.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has remained optimistic about a deal, despite the tough talk from Washington, telling reporters Thursday that he hoped an agreement could be reached.

READMORE: Trump says 'not nearly enough' progress in Mexico-US talks, tariffs due next week if no deal

Washington was reportedly considering a delay on the tariffs to make more time for a deal, according to Bloomberg News, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dispelled that rumor on Wednesday afternoon, however.

“We are still moving forward with tariffs at this time,” Sanders told reporters.

Another report in the Washington Post suggests Mexico has offered to station 6,000 soldiers at its border with Guatemala, but officials have yet to confirm that proposal.

Also on rt.com Mexican President Obrador urges friendship & dialogue with US under looming tariff threat

Both Democrats and some members of Trump’s own party have spoken out against Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told reporters “there is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that's for sure” on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Richie Neal (D-Massachusetts) vowed he would introduce a resolution to block the proposed duties.

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