(CNSNews.com) – White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says President Donald Trump is “deadly serious” about stopping the massive flow of Central Americans into the United States.
Trump last week announced that starting on June 10, the U.S. will impose a five percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico, unless Mexico stops Central Americans from migrating north.
If the immigration crisis persists, the tariffs will be raised to 10 percent on July 1, 2019; to 15 percent on August 1; to 20 percent on September 1; and to 25 percent on Oct. 1.
“Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” Trump announced.
“He’s absolutely deadly serious,” Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.”
In fact, I fully expect these tariffs to go onto at least the five percent level on June 10th.
The president is deadly serious about fixing the situation at the southern border. This is not the first time I’m on your program talking about what’s happening on the Mexican U.S. border. We’ve been talking about it for months.
Six months ago, we told everybody it was an emergency situation. Very few people believed us. In fact, I’ve talked with you about how the Democrats even refused to believe the facts six months ago.
So, it’s real. We had a group of 1,000 people — not in different times, one group of 1,000 people walk across the border just in the last couple of days, 2,500 people are coming over every single day as opposed to 700 just two years ago.
So, the numbers are huge. The situation is real. And the president is deadly serious about fixing the problem.
Host Chris Wallace asked Mulvaney what the Mexicans have to do to avoid the tariffs.
“They can secure their southern border, their southern border with Guatemala,” Mulvaney said. “That border is only a quarter as long as the border with the United States. They could secure that border.
“They could go after their domestic terrorist organizations, their criminal organizations, who are in the business moving people across Mexico. Keep in mind, at any one time, there’s 100,000 migrants in Mexico making their way up to the United States.
“And lastly, they could make Mexico a safe place for these people to claim asylum,” Mulvaney said. “Ordinarily when you leave a country like El Salvador and you claim asylum, you do that in the first safe country in which you arrive. Mexico is safe, the people should be able to stay there if they’re really seeking asylum.”
Mulvaney said things “have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly.”
Wallace noted that a 25-percent tariff on Mexican goods would cost American consumers an estimated $87 billion.
Mulvaney conceded that higher tariffs mean higher prices.
But he said American consumers can choose products made in the United States that don’t carry tariffs.
Mulvaney also noted the “price associated with illegal immigration.”
“American taxpayers are paying hundreds of billions of dollars for illegal immigrants. They’re paying hundreds of billions of dollars for the drugs that come across the southern border. So, there’s already a cost associated with this that we are trying to get off of the backs of ordinary Americans.”
Mulvaney said the point of the tariffs is “to put pressure on Mexico to help us solve this situation. We think they can do that. They’ve got tremendously strong immigration laws, much stronger than ours. They have the ability to do things that we cannot.
“Congress will not help us fix our laws, so we’re turning to Mexico to help us fix the situation on the border.”
President Trump addressed the immigration crisis on Sunday via Twitter:
“People have been saying for years that we should talk to Mexico. The problem is that Mexico is an “abuser” of the United States, taking but never giving. It has been this way for decades. Either they stop the invasion of our Country by Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers, Coyotes and Illegal Immigrants, which they can do very easily, or our many companies and jobs that have been foolishly allowed to move South of the Border, will be brought back into the United States through taxation (Tariffs). America has had enough!”