Last week, I said that perhaps the worst scenario to come out of the U.S. negotiations is that they would be celebrated as a triumph. It’s true that tariffs were not imposed yesterday, but because of a couple of agreements, the threat that they will someday be imposed remains.
Unfortunately, I think that’s our situation.
The agreement reached, in which Mexico gives everything, has no precise goals by which to evaluate whether the measures have been successful or not.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published a draft of the rationale President Donald Trump planned to use for imposing tariffs: a national emergency.
In the document, the U.S. government said that from Oct. 1 to the present, 675,000 undocumented immigrants had been arrested trying to cross the border between Mexico and the United States — 95,000 per month, on average, little more than 3,000 daily, although the figure has increased considerably in recent months. In May, there were 140,000.
What must the number be within 90 days so that tariffs are not imposed? Or within 45 days, when the measures will be evaluated?
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that, up to then, the United States had been sending a couple of hundred asylum seekers to Mexico every day to wait for the end of their processing, but now they could do it “at full throttle.”
What does that mean? Where will they wait? How much will it cost? Yesterday the director of Comar* calculated that by August they could number 60,000. Is that enough for Trump?
Yesterday, Marcelo Ebrard clearly said that Trump’s position on the number of arrivals is “zero – that they do not go through Mexico, but obviously, I believe that this is an impossible position, very difficult.”
And then, there is the “secret” agreement, whether it exists or not, whether it is the “regional solution” that Ebrard spoke of yesterday morning, or simply another invention of the U.S. president.
Meanwhile, thousands of federal forces have been sent south, where there were six homicide victims between Saturday and Sunday, according to the government’s daily report; countrywide, there were 214.
The only certainty since Friday is who the real losers were: the migrants.
*Translator’s note: The Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance, or Comar, is the department that processes asylum petitions.