WASHINGTON – The White House's plan to impose a five percent tax on Mexican goods came to a halt Friday as the administration and Mexican officials reached an agreement to curb illegal immigration.
The president is taking a victory lap over what he sees as successful negotiations and saying more is on the way.
We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2019
"We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security Deal with Mexico… it will be revealed in the not too distant future," Trump tweeted Monday.
His critics say when it comes to Friday's agreement, there's nothing new.
But DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan defended it on Fox News Sunday saying, "All of it is new."
The administration took the airwaves and Twitter to push back on a New York Times report which said most of the agreement had been negotiated months ago.
"The president put a charge in this whole dialogue with Mexico with the tariff threat," McAleenan said.
"This is the first time we've heard anything like this kind of number of law enforcement being deployed to Mexico to address migration," he continued.
According to the Joint Declaration released by the State Department, 6,000 Mexican National Guard members are heading to the Guatemalan border and throughout the country. Mexico has agreed to take decisive action to dismantle human trafficking organizations and both sides agree to the expansion of the migrant protection protocols.
Trump's supporters in Washington say the very threat of tariffs succeeded in pressuring the Mexican government to take stronger actions.
"He's using tariffs as leverage in trade negotiations and I think he used them as leverage in this situation brilliantly," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Trump's opponents contend the end doesn't justify the means.
"They might have accelerated the timetable. But by and large, the president achieved nothing except to jeopardize the most important trading relationship that the United States of America has," presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told ABC's "This Week."
"What I am tired of is a president who consistently goes to war, verbal war, with our allies," added presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."
There's one thing both sides agree on: More work has to be done by Congress. The controversy stems over the what and the how.