Mexico Set to Offer ‘Safe Third Country’ Deal, Secure Guatemalan Border to Avoid Trump Tariffs

Mexican authorities are set to offer a set of concessions intended to deter illegal immigration to the United States, with the hopes of avoiding stringent and gradually increasing tariffs planned by President Trump. The tariffs have been structured as a means to motivate the government of Mexico to deter the waves of illegal immigrants coming through the country on the way to the United States.

Reporting from the Washington Post on Thursday indicated that Mexican authorities have offered to deploy 6,000 members of the Mexican National Guard to the nation’s southern border with Guatemala. The Mexicans have maintained that this would be crucial in preventing the massive ‘caravan’ formations of Central Americans from entering their country with the hopes of making it to the United States.

Mexico is also willing to make a “safe third country” agreement with the United States. Under such an agreement, which the United States already has with Canada, asylum seekers would be obligated to file an asylum claim in the first country they’ve reached since leaving their homeland. This would force Central Americans to file asylum claims in Mexico, provided it’s the first nation they’ve reached since leaving.

Cutting off an avenue for migrants to travel through Mexico and file for asylum in the United States could ultimately prove to be a huge deterrent in mitigating the migrant caravans, which often prove to be tens of thousands strong.

Mexico had previously resisted making such an agreement with the United States, but the tariff plan announced by President Trump appears to have led to them reconsidering. Under the plan, a 5% tariff will be applied on all Mexican exports to the United States on June 10th. The tariffs would increase to a 25% by October, if Mexico fails to satisfactorily cooperate with the United States to deter illegal immigration.

The willingness of Mexico to come to the table and offer a serious deal proves the strength of the tariffs as a negotiating tactic. Establishment beltway conservatives and Democrats had previously decried their implementation, claiming that they would lead to a trade war and couldn’t possibly result in productive exchange with the Mexican government. Instead, if the Mexican government’s proposed deal proves acceptable, it’s possible the tariffs will be averted and serious progress will be made in deterring mass illegal immigration.