Brandon Judd: Here’s why Trump’s tariffs on Mexico deserve our support (hint: pressure works)

Securing our southern border against a massive influx of illegal immigrants and deadly illegal drugs is a national security crisis of the highest order. President Trump deserves bipartisan support from Congress and the American people to deal with this national emergency.

With an estimated 11 million or more illegal immigrants in the U.S. and hundreds of thousands more coming in, President Trump understands it’s his responsibility to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.

So it’s particularly disappointing that not only partisan Democrats but even some Republicans in Congress are complaining about tariffs the president wants to impose on Mexican products imported in the U.S. The tariffs are designed to pressure the Mexican government to work with us to cut the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs entering our country.


Pressure works. Even The New York Times – which certainly can’t be called a friend or supporter of President Trump – reported Monday on “a broad Mexican crackdown against the surge of Central Americans and others streaming toward the United States.”

“Detentions and deportations in Mexico are multiplying quickly” of illegal immigrants from Central America, the Times reported. Why? “The Mexican government has been under intense pressure from President Trump to block the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants trudging north each month.”

But Mexico is still not doing enough. That’s why President Trump quite sensibly announced last week that he will impose a 5 percent tariff on imports from Mexico June 10, increasing by 5 percent a month until it hits 25 percent in October “unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.”

President Trump’s goal, of course, is not to impose tariffs. It is to get Mexico to enforce its own immigration laws and work with the U.S. to keep illegal immigrants out of our country.

President Trump is giving Mexican officials the opportunity to save face and look out for their own interests, while at the same time becoming a true partner with the United States in border security. This partnership will ensure the economic prosperity for the Mexican people.

The tariffs President Trump announced have served as a wake-up call to Mexico to carry out its responsibilities. The nation’s president, foreign minister and other top officials are all now fully engaged on dealing with the immigration crisis as a result.

As a Border Patrol agent and as the current president of the National Border Patrol Council – the exclusive labor representative of approximately 16,000 Border Patrol agents – I know first-hand the many harmful consequences of an unsecure border. This is why the National Border Patrol Council fully supports the president in his effort to protect our nation from illegal immigrants and drugs.

There’s an old saying that “short-term pain is always worth long-term gain.” This is the case with President Trump’s proposed tariffs and other border policies. In the long-run they will be enormously beneficial to our nation and the American people.

For example, after President Trump announced planned tariffs on Mexico last week, the stock market lost more than 350 points and economists were screaming “recession.” But on Tuesday the Dow Industrial Average was higher than the day before the tariffs were announced. This clearly show that our economy is not cratering as a result of the president’s action to defend our border.

And remember, the stock market is only one major factor that drives the American economy. Another is taxes. A non-secure border costs the American people billions of dollars annually in taxes – money that comes out of the pockets of all of us.

On top of this, we must never forget the terrible human cost in deaths and ruined lives and the huge financial cost of the illegal drugs coming across our border with Mexico.

Describing the fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine-related deaths in the U.S. in 2017, the New York Times reported:  “Together they add up to an epidemic of drug overdoses that is killing people at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak.” That is truly alarming.

But it doesn’t stop with drugs. The American taxpayer is also on the hook for many other costs associated with illegal immigration.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that the American taxpayer shells out billions of dollars annually to cover the costs of social welfare, schooling, transportation, housing, law enforcement, and other needs crated by illegal immigrants.

Remember that politicians who insist we must spend this money – money you pay in taxes – are really doing so to appease their base and ensure their own re-elections.

Far-left economists, media and politicians, however, are trying to deflect and misdirect the conversation. They would prefer to have you believe that the tariff argument comes down to the price of avocados.

They refuse to accept the argument that the rule of law – a secure border – would actually drive down the cost of produce in the long run. They are making an argument that has been proven false time and time again.

President Trump has characterized our current southwest border crisis as an invasion, and as someone who has first-hand experience working on the border with Mexico I emphatically agree. In fact, I don’t know any border security expert who disagrees.

The invasion is being carried out by both drug and human smugglers and unfortunately, it’s not a far leap to conclude that the Mexican government shares at least some responsibility.

Just as President Trump pursues a policy of “America First, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador puts his own country’s interest above all others. This is only natural – the job of every nation’s leader is to serve his or her citizens.

By imposing tariffs on Mexico to pressure the nation to work more closely with us to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs, President Trump has incentivized his Mexican counterpart to work more closely with the U.S. to at long last secure the border we share.

President Trump is giving Mexican officials the opportunity to save face and look out for their own interests, while at the same time becoming a true partner with the United States in border security. This partnership will ensure the economic prosperity for the Mexican people.

President Trump is offering strong, concrete ideas and solutions to our immigration crisis. That’s exactly why the American people elected him. Voters want a president who solves problems – not just one who talks about problems.

It is in Mexico’s interest as well as our own to at long last create a secure border between us. A secure border will increase public safety, decrease deaths and suffering caused by illegal drugs, and improve cooperation between our two countries on other fronts as well.

President Trump needs the backing of the American people to negotiate better cooperation with Mexico to secure our border. We should give him that backing.