Most Americans Agree With Trump on Using NAFTA to Pressure Mexico on Illegal Border Crossings

April 5, 2018 Updated: September 28, 2018

Most Americans agree with President Donald Trump’s idea to use the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to pressure Mexico to do more to stop illegal drugs and immigrants from entering the United States.

In a national Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, 51 percent of the respondents said that the United States “should take a tougher line in the current” NAFTA renegotiations “to force Mexico to strengthen its efforts to stop illegal immigration and illegal drugs from entering this country.”

Trump had criticized Mexico earlier this week for not doing enough about stopping people from flowing through Mexico into the United States and threatened to “stop their cash cow, NAFTA.” The president called on Mexico to halt a caravan of more than 1,000 Central Americans traveling through the country with the goal of crossing into the United States and claiming asylum.

Sixty-two percent of likely American voters think that Mexico is not being aggressive enough at stopping the flow of aliens and drugs into the United States, Rasmussen found. Only 16 percent believe that Mexico is doing enough.

“Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large ‘Caravans’ of people enter their country,” Trump wrote on Twitter on April 2. “They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border law.”

“Mexico is making a fortune on NAFTA, he added. “They have very strong border laws – ours are pathetic. With all of the money they make from the U.S., hopefully they will stop people from coming through their country and into ours, at least until Congress changes our immigration laws!”

Nearly 90 percent of Mexico’s trade is with the United States and Canada, Forbes reported, citing the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The renegotiation of NAFTA is heading into its eighth round, with all parties, Mexico, the United States, and Canada, hoping to have a deal before July 1.

Trump shook up the renegotiation last month by imposing a tariff on imported steel and aluminum. Mexico and Canada were given a temporary exemption.

The number of illegal aliens captured on the Mexico border surged to the highest level since 2014 this March, according to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To address the surge, Trump ordered the mobilization of the National Guard in four border states on Wednesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen did not give the size of the deployment, nor the duration, but said “it will be strong.”

“It will be as many as needed to fill the gaps today,” Nielsen said.


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