Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., made a bold prediction on Friday — and this morning, it blew up right in her face.
After President Donald Trump announced he had reached a deal with Mexico, Waters went on the attack.
She claimed Trump would backtrack and the deal would fall apart this weekend.
Spineless GOP Senators grew a backbone this week & finally stood up to their Dictator Trump on something: Mexico tariffs, also known as a TAX INCREASE on American consumers. Bet your bottom dollar, Trump will back off by the weekend. Just another bluff!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) June 7, 2019
Trump reached a deal that stopped the tariffs from being implemented. Trump teased that more would be announced soon.
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“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,” he wrote on Monday. Trump said that it would be “revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!..”
“We do not anticipate a problem with the vote,” he added, “but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!”
Trump could be alluding to the idea of Mexico becoming a “safe third country,” which would make it harder for asylum-seekers who pass through the country from other places to claim refuge in the U.S.
A senior administration official said over the weekend that Mexico had expressed openness to the idea during negotiations, and that it was something the countries would continue to discuss over the coming months.
Before the tariff threats, Mexico had long opposed the safe country idea. Additionally, the deal included a commitment from Mexico to deploy its new National Guard to the country’s southern border with Guatemala. Mexico had intended to do that before Trump’s latest threat, but announced their new commitment is an accelerated deployment.
The U.S. also hailed Mexico’s agreement to embrace the expansion of a program implemented earlier this year under which some asylum-seekers are returned to Mexico as they wait out their cases.
Despite Democrats like Waters criticizing the deal, Trump is defended his threat to slap a 5% tax on all Mexican goods on Monday to pressure the country to do more to stem the flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. southern border. Without the threat, he has insisted, Mexico never would have acted.
“We have been trying to get some of these Border Actions for a long time, as have other administrations, but were not able to get them, or get them in full, until our signed agreement with Mexico,” he said Sunday, adding during a call-in interview with CNBC Monday morning that officials had “talked about it for months and months and months,” but couldn’t reach agreement until the threat.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, speaking on “Fox News Sunday” said “all of it is new,” including the agreement to dispatch around 6,000 National Guard troops — a move Mexico has described as an “acceleration.”
“This is the first time we’ve heard anything like this kind of number of law enforcement being deployed in Mexico to address migration, not just at the southern border but also on the transportation routes to the northern border and in coordinated patrols in key areas along our southwest border,” he said, adding that “people can disagree with the tactics” but that “Mexico came to the table with real proposals” that will be effective, if implemented.
Trump has also dangled the prospect of renewing his tariff threat if the U.S. ally doesn’t cooperate to his liking.
“There is now going to be great cooperation between Mexico & the USA, something that didn’t exist for decades,” he tweeted Sunday.
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“However,” he added, “if for some unknown reason” that doesn’t happen, “we can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs.” Business leaders and many Republicans had urged Trump against the tariffs, warning they would drive up consumer prices, hinder the economy and compromise the ratification of an updated North American trade deal.
Mexico’s ambassador in Washington, meanwhile, said her country was committed to cooperating with the U.S. and that discussions would continue over the coming 90 days.
“We want to continue to work with the U.S. very closely on the different challenges that we have together. And one urgent one at this moment is immigration,” said Martha Barcena.
She told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the countries’ “joint declaration of principles … gives us the base for the road map that we have to follow in the incoming months on immigration and cooperation on asylum issues and development in Central America.”
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The U.S., she said, wants to see the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border return to levels seen in 2018. U.S. Border Patrol last week announced it had apprehended more than 132,000 people at the border in May, including a record 84,542 adults and children traveling together, straining federal resources and leaving officials struggling to provide basic housing and health care.
The Associated Press contributed to this article