As the president and First Lady Melania attended the D-Day tribute in Normandy, France, back in Washington, the president’s team was busy negotiating a reduction of illegal alien border crossings with Mexican officials. White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp indicated that so far the team is looking for more cooperation from Mexico.
Schlapp said, “You know, I know we’re in ongoing discussions with the Mexicans, there’s a two o’clock meeting today between White House, State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to continue talks with the Mexican officials. Our goal is to see an outcome which is out of the reduction of numbers of illegals crossing. We need more cooperation coming from Mexico. Clearly what we’ve seen is that Mexico has not done enough.”
While the White House has already said that Mexico can prevent the promised tariffs by securing its southern border with Guatemala and cracking down on criminal smuggling organizations, the Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard was optimistic after a morning round of discussions and said “Maybe in the afternoon we can share with you the advances that we’ve had, that we are going to have. Yes, we are advancing, in the meeting we have some advances and we are going to return later to continue discussing several points that we proposed.”
During Wednesday’s talks, the gulf between the countries was clear as Mexico offered small, thus far undisclosed concessions but Schlapp indicated that the president’s tariff strategy has at least brought Mexico to the table for discussions.
Schlapp said, “I’m not going to go into any details on the discussions at hand and what we can tell you is that what Mexico is offering is not enough. We need to see more coming from Mexico. Obviously what President Trump has done in terms of pushing forward on a tariff has brought them to the table, it’s why they came to the United States, its why they’ve met with officials yesterday, with the vice president yesterday and we want to see more progress coming from Mexican officials.”
Underscoring the scope of the border problem, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions of migrants illegally crossing the border hit the highest level in more than a decade in May: 132,887 apprehensions, including a record 84,542 adults and children traveling together and 11,507 children traveling alone.
Finally the director said, “The president has presented Congress with several proposals when it came to solving this immigration and this border crisis. And part of it we know that needs to happen is true congressional action, which is that of closing the legal loopholes which would then stop the magnet of illegal immigrants coming to the United States. At this point the president was put in that position where he said we need to move forward on a tariff on Mexico. Obviously, this is causing movement and having the Mexicans react and come forth and have these discussions with the United States.”