President Trump is planning to declare a new national emergency in order to implement sweeping tariffs on Mexico. He is attempting to stop the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S., according to a draft document of the declaration reviewed by a media source.
According to the document, the new emergency is necessary due to “the failure of the Government of Mexico to take effective action to reduce the mass migration of aliens illegally crossing into the United States through Mexico.”
The new emergency declaration would follow a February emergency declaration, which Trump used to justify sending National Guard troops to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the southern border.
The draft document reveals that the White House believes that imposing the tariffs under the February emergency declaration might not pass legal muster.
Officials from the White House counsel’s office and the Justice Department floated the idea of a new declaration this week during a closed-door meeting with Republican senators.
The White House has said it plans to impose the tariffs under the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the president to take unilateral action to counter an “unusual and extraordinary threat” in times of national emergency.
It is likely that a new national emergency is likely to initiate widespread opposition on Capitol Hill from Republicans and Democrats who say Trump is overstepping his tariff authority and also could draw fresh legal challenges.
Trump last week threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods crossing into the United States, which would increase by another 5 percent every subsequent month, capping at 25 percent in October.
The draft declaration mentions nine instances of Mexico’s “failure” to control northward migration from Central America.
“The United States Government has repeatedly asked the Government of Mexico to take responsibility and help reduce this mass migration. Yet the Government of Mexico has failed to take sufficient action to alleviate this problem, has allowed this mass incursion to increase, and has failed to secure its own southern border,” reads the draft.