The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security

Border security has been one of the thorniest branches in the immigration policy tree. Even with a border hawk in the White House, it has become clear that Congress lacks the appetite to have an honest debate on the topic, let alone approve the billions of dollars needed for a southern border wall. The Mexican government vows it will never pay for a wall, and the flow of illegal aliens across the border continues unabated. Is there anything that can be done to break the logjam on border security?

In a word, yes. In a landscape of stalled legislative agendas, there are effective moves that can be made. Last month the news was dominated by word of a caravan of refugees from Central America heading north and seeking asylum in the United States. While pressure from the U.S. on Mexico dispersed much of the caravan, some actually made it to the U.S. border. Many would be surprised to learn that this migration has recently become an annual spring event. Reports have circulated that these migrants are coached by human traffickers and open borders groups to say the “magic words” to U.S. authorities to qualify for asylum. The word is on the street: U.S. laws for refugees are wide open to exploitation and represent a back door into the United States.President Trump recently suggested in a tweet that he may use a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the basis for immigration reforms with Mexico. The obvious demands are for Mexico to somehow pay for a border wall or clamp down on border security. Both short- and long-term history have shown that Mexico is unlikely to comply with either request. 

The answer may not be to our south, but to our north. There, we have an agreement called the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. It specifies that if a person approaches our border from Canada and seeks asylum, U.S. authorities will turn the person away as Canada is a safe third country and they must seek asylum there first. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act defines a safe third country as one that is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the United Nations Convention Against Torture. As it turns out, Mexico is also a signatory to both of those agreements. Within the last decade, Mexico also received the imprimatur of the UN for its progressive policies on the humane treatment of refugees.

What does all this mean for security on our vulnerable southern border? As a condition of continuing some version of the NAFTA deal that has been a lifeline for Mexico, Trump should demand that Mexico sign a safe third country agreement with the U.S. This would be effective on two levels.

Comments

Privacy Policy

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

The best way Trump can leverage NAFTA for border security respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.