President Trump on Saturday defended his agreement with Mexico that sees the country take tougher measures on illegal immigration in exchange for the U.S. dropping plans to impose tariffs on imports — promising that Mexico “will try very hard” and place as many as 6,000 troops at their southern border.
Trump announced late Friday that the U.S. had reached a deal with its southern neighbors that would see planned tariffs on Mexico stopped in return for Mexico taking further action to stop the flow of migrants from Central American to the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a joint declaration issued by the State Department, Mexico will take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.”
The U.S. will also expand its policy of returning asylum applicants to Mexico while their claims are processed. The U.S. committed to accelerate asylum claims while Mexico said it will “offer jobs, healthcare and education according to its principles.”
The document said that Mexico will also take “decisive action” to dismantle smuggling and trafficking operations, while both countries will increase cooperation to protect the border.
Trump tweeted on Saturday that the deal includes Mexico sending 6,000 troops to its southern border, saying that currently “there are few!” In that tweet, he quoted Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, who praised the deal in glowing terms and called it a “huge deal” and a “game changer.”