Yuma-area leaders from both sides of the political aisle say they do not believe President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs against Mexican imports is the best way to address immigration reform as hundreds of asylum seekers enter near San Luis every day.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted threats to impose five percent tariffs on all goods entering from Mexico “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico and into our country stop.”
Russ Jones, a county Republican leader who does business on both sides of the border said the tariffs would hurt Americans more than Mexicans. Jones said small businesses in San Luis are already hurt by less customers from Mexico who are frustrated with longer wait times at the port of entry. He said Mexican officials can do more but not at the expense of American shoppers.
“Mexico is complicit in this," Jones said. They can and should be doing more than they are doing. I think the President is dealing out of frustration even though the method he’s using of imposing duties is something I totally disagree with.” (18 seconds)
Democratic U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva called Trump’s decision “reckless.” In a released statement, Grijalva said “these tariffs will do little to solve the humanitarian crisis at our border. Instead, it will only harm American consumers, businesses, and workers who will ultimately pay the price. The people of Arizona, asylum seekers, the economy, and our values deserve better than to be disposable pawns in Trump’s depraved game and nonsensical trade policy.”
According to federal data, $16 billion worth of goods passed through Arizona ports of entry in 2018.