Given his expertise in U.S.-Mexico political and economic relations, Marco López, Founder and President of Intermestic Partners and former Chief of Staff of the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection under the Obama Administration, was interviewed today on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” in light of the Trump Administration’s recent declarations of the U.S. travel ban and intentions to increase deportation numbers. President Trump had rallied his supporters in Florida over the weekend touting his “Get Tough” message.
It is no secret that the U.S.-Mexico relationship has been in a fragile state for some months. Says López: “This administration has been hostile to Mexico since the campaign, and we don’t see any signs of increased cooperation, and it puts us at a disadvantage.”
López expressed that the current administration would need to clarify two things: (1) the travel ban on the seven Muslim-majority countries, and (2) to what extent ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) and CBP (Customs & Border Protection) will have discretion to determine which individuals will be apprehended and deported under these directives. The current Trump directive to double deportation numbers from 38,000 to 80,000 will inevitably put major strains on ICE and CBP resources. Additionally, with the objective of increased deportation numbers, we are likely to see more and more raids across cities and towns in America — something that we did not see under President Obama.
The increase in deportations of illegal immigrants still does not, however, address the need for “true immigration reform” and the need to determine what to do with the eight million undocumented migrants who currently reside in the United States. López says we will “see the most benefits” by tackling the bigger challenge, and working alongside Mexico, rather than against Mexico, to solve it.
“You need strong relationships in order to make the security progress that we need all over America,” says López. “To only focus on the enforcement element, you only consider half of the equation. You really do need to have a strong, effective, smart border security strategy that includes the neighbor to the south.”
To see the full interview, please visit: http://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/leaked-memos-outline-expanded-detain-and-deport-tactics-881095747837.
Marco A. López, Jr. is the President and CEO of International Business Solutions, Inc. (IBS), a business advisory firm that provides strategic business development and policy direction to both international and domestic organizations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and previously served as U.S. advisor to the successful presidential campaign of Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto on topics of border security and safety, border trade and commerce, and economic development. Prior to founding IBS, Marco was Chief of Staff at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At the age of 22, he became one of the youngest mayors in the United States, elected into office at Arizona’s largest border community of Nogales, Arizona. He held various positions in Arizona state government and was appointed by then Governor Janet Napolitano as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce.