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President Donald Trump has announced that he will impose a 5 percent tariff on goods imported from Mexico on June 10, 2019, unless Mexico takes effective action before then to dramatically reduce the number of Central American migrants crossing its territory to reach the United States. If the crisis continues, Trump said he will raise the tariff every month until it reaches 25 percent in October.

This is a dramatic shift from his previous border security measures, such as a border wall. The money for those projects would have come from federal taxes. Voters wouldn’t have been impacted directly.

The tariff, however, will raise the cost of groceries, cars, and many other consumer goods. Voters will notice, and they won’t be happy about it.

Why is Trump committing political suicide on the eve of an election year?

The answer can be found in Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, which says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives…” The Democrats control the House of Representatives, and they have prevented him from getting the funds he needs for his other border security measures.

For instance, the Democrats refused to provide funding for a border wall. Left with no other options, Trump declared a national emergency so he could start construction of the wall with money that had been appropriated for other purposes. But he still doesn’t have his wall, and the crisis at the border is escalating.

He is turning now to border security measures that he can implement without additional funding, such as imposing a tariff on goods imported from Mexico. I expect others to follow.
Trump’s authority to establish such tariffs comes from the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

Read more at https://thehill.com/opinion/immigrat...ing-the-border

Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @NolanR1