Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge suggested in an interview that aired Friday on “Rising” that he did not believe President Trump’s move to slap new tariffs on Mexico would solve the immigration issue at the U.S. southern border.
“I’m not quite sure tariffs on Mexico are going to solve the problem for us,” Ridge, who served under former President George W. Bush, told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on “Rising.”
“I have a great deal of support for the notion about securing the borders, but I think we politicize the issue instead of solving the problem,” he continued.
The Hill obtained a draft document on Thursday showing that the president is planning to declare a national emergency in order to implement sweeping tariffs on Mexico over “the failure of the Government of Mexico to take effective action to reduce the mass migration of aliens illegally crossing into the United States through Mexico.”
The move comes as Trump faces backlash within his own party over the tariffs.
Trump has long called for stricter immigration policies, including a wall along the border to deter migrants.
Ridge said he worries that the situation along the southern border has become overly politicized in Washington.
“I don’t think that we advance ourselves toward a solution by politicizing the border by simply talking about a wall, and not taking into consideration all the other dimensions of an immigration policy based on a 21st-century world, based on the technology we have, based on relationships we have with the leaders in the region,” he said. “Those leaders have a responsibility to help us as well, and right now we’ve ignored them.”
— Julia Manchester