President Donald Trump said Monday that his administration may make tougher border security measures a condition for the United States supporting any modernized version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The president took to Twitter to declare Mexico, "whose laws on immigration are very tough," needs to step up its efforts to prevent illegal crossings on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump added the country could not accept "what is happening" and that his administration would explore any option available, including the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, to ensure the security of America's southern border.
"Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast," the president tweeted.
The president's tweet comes as the U.S., Canada, and Mexico continue eight months of negotiations to modernize NAFTA. Mexico has expressed interest in coming to an agreement before July 1 so the issue does not become a topic in the country's upcoming presidential election.
The tweet also comes as the Trump administration has taken steps to increase border security. Earlier this month, Trump signed a presidential memorandum outlining his plan to deploy National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in order to prevent illegal crossings.
When announcing the memorandum, the president stated that since Congress had failed to act, he was left with no other option.
In recent months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported a surge in the apprehension of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. In February 2018, the agency reported apprehending 36,695 individuals attempting to make an illegal border crossing, up from 23,555 in February of the previous year.