By Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Exasperated by reports of a flood of illegal border crossings, President Donald Trump summoned his top immigration advisers to demand action. Responding to his mounting concern, including his extreme threats to entirely close the U.S.-Mexico border, they prepared an alternative but still-inflammatory plan to levy escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports to the United States.
Thursday night’s surprise announcement of the plan by Trump, threatening to upend ratification chances for his own revised North American free trade pact, demonstrated the lengths to which the risk-taking president is willing to go to crack down on illegal immigration, even in the face of bipartisan criticism, legal challenges and polarized public feelings.
He’s setting the tricky politics of immigration and trade — the two issues that defined his candidacy and bedevil his presidency — on a collision course and injecting new tensions into his relations with political allies as he struggles to show results in his campaign for a second term.