In 2002, the United States and Canada secured [an] arrangement, known as a “safe third country” agreement. It has worked because Canada is, in fact, a safe third country: Migrants who apply for asylum there are secure, and their cases are fairly adjudicated.
By contrast, Mexico is patently unsuitable as a place of refuge for most migrants, especially those from Central America, who suffer exploitation, violence and sexual assault almost routinely as they make their way north. In a recent report, Doctors Without Borders noted that two-thirds of Guatemalan, Salvadoran and Honduran migrants in Mexico have reported being victims of violence; almost a third of migrant women there had been sexually assaulted. Twelve of the world’s 50 most violent cities are in Mexico. Forcing refugees to seek sanctuary in Mexico would thrust tens of thousands of them into a country with weak law enforcement, a flimsy judicial system, an anemic asylum process and predatory criminal gangs.
(Emphasis belongs to Jazz.)
I think we are all Old Enough To Remember When shouts of RACIST issued forth from the perpetual outrage when it was alleged by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that President Trump referred to African countries — many of which suffer from the same maladies as Mexico — as sh*tholes.
That epithet perfectly describes these countries … and Mexico.
But we know, of course, that it’s okay to list the various forms of lawlessness — rape, murder, corruption, etc. — that reign in these countries and even okay to call them sh*tholes as long as you are not a Republican and, especially, are not named Donald Trump.
Meanwhile The Run for the BorderTM wages on. Because who wants to live in Hell when Heaven is so close? You’ll even go through a worse Hell to get there.
Someone, however, ought to tell the refugees and illegal aliens about how we Americans reached our present point in history so that, maybe, some might consider making changes in their own lands. Lot of guns are involved, though.
Meanwhile, Wall, please.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.
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Seeking a bipartisan compromise to avoid a government shutdown, President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that an immigration deal could be reached in two phases — first by addressing young immigrants and border security with what he called a “bill of love,” then by making comprehensive changes that have long eluded Congress.
Trump presided over a lengthy meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers seeking a solution for hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children and living here illegally. Trump last year ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shielded more than 700,000 people from deportation and gave them the right to work legally. He gave Congress until March to find a fix.
Back in 2007, when George W. Bush, along with congressional Republicans and Democrats alike were pushing a bill called Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I wrote this, reproduced below. I sometimes like to engage in what Thomas Sowell calls Thinking Beyond Stage One.
Read the rest of the AP link before you read this post. My musings are only tangential to the border wall topic and not related to the actions of President Trump and/or the lawmakers on DACA. Continue reading “Border Wall Mind Games”→
“‘Many are the strange chances of the world,’ said Mithrandir, ‘and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'”
Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Simarillion.
This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump’s historic election to the presidency.
Historic? Yes. Trump is first first non-politician–or former general–ever elected to the nation’s highest office. The Manhattan billionaire was one of 17 candidates for the Republican nomination and it’s very safe to say that among the GOP establishment, Trump was the least popular member of this group.
But among the unpolished masses–the folks that Hillary Clinton dubbed “Deplorables” a year later–Trump was their champion. House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump’s upset win over Clinton, said that the president-elect, “Heard a voice that no one else heard.”
Clinton, on the other hand, was clearly the choice of the Democratic Party insiders, and that point was driven home last week by Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chair when Trump scored his upset win.
Trump was branded a racist when he said that Mexico was sending “rapists” and “criminals” over the border and he vowed to build a wall at the Mexican border. Was he wrong to say that? Yes. But Trump revealed a glaring hypocrisy among the Republican Party. The GOP’s idea of “getting tough” on illegal immigration was to talk tough about illegal immigration. And suddenly, the emerging Trump base learned, here was a candidate who will do something about illegal aliens–who yes, not only take away American jobs, such as in food service, but also drive down wages.
Barack Obama waxed eloquently–he’s good at that–about the plight of the laid-off workers at a Maytag refrigerator plant in Galesburg, Illinois–the manufacturer shifted that work to a factory in Mexico, both in his memorable keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and in Audacity of Hope. Trump vowed–and vows–to stop the exodus of blue collar jobs to south of the border. After eight years of President Obama in charge, whose response to these job losses was to offer retraining to workers for scarce jobs in “green industries,” Trump’s message resonated. While Clinton doubled-down on green failure.
Last week Rush Limbaugh praised Trump’s making an issue during the campaign of China cheating on trade deals and its currency manipulation “China is ripping us off on trade,” Trump screamed. At the time El Rusho saw it as too esoteric of a topic for presidential campaign. But the “weak” understood while the “wise” faltered.
And the Deplorables of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan–many of whom voted twice for Barack Obama–went with Trump last year.
The United States commenced bilateral trade negotiations with Canada more than 30 years ago, resulting in the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1989. In 1991, bilateral talks began with Mexico, which Canada joined. The NAFTA followed, entering into force on January 1, 1994.
Considering the changes in technology and global markets that have taken place during the past 23 years, it’s not unreasonable to take a second look at the treaty.
One provision designed with that objective is a “sunset” clause that would force Nafta’s expiration in five years unless all three countries act to renew it, said people briefed on the plan.
Other proposals, these people said, would weaken or eliminate the mechanisms aimed at settling disputes between the three countries and curbing the unilateral threats and sanctions that frequently roiled trade ties in earlier years.
None of the U.S. proposals would alter the specific trade terms that have spurred a quarter-century of commercial integration between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, such as tax-free trade across borders.
The Trump administration’s goal appears to be to reduce the incentive to outsource by watering down the pact and reduce its influence on American companies through measures such as undoing the current policy of treating the three economies – Canada, U.S, Mexico – as one, narrowing the amount of U.S. federal spending to the same dollar amount as the trading partners (“dollar for dollar”), and requiring that some products contain not just a certain level of Nafta-regional content, but U.S.-specific content.
This goal goes hand-in-hand with the administration’s deregulation strategy to improve U.S. manufacturing. And, as the WSJ said in the above article, “None of the U.S. proposals would alter the specific trade terms.”
Since the new round of talks starts today, this of course does not mean that is what NAFTA will look like at the end.
However, I would love to see – if only once – an international treaty with an actual sunset clause.
A woman can dream.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
I used to follow French politics in the 1990s, when one of the PBS affiliates in Central N.J. used to broadcast the France2 evening news, straight-up with no subtitles. Even back then there were reports of no-go zones in the banlieues, and on the marauding gangs of “youths” who burned hundreds of cars on New Year’s Eve (the number keeps increasing every year).
Somewhere along the way Jacques Chirac decided this was not good PR for the country (and probably for himself re: the kickbacks story ), and established France 24 for overseas consumption. Voilà, English-language news with features on the countryside, fashion and wine replaced dreary France2 reports.
Macron is the country’s political establishment’s designated heir. We’ll see how it all turns out.
The website refreshed and a story about the declining ratings of the Kardashians’ TV show disappeared, which as Martha Stewart says, “it’s a good thing.” If the Kardashians/Jenners depended on my support, they’d still be working at the IHOP.
On the left column there’s a pseudoscience story, Swearing increases physical strength… If that was true, two women I know would be able to clean-lift 400 lbs with each arm while outlasting a marathoning Kenyan. Maybe men contain themselves when I’m around, but the two worst ever potty mouths I’ve heard are women.
Mexico’s immigration laws have been revised recently but historically the country does not tolerate foreign nationals who are not legally in the country to hold jobs or seek public assistance in any form. If memory serves, you also must also be in good health, own a certain amount of assets and not upset the “equilibrium of the national demographics” in order to be accepted as a resident.
Additionally, it is against the law for foreigners to opine on the country’s politics (and it is also the case in most Latin American countries).
Browsing through Drudge reminds me of a friend who lived to a very advanced age (she never admitted it, but she was 99 when she died). When asked what she attributed her longevity to, she replied, “I never pay attention to the news.”
Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll work on my strength and endurance over the weekend . . . without swearing.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.
Mexico has blamed the United States for everything since before the “Last Spike” went into the ground. It continues to do so to this day.
Just this week, Mexico’s foremost living historian Enrique Krauze posited in the New York Times that the U.S. has three original sins: Slavery, racism, and “the aggression against Mexico and the plundering of its territory.” Because of that, Krauze says, all Mexicans should be free to live in the U.S., without restrictions.
Popular culture supports this blame game. The Netflix series Ingobernable (Ungovernable) has the CIA kill the president of Mexico when he was about to declare the end of the “war on drugs” after blaming the U.S. for every Mexican death it caused. Ingobernable (starring real-life drug lord El Chapo’s friend Kate del Castillo) ought to be named Unwatchable.
The country’s foreign policy reflects its blame game: The Diplomad writes from experience,
I also have long considered Mexico a major threat to America. I have dealt with Mexican diplomats at the UN, the OAS, and in Central and South America. They are first rate. They are patriotic, well-trained, dedicated, and hard working. They, almost to a man and a woman, are also possessed with a deep, deep animus towards the United States. At the UN and the OAS, for example, Mexico, in my experience, played the role of opponent to whatever we sought to do. They not only consistently voted against us, they collaborated with our opponents on resolutions and projects antithetical to our interests, and, for example, refused to oppose Cuban and Venezuelan human rights violations. They rarely passed on an opportunity to stick it in our eye.
Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico.
“If [Russia] intervened in the United States, there’s every reason to think that Mexico is a target for attack,” said [Sen. Armando] Ríos Piter [of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)], who recently launched an independent presidential bid.
. . .
Ríos Piter said Mexico is a natural target for Russia, as the country is expected to become a top-five economy over the next half century.
Mexico may well become a top-five economy, yet Ríos Piter conveniently forgets that remittances from the U.S. generate more than Mexico’s oil or tourism industries. No blame there.
Call me a cynic, but to my jaundiced eye, Ríos Piter may be laying the groundwork for his third-ranked party losing the presidency again – after all, some still refer to their candidate who lost the 1997 election as the “legitimate president of Mexico.”
Mexico’s biggest cement maker said it would be willing to provide supplies for the US border wall proposed by President Donald Trump, ending months in which the company declined to comment on the potential project.
Cemex SAB would offer a price quote to any contractors looking to buy cement for the barrier, Chairman Rogelio Zambrano told Reforma newspaper. With plants on both sides of the border, Cemex would be well positioned to compete for building-materials contracts.
. . .
Cemex climbed 4.3 per cent to 17.74 pesos at 11:18am in Mexico City after advancing as much as 4.6 per cent for the biggest intraday gain in a month.
As of the writing of this post, Cemex is trading at US$9.o1, still going up.
While this may sound rather ironic or humorous depending on how you look at it, it illustrates private enterprise in the form of a multinational corporation responding to a business opportunity, which in turn creates value for its stockholders.
In other news, unless you’ve been in a sensory deprivation cell for the past couple of weeks, you must have heard the Democrats generically impugning any contact with Russians, but only if it’s by a Trump supporter.
The latest is the allegation that Jeff Sessions committed perjury. Andrew McCarthy, who has years of experience as a very successful prosecutor, finds the charge meritless.
Illegal immigration flowing from Mexico into the United States is controlled by the cartels, directly or with the cooperation of coyotes, as InSight Crime reports,
Most coyotes have a clear incentive to have at least some relationship with the drug traffickers, even beyond the need to pay protection fees. Coyotes have intimate knowledge of the terrain and the US authorities on the other side of the border, so they have highly sought-after skills for gangs slipping drugs into US cities. Many specialists in moving drug shipments across the border originally learned their trade working as coyotes.
Typically, however, they do not operate as members of a given gang. Instead, they are independent entrepreneurs who will work with the traffickers opportunistically.
People from other countries who are caught traveling through Mexico illegally are vulnerable to extortion, kidnapping and violence, as a group of 90 Cubans stranded in Mexico held in a detention center allege.
Rather than work towards better conditions, Mexico’s ruling class, which has failed to protect its own citizens from the cartels’ deadly human trafficking business, are offering to backlog U.S. courts,
Mexico has zero tolerance for illegal immigrants who seek to work inside Mexico, happen to break Mexican law or go on public assistance — or any citizens who aid them.
In Mexico, legal immigration is aimed at privileging lawful arrivals with skill sets that aid the Mexican economy and, according to the country’s immigration law, who have the “necessary funds for their sustenance” — while denying entry to those who are not healthy or would upset the “equilibrium of the national demographics.” Translated, that idea of demographic equilibrium apparently means that Mexico tries to withhold citizen status from those who do not look like Mexicans or have little skills to make money.
Where’s the outrage?
When will Mexico’s ruling class extend to their fellow countrymen the basic housing, education or welfare they come to seek in the U.S.?
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.
If there has been a worse afternoon for the Hillary Clinton Campaign I haven’t seen it.
First you have both have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both invited to Mexico by the president…
..and only Trump accepts making Trump look presidential and Hillary look like she’s ducking.
Then you have the Press gathered to see the joint statement after the meeting anticipating fireworks after Trump’s meeting with Mexico’s president with the MSM covering it live hoping for fireworks…
…and the Mexican president not only shows respect for Donald Trump, says he can work with Donald Trump but explicitly states and affirms the right of the US to control its border.
But even so you have Donald Trump speaking next and the MSM was ready for him to put his foot in his mouth, insult his host in his own country in public or make some rowdy statement…
…and instead you get calm measured words that don’t back off one bit from his positions. He looked presidential and diplomatic. totally destroying the carefully crafted media image the media has advanced.
Then you have the press conference if Trump didn’t make himself a fool during his statements the media asking him questions would manage to do so…
…and Trump answers them cleaning and directly without a misstep.
It was in every way a disaster for the left. Instead of a blithering bombastic racist idiot that they pretend Trump is, the American people saw live a diplomatic, determined and debonair leader with a history of making big deals with important people all over the world. And that doesn’t even take into account that Hillary hasn’t held a press conference since forever.
It caught the entire media by surprise. So much so that the meme being advanced on every network was “Trump didn’t discuss Mexico paying for the wall.” The fact Mexico agreed to the right of securing the border or acknowledged the advantages to Mexico for securing said border wasn’t news only that Trump did not force this issue in his very first meeting with the Pres (an action that he would have been condemned for as being “undiplomatic if he had btw).
In short for the next several days the entire media will be dedicating themselves to making sure that they advance not the actual words said by Trump & the President of Mexico but their spin of it because the actual video is devastating to Hillary Clinton and her palace guard of Press.
If Donald Trump wins this election this is the day he does it.
I’ll share the last word with Jorge Ramos
What a weak and shy response by Mexican president @epn. Trump leaves without giving an apology & won’t change at all his immigration plan
Donald Trump’s perfomance at his dual statement cum brief press conference with Mexican President Enrique Nieto on Wednesday should put shivers in the Hillary Clinton camp even more than the new L.A. Times poll numbers showing a sudden bounce for Trump.
Trump was a hundred percent presidential in his performance, showing that he was not about to put his foot in his mouth on the global stage as easily as Hillary’s supporters are hoping. All this is occurring with her email/foundation metastasizing. This election is not over.
And he knows who to blame for this
Ever since Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon have joined the campaign, Trump has performed nearly flawlessly. This can’t be entirely accidental.
Many polls have shown that large numbers of voters do not believe Trump is qualified to be president. After the session, the Trump campaign was quick to tout the trip as evidence that he is ready for the Oval Office.
“Mr. Trump’s trip to Mexico is an impressive display of his ability to serve as our nation’s president on day one,” said deputy communications director Bryan Lanza in a statement. “This shows Mr. Trump’s commitment to strengthening our economy as well as our relationship with our neighbor, Mexico.”
Pena Nieto invited Clinton to visit, too. If she does, she will of course receive the kind of respectful, official treatment that she deserves. But Clinton, as a former secretary of state, has videos of zillions of photo ops showing her as a major player on the world stage. Trump had none. Until today.
As far as the MSM is concerned, this is bad very bad!
Update 4: The Wall Street Journal sees an angle I missed:
There is, quite simply, no good time for Mrs. Clinton to face the campaign press corps. Except now.
Had the long-awaited news conference been held Wednesday, the questions would be overwhelmingly negative…Yet this was her best opportunity–because any bad news would be largely overshadowed.
Why, because it would have been Trumped!
By scheduling a last-minute trip to Mexico City to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto ahead of what his campaign is billing as a major immigration speech in Arizona, Mr. Trump has guaranteed the media focus will remain on him.
Advantage Trump again!
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“I have to say that we are not, I am not going to pay for that f***ing wall,” Fox said during a live interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network on Friday morning, repeating the phrase that made waves when he used it a day earlier.
This time however, the expletive went uncensored as a visibly stunned Bartiromo gasped.
“I am not. And he should know that. And I am not going to apologize,” Fox added.
But that was back in February Cruz had won Iowa and while Trump had done well in Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina the idea that Trump would someday president let alone the the GOP nominee was something the conventional wisdom said was not possible.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox who famously told Jorge Ramos in February that he was, “not going to pay for that [Trump’s] fucking wall,” has now apologized to Trump and invited the presumptive GOP nominee to Mexico.
The former Mexican leader addressed Trump in a Tuesday interview with Breitbart News, stating, “If I offended you, I’m sorry. But what about the other way around?” That evening on The O’Reilly Factor, Fox said, “I think it’s very important to invite Donald Trump to come to Mexico and to learn about the real Mexico that I would think is totally different.”
Oddly enough while this story is getting some traction at Hotair and even at The Hill when I did a search of CNN for the string “Vicente Fox” here was the result:
Nothing newer than April 12th, Mr. Fox’s statement and Mexico’s apology and invitation may as well have not happened.
Now one doesn’t have to have supported Mr. Trump in the primary to recognize that the sudden reversal of Mexico on Trump is newsworthy, that it speaks to his electability and that it further suggest that a policy of strength might just be more effective in protecting US interests than an apology tour. For example my magnificent seven writer Fausta wrote about this on her blog as she absolutely detests Donald Trump.
But apparently you DO need to be a person outside of the MSM married to both supporting Hillary Clinton and in backing illegal immigration in order to find this story newsworthy.
Update: I have a funny feeling that the MSM will not be so circumspect in reporting this:
Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox has taken to Univision to call on Mexicans able to vote in the United States to vote against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, just hours after ostensibly “apologizing” to him.
Less than 24 hours after what Fox himself told Mexican radio was really only a strategic apology, Fox was back to form on Univision, condemning Trump and launching an anti-Trump GOTV campaign.
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