Tag Archives: Mexico

Let’s give credit where it’s due on immigration

It’s time to hand out a bit of credit where I believe it is due.

The Donald Trump administration has worked out an agreement with Mexico that aims to crack down on what’s been called “irregular migration” through Mexico into the United States.

The payoff is the suspension of a 5 percent tariff on all products imported from Mexico into this country. That, right there, is reason to cheer this result.

Mexico is going to send about 6,000 national guard troops to border entry points, concentrating on its border with Guatemala; it also is going to hold those seeking asylum in this country and start working to grant them such status in Mexico; the United States also will be able to return Central American migrants to Mexico while their asylum status is being adjudicated.

OK, it’s not the perfect solution. However, it remove for the immediate and medium-term future the threat of nonsensical tariffs that the president threatened to impose. Let’s get real: The tariffs do more damage to American consumers than to Mexican exporters, as the tariff only will add to the cost of goods coming into this country.

Trump sought to hold the tariff threat over Mexico. His tactic seems to have worked. Mexico sent its foreign minister to Washington to negotiate a deal with the State Department, Homeland Security and the White House.

How much direct involvement included the president himself, of course, remains a mystery. My hunch is that Trump didn’t play much of a role in the nuts and bolts of such an agreement.

Still, it happened on his watch. Now it’s up to Mexico to deliver on its pledge to act more proactively and aggressively to stop the flow of illegal migrants through its country and into this one.

No, Mr. POTUS, Pelosi isn’t ‘bad for the country’; you are!

Mr. President, I cannot let you get away with this nonsense you spouted on CBS News.

Your belief that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “very bad for the country” is laughable on its face. Except that it ain’t funny.

What’s “funny,” and my laughter is of the derisive kind, is that you say these things with a straight face. You, sir, are the one who is “bad for the country.” I hate saying that about the president of the United States, but I feel as though I must.

Speaker Pelosi is performing just as she did when he held the post the first time. You weren’t around Washington back then. You were still slapping your name on high-rise buildings and “firing” people on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Pelosi was controlling her Democratic Party congressional caucus. She was helping ensure that President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act legislation got passed by the House and eventually by the Senate. She was doing her job as a legislative leader.

She is displaying her strong hand once again in this silly battle over The Wall and whether we should pay for it. Your ridiculous campaign promise that Mexico would pay for it has been exposed for what it is: utter nonsense. Yet you make these idiotic pledges anyway.

You call Pelosi “rigid”? No, sir. She is standing behind her principles and is holding her caucus firm in its resistance to building The Wall. You contend you are ready to declare a “national emergency” where none exists on our southern border. You are prompting a legal challenge. You are intent on putting our military personnel to work as wall builders. Haven’t you heard your fellow Republicans urge you to resist this measure, that you are courting disaster?

That, Mr. President, represents a public policy that is “very bad for the country.”

Mexico wouldn’t ‘write a check’? Really, Mr. President?

Hold on, Mr. President. Many millions of your fellow Americans aren’t going to let you get away with this one.

You now say that your boast about making “Mexico pay for the wall” did not mean that the country would cut us a check to pay for its construction.

You “meant” to infer that Mexico would pay for it indirectly. Is that what you’re saying now, Mr. President.

I have listened — along with millions of other Americans — to all that campaign-rally bellowing and bluster about how you intended to force Mexico foot the bill for The Wall. At no time did I ever hear you say, or even hint, that you intended for the “payment” to come in some form other than a direct disbursement of money from the Mexican treasury to our own treasury.

Mexican President (at the time) Enrique Pena Nieto declared that Mexico wouldn’t pay for The Wall. He never said publicly that Mexico would refuse to pay even indirectly.

Many of us, Mr. President, have presumed that you meant what you said out loud, and very loudly, at all those campaign rallies. We also remember how you exhorted  your crowds of faithful followers to answer the question: Who’s going to pay for The Wall? They would shout, “Mexico!” You cheered ’em on!

I’ve got the link to the Daily Mail story here. You are trying to tell us what you meant to say, which I presume is not what you actually said.

That’s a non-starter, Mr. President.

You have broken faith with the suckers who voted for you.

National emergency draws bipartisan criticism

Donald Trump might declare a national emergency.

His rationale is to spend $5 billion to build The Wall on our border with Mexico. The president cannot get Congress to approve it. So he has shut down part of the government. Now he’s considering whether to invoke some form of executive authority that a number of constitutional scholars believe is illegal.

OK, then. What happens now?

Congressional Democrats — no surprise there — are sounding the alarm. You can’t do that, Mr. President, they say. We’re going to sue. This is a reach way beyond the presidential grasp, they contend.

Oh, but wait! Congressional Republicans are sounding a note of wariness as well. None other than U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, the former chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee — and a committed Republican — says declaring an emergency and deploying military personnel to build The Wall is not in keeping with the Pentagon’s mission.

Other congressional GOP members want the shutdown to end. They want to reopen the government and they want to then resume negotiations to seek a solution to this border security matter.

The U.S. Constitution gives government funding responsibility to Congress. The president does have executive authority, to be sure. However, it remains an open question whether he can re-direct funds appropriated for defense needs to build The Wall that the president believes is a response to threats to our national security.

Except that there is no national threat occurring on our southern border.

Yes, we need to curb illegal immigration. The number of illegal immigrants crossing the border has decreased over many years. The president would have us believe that criminals are “pouring” into the country. They are posing an immediate threat to our national well-being, he says.

It’s a fantasy. Donald Trump is trying to keep a campaign promise he never should have made in the first place, but he did. Now he’s on the hook. He believes he needs to keep it.

I almost forgot! The most significant part of that pledge to build The Wall was that Mexico was going to pay for it. Mexico won’t pay, but Trump then declared in his 10-minute Oval Office talk Tuesday night that a new trade deal with Mexico is going to pay for The Wall. He didn’t say how that would happen. Hey, who needs details?

Donald Trump is flirting with an actual crisis of an entirely different kind if he declares that national emergency.

Sen. King has it right: No one favors open borders

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, calls it right.

“There’s no one in Congress that’s for open borders. I am so tired of hearing that you’re either for the wall or open borders. That’s nonsense.”

It’s also demagogic. It is fear-mongering. It is reprehensible.

Yet the president of the United States and his diminishing “base” of supporters keep harping on the lie that those who oppose building The Wall favor “open borders,” which implies a border with no security, no safeguards, no protection of U.S. citizens.

Donald Trump has relegated this discussion to a series of lies and innuendo. It’s old hat for the guy who campaigned for the presidency on a platform built on such lying. Yet he suckered enough voters in just the right states to score an Electoral College victory in 2016, to the surprise of virtually every political “expert” on Earth.

I will continue to harp on this demagoguery for as long as I am able. Trump must be called out for what he is doing. He is fomenting fear where none is deserved.

He’ll go on national TV Tuesday night and possibly tell us whether he’ll declare a phony “national emergency” because of non-existent “terrorists” who he says are “pouring” into the country. They are not. He knows it’s a lie, but none of it matters not one damn bit to the Liar in Chief.

The Wall is a pretext for keeping a ridiculous campaign promise. He said he would build this “big, beautiful wall” to stem illegal immigration. However, he also promised to make Mexico pay for it. Mexico says it won’t spend a nickel. The U.S. president cannot force a sovereign foreign government to do anything. Trump knows that, too — or at least he should know it.

Donald Trump has now resorted to declaring that those who oppose The Wall want “open borders.”

He is lying!

Now it’s the Germans feeling Trump’s wrath

Let’s see. How many more vital U.S. allies can the president of the United States anger?

He tells Mexico that it will pay for a wall across our nations’ shared border; Mexico says “no way, dude!”

Trump calls Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull and then berates him over his country’s immigration policy before hanging up on him.

The president first accuses his immediate predecessor of wiretapping his offices and then accuses the British intelligence agency of colluding with President Obama; the Brits denied it, angrily.

Now it’s the Germans, who Trump now says have to pay more for their participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Germany has rejected Trump’s demand. The Germans say they don’t owe a “debt” to NATO and won’t do what the U.S. president has suggested.

Meanwhile, the 45th president treats Russia with kid gloves; he calls Vladimir Putin a “strong leader” and says he wants to make nice with the Russians, who are doing all they can to make life miserable for the United States and our allies.

Who’s next for Trump? Maybe he can build a wall across our northern border to keep Americans from fleeing to Canada … and then demand the Canadians pay for it, too!

‘Uh, no,’ majority leader says to wall-payment idea

“Uh, no.”

Two words, four letters altogether. That’s all it seemed to take for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the kibosh on Donald Trump’s notion of getting another nation to pay for his “great, great wall” across our southern border.

Is that the end of it? Probably not.

McConnell’s terse response was to a question about whether Mexico would pay for the wall Trump wants to build. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has insisted vocally, categorically and with maximum emphasis that Mexico wouldn’t spend a peso to build the wall.

Here’s how NBCNews.com reported the senator’s response: “‘Do you believe that Mexico will pay for it [the border wall]?,’ Politico Playbook’s Jake Sherman asked. McConnell, R-Ky., flatly responded, ‘Uh, no.’

“McConnell said he believes that there are certain areas along the border that don’t need a border wall to secure the area.

“The border wall, which is estimated will cost $21.6 billion dollars to build, has spurred a lot of controversy in the United States and Mexico.”

A lot of controversy? Do you think?

The president of the United States might think he can get another sovereign country to do his bidding. Except that the term “sovereign” explains precisely why he cannot.

Imagine for just a moment the Canadians demanding the same thing of this country should a tide of “illegal immigrants” decide to flee the United States for points north.

Is that a preposterous notion? Hmmm. Not … entirely.

Publicity stunt makes valuable point about a wall

A member of Mexico’s congress has performed a masterful publicity stunt that illustrates something quite nicely about Donald J. Trump’s desire to build a “beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Braulio Guerra climbed a portion of the wall that’s already been erected. He sat atop it and then boasted about how easy it was to scale it.

He sat 30 feet above the ground.

Hmmm. How does he do that?

The congressman’s point is a valid one. It is that anyone who wants to scale a wall, or tunnel beneath it will find a way. A wall doesn’t protect us any better than what U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement agencies already are doing to ensure our nation’s safety.

In a video he distributed, the congressman said, “It would be simple for me to jump into the United States, which shows that it is unnecessary and totally absurd to build a wall.”

I won’t belabor the point that walling us off from our neighbors is patently in-American on its face. Yet the president of the United States keeps insisting that we’re being inundated with criminals of all stripes who are invading the United States for the sole purpose of preying on Americans.

My wife and I recently visited the border region and witnessed up close a tiny part of what the Border Patrol is doing to protect Americans. Officers are stopping every northbound vehicle at points along the Rio Grande Valley. They quizzed us briefly about our destination, then sent us on our way.

Did they stop anyone? Yes. We witnessed them pulling a motorist over, presumably for more, shall we say, “extreme vetting.”

Can we stop every single illegal immigrant from sneaking into this country? No. We’ve never been able to stop all of them.

A wall won’t do it, either.

Hoping to size up how Trump plans to wall off U.S.

It is my fondest wish — for the moment — to lay eyes on some real estate down yonder.

I intend to take a look at just how Donald John “Smart Person” Trump intends to wall off the southern U.S. border with Mexico, to stop all them “drug dealers, rapists, murderers” and even some of those “good people, I’m sure” who are trying to sneak into this country.

John Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, said this week he thinks the wall can be built — start to finish — in two years. Of course, the president insists that Mexico is going to pay for it — apparently presuming that the Mexican government is “sending” all those criminals into the United States.

The wall, of course, would have to be erected on U.S. soil. Still, that doesn’t matter to Trump, who keeps insisting — despite Mexico’s stubborn refusal — that our neighbors will foot the bill.

Good luck with that.

I’ll report back to you when — or if — I get my chance to see it for myself. I might even ask around to see how the locals feel about it.

Stay tuned, dear reader.

You mean we have four whole years of this?

Donald John Trump is making me crazy.

Yes, I am about to go nuts watching the evening news as it regards the 45th president of the United States.

He’s been in office for seven whole days and it seems like he’s been there … um, forever!

He signs an executive order starting to repeal the Affordable Care Act; he accuses millions of illegal immigrants of voting for Hillary Clinton, then announces a “major investigation” into the matter; he starts a trade war with Mexico over that country’s refusal to pay for the “beautiful wall” he wants to build; he continues to cozy up to Vladimir Putin; then several key State Department staffers quit, leaving him with some senior advisers in that key Cabinet agency.

He’s at war with the media. Chaos reins.

Good grief, folks! I cannot stand this.

Honest to goodness, I can’t quite put my finger on which development startles me the most.

No Drama Obama sought to run the country in a more even-handed manner. Did it work? Well, yes. It did. The nation is better off than it was when Barack Obama took office. He turned it all over to “Smart Person” Trump.

My eternal optimism is being tested like hardly ever before. Why? Because the president of the United States — who took office without a single solitary moment of public service experience — is seeking to chart a new course through some unknown territory.

I don’t want to wish my life away, but … is it 2020 yet?