Can Mexico Block Trump’s New Deportation Rules?

2/23/2017 The Atlantic


via Jose Luis Gonzalez – Reuters

One lesser-known feature of new U.S. immigration policies announced earlier this week—which will make the majority of undocumented immigrants targets for deportation—is the requirement of a willing partner for some of the measures to be implemented. According to Department of Homeland Security memos, any person caught illegally crossing the border from Mexico will be returned to Mexico, regardless of his or her nationality, while deportation processes and asylum claims are worked out by American courts.


This provision would effectively make America’s southern neighbor responsible for the lives of non-Mexican nationals seeking life or refuge in the United States. “If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico,” Ginger Thompson and Marcelo Rochabrun explained at ProPublica. “Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum.”

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Why a Newly Confident Mexico Is in No Rush to Renegotiate NAFTA

2/24/2017 Fortune Magazine

DonaldTrumpPinataMexico is increasingly confident that U.S. President Donald Trump will not be able to impose harsh barriers on imports anytime soon, and officials signaled they may hit their northern neighbor’s most trade-sensitive districts in case he does.

Trump wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, but talks cannot begin until he triggers a 90-day notice period by informing Congress. Nominees for several important U.S. posts including trade representative and agriculture secretary have not yet been confirmed.

“As long as our counterparts in Washington don’t define their objectives … today NAFTA regulates trade, so we are not in a hurry to change anything,” Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said at an event on Thursday.

The view of some Mexican officials and business leaders that the U.S. Congress, Supreme Court and some state governors are counterweights to Trump has also been reflected in markets, with the peso rallying in recent days to its strongest since Trump’s election in November.

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As Kelly and Tillerson Visit Mexico, Their Reassurances Differ From Trump’s Stance

2/23/2017 The New York Times


via Getty Images – Ronaldo Schemidt/Agence France-Presse

MEXICO CITY — In the White House, President Trump was telling American chief executives on Thursday that the days of being treated unfairly by Mexico — on trade, on immigration, on crime — were over.


“You see what’s happening at the border: All of a sudden, for the first time, we’re getting gang members out,” Mr. Trump said, referring to his instructions to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants. “And it’s a military operation.”

But in Mexico, his homeland security secretary, John F. Kelly, was saying the opposite, trying to tamp down fears of a military operation and to assure the public that American soldiers would not be used to police the border.

“I repeat: There will be no use of military in this,” Mr. Kelly said at a news conference on Thursday, appearing with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson. “At least half of you try to get that right, because it continues to come up in your reporting.”

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On NAFTA and Mexico, Trump Faces a Balancing Act

2/22/2017 U.S. News & World Report

via AP – Dario Lopez-Mills

President George W. Bush’s former commerce secretary acknowledged Wednesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement “should be updated,” but said that abandoning the deal entirely and antagonizing Mexico may amount to a temporary “tactical victory” that down the road would be remembered as a “strategic defeat.”

Carlos Gutierrez, who opened a panel discussion Wednesday hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington, avoided criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration directly. But the onetime CEO of the Kellogg Co. warned that hard-line approaches to NAFTA and to America’s broader relationship with Mexico have elicited “anxiety” and anti-U.S. sentiment from America’s southern neighbor.

“I think what we need to understand – and I trust that our government here in the U.S. will understand this – we cannot humiliate a country to the bargaining table,” Gutierrez said. “Maybe in business you can, because it’s all about the bottom line. But you can’t quantify national pride. You can’t quantify national dignity, and that’s what’s at stake here. It’s going to be extremely difficult for Mexico to do anything but take a combative response.”

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Ryan makes trip to U.S.-Mexico border as lawmakers mull building Trump’s wall

2/22/2017 The Washington Post


via Flickr – Gage Skidmore

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan led a delegation of House Republicans on a six-hour tour of the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday, seeing firsthand by helicopter, horse and boat the security challenges of keeping out undocumented immigrants President Trump wants to block with a costly wall.


Ryan (R-Wis.), on his first trip to the border, said in a statement afterward that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on the ground need “more tools and more support . . . for them to do their jobs effectively.” He said Congress “is committed to securing the border and enforcing our laws” and pledged cooperation with the Trump administration.

“When you see with your own eyes the many challenges facing our law enforcement professionals along the border, it gives you even greater respect for the work that they do day in and day out,” Ryan said.

But he did not comment directly on the border wall that is opposed by many Democrats and some in his own party, who worry Republicans committed to reining in government spending will not find billions of dollars for a huge construction project.

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Mexico unified against Trump but divided on its own president

2/23/2017 United Press International

via Flickr – David Monroy

The relationship between Mexico and the United States continues to evolve with each aggressive move from the White House, from threats to renegotiate NAFTA to a new executive order aimed at deporting millions of Mexican migrants.

With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly visiting Mexico City this week, a showdown is almost inevitable. How is the Mexican government positioned to handle the coming leadership test?

Not well, if recent events and public opinion in Mexico are any indicator. While Mexicans share a deep dislike of U.S. President Donald Trump, they are not fond of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto either. His 17 percent approval ratings are the lowest recorded for a Mexican president.

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An Aquatic Paradise in Mexico, Pushed to the Edge of Extinction

2/22/2017 New York Times

xochimilcoXOCHIMILCO, Mexico — With their gray-green waters and blue herons, the canals and island farms of Xochimilco in southern Mexico City are all that remain of the extensive network of shimmering waterways that so awed Spanish invaders when they arrived here 500 years ago.

But the fragility of this remnant of pre-Columbian life was revealed last month, when a 20-feet-deep hole opened in the canal bed, draining water and alarming hundreds of tour boat operators and farmers who depend on the waterways for a living.

The hole intensified a simmering conflict over nearby wells, which suck water from Xochimilco’s soil and pump it to other parts of Mexico City. It also revived worries about a process of decline, caused by pollution, urban encroachment and subsidence, that residents and experts fear may destroy the canals in a matter of years.

“This is a warning,” said Sergio Raúl Rodríguez Elizarrarás, a geologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “We are driving the canals towards their extinction.”

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