Why Mexico Is Trump’s First Line of Defense on Immigration

2/23/2017 Bloomberg

migrationPutting an end to undocumented immigration has been a top priority for President Donald Trump in his first month in office. He’s taken a hard line against Mexico, insisting the country pay for his proposed wall along America’s southern border—a demand that the nation has repeatedly rejected. That strategy carries risks for Trump, because he’ll probably need Mexico’s help if he wants to achieve his border security goal.

Despite Trump’s assertion that Mexico is sending “bad hombres” to the U.S., most of the people crossing the southern border came from other countries. That’s a significant change from 2000, when the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended a record 1.6 million people, and most came from Mexico. While Mexico’s border with its own southern neighbors is only about one-third the length of the almost 2,000 mile frontier between Mexico and the U.S., it’s often the entry point for refugees from the “northern triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador seeking asylum in the U.S.

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The Reach of the Constitution at the Border

2/23/2017 New York Times

lawWhen a 15-year-old boy named Sergio Hernández Guereca was shot to death by a United States border agent in 2010, he was crouching behind a concrete pillar a few steps inside the Mexican border. Had he been on American soil, there’s no question constitutional principles could be invoked in seeking justice for his death. Should those principles not apply because he was standing on the other side of the border?

That was the question the Supreme Court considered on Tuesday, during oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by Sergio’s parents, who believe they should have a right to get justice for his killing.

The court’s decision in this case could have implications for President Trump’s travel ban, which targets noncitizens who are outside the country.

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Mexico bristles at ‘hostile’ Trump deportation rules before U.S. talks

2/23/2017 Reuters

luis videgarayMexico reacted with anger on Wednesday to what one official called “hostile” new U.S. immigration guidelines hours before senior Trump administration envoys began arriving in Mexico City for talks on the volatile issue.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.

The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when President Donald Trump said on Twitter Mexico should pay for his planned border wall shortly before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.

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Mexico homicides jump by a third amid cartel infighting

2/21/2017 Reuters

Mexican Police catch drug dealer photo by Jesús Villaseca P Latitudes PressHomicides in Mexico jumped by more than a third in January, new figures showed, fueled by violence in states hit by an internal split in the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Murders were up by more than half in the northern states of Chihuahua and Sinaloa, according to official figures dated Monday. In Baja California there were almost 50 percent more.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the powerful boss of the Sinaloa cartel, was extradited to the United States last month and is currently in a New York jail awaiting trial.

That power vacuum has led to an internal power struggle in the cartel, causing gang violence to surge in northern Mexico, Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos said earlier this month.

Mexico’s government is focused on handling its largest diplomatic crisis for years, as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens America’s southern neighbor with a border tax, deportations and a wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

In total, there were 1,938 homicides in January, up 34 percent from 1,442 in the same month last year.

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Trump Trade Threat Is New Opening for Tighter Mexico-China Ties

2/21/2017 Bloomberg

mexico-chinaMexico is in for some painful restructuring if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through with his protectionist threats.

But the nation also faces a unique opportunity to reduce its reliance on its American neighbor and shift its focus to the world’s No. 2 economy, China.

Mexico has some key advantages, despite all the doom and gloom since Trump’s election, according to Natixis SA in Hong Kong.  The peso has depreciated 26 percent over the past two years, making Mexico’s goods more competitive; the country has undertaken past structural reforms on labor, energy and telecoms; and it has free trade agreements with 44 countries outside the U.S.

Now it’s time for Mexico to woo China, Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia-Pacific economist at Natixis, said in a report.

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Americans’ Favorable Views of Mexico Highest Since 2006

2/22/2017 Gallup

Arrow Graph by Flickr user nDevilTV http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3401/3491395689_fe1d2050fb.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C. — As President Donald Trump sets his sights on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Americans have a more favorable view of Mexico than they have in over a decade. Sixty-four percent of Americans say they have “very” or “mostly” favorable views of the country, up from 59% in 2016 and the highest since 2006.

Mexico’s latest favorable rating, recorded in Gallup’s annual World Affairs poll, conducted Feb. 1-5, is not the highest in Gallup’s trend. Higher percentages of Americans, ranging from 67% to 74%, looked favorably on their southern neighbor from 2001 to 2005, when President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox enjoyed a warm relationship.

After peaking at 74% in 2003 and 2005, Americans’ positive views of Mexico fell to 64% in 2006 amid heightened publicity about drug and gang wars and issues related to near-record-high illegal immigration from Mexico into the U.S. Favorable views of the country continued to wane for another five years, bottoming out at 45% in 2011 — the lowest rating for Mexico since 1993, just before Californians passed a high-profile anti-immigrant ballot measure. Since 2011, Mexico’s image has gradually improved, rising 19 percentage points.

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Almost 500 Military Deaths Since Start of Mexico’s Drug War

2/21/2017 InSight Crime

military-in-juarez Military Checkpoint in Juarez[/caption]

Mexico’s defense secretary says nearly 500 military personnel have been killed since the start of the country’s drug war a decade ago, an alarmingly high figure that nonetheless pales in comparison to the huge number of civilian casualties over the same period.

A recent report by the National Defense Secretariat (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional – SEDENA) counted 496 deaths of military officers during anti-narcotics operations since December 2006, when newly-elected President Felipe Calderón ushered in a more aggressive approach to combating the country’s drug cartels.

El Universal, which did a comprehensive analysis of the report, found that shootouts were the most common cause of death, accounting for 249 of the cases. Vehicular accidents were a distant second (111), while airplane crashes came in third (50).

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