Tagged: President Donald Trump

Trump, Peña Nieto discuss Mexican guest-worker proposal

(FOX BUSINESS) — By Robbie Whelan

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump, at their first one-on-one meeting since Mr. Trump took office, agreed Friday to explore new ways of allowing Mexican workers to temporarily enter the U.S. to help the agriculture industry.

The proposal came at the end of a half-hour meeting between the two heads of state at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where both sides also discussed the coming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mexico’s government said it hoped to finish by the end of this year.

“We’re negotiating Nafta and some other things with Mexico and we’ll see how it all turns out, but I think that we’ve made very good progress,” Mr. Trump said after the meeting, according to Reuters.

Despite the upbeat message, the meeting could have gotten off on the wrong foot when a reporter asked Mr. Trump if he still wanted Mexico to pay for the proposed border wall. Mr. Trump answered, “Absolutely,” according to a video posted online by ABC News.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who was seated next to Mr. Peña Nieto during the exchange, said he didn’t hear what Mr. Trump said, but added that the subject of the wall wasn’t brought up during the meeting.

Mexican officials have insisted they would walk out of any meeting between both sides if the U.S. team brought up Mexico paying for the wall.

[READ MORE]

US-Mexico drug tunnels evolving amid increased border security

(KPBS) — By Jean Guerrero
The inside of the

Photo by Jean Guerrero

Under the corrugated steel plates that divide the U.S. and Mexico in Otay Mesa, dozens of clandestine cross-border tunnels slash through the soil.

As President Trump looks to build new barriers along the border, criminal organizations in Mexico are improving the tunnels they use to smuggle people and drugs under the border fence – making them smaller and maintaining a high level of sophistication, featuring electricity and railways.

Smuggling tunnels vary in shape and size, but generally fall under one of these three categories, according to U.S. Border Patrol:

— Rudimentary tunnels, or “gopher holes,” are cheaply made and stretch short distances, maybe 50 feet. They are used to smuggle humans or small quantities of drugs under the border.

— Interconnecting tunnels exploit existing municipal infrastructure, linking up with storm drains and sewer lines. They are used to smuggle humans and drugs under the border.

— Sophisticated tunnels can stretch for long distances (the longest ever found was equivalent to the length of eight football fields) and are often equipped with lighting, electricity, ventilation, water pumps, railways and more. They are used to move large volumes of drugs under the border.

[READ MORE]

Trump administration unveils first step in building border wall

(ZERO HEDGE) — In the first tangible step toward delivering on Trump’s campaign promise to halt unauthorized immigration from Mexico, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday released plans for picking vendors for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, issuing a preliminary request for proposals saying it plans to release a formal solicitation around March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

In a document on the federal government’s website for business opportunities, the CPB said it would release a request on or about March 6 asking companies for prototype ideas for a wall to be built near the U.S.-Mexican border. Vendors were asked to submit prototype concepts by March 10. After reviewing the ideas submitted by vendors, the agency will evaluate and select the best designs by March 20, then issue a request for proposals by March 24 in which vendors would be asked to price out the cost of building the proposed wall.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters the solicitation published on Friday had “everything to do” with the wall that Trump has proposed. The spokesman said the initial request for information was to give industry the opportunity to tell the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP, what is possible in constructing a border wall. “Once we get feedback from the vendors, we’ll look at the ones that are most feasible,” the spokesman said. That would be followed by the request for proposals to firm up exactly how much constructing the wall would cost.

[READ MORE]

Senate Democrats may block Trump’s plan to fund border wall

(CNN) — Senior Democrats privately say that a funding bill to build the border wall will likely be blocked in the Senate — especially if the plan would add to the deficit or impose a new tax on Mexican imports.

The threat, voiced by multiple sources, marks the clearest indication yet that President Donald Trump might not get Congress to foot the bill for the wall, imperiling his central goal that he made a centerpiece for his campaign.

Trump and GOP leaders have discussed advancing a new funding package that could cost upwards of $15 billion to pay for the wall — as the new president has promised that Mexico will ultimately reimburse the United States for the project.

But many in both parties are skeptical that Mexico will pay for the wall as the country has insisted that it would not foot the bill. And it’s unclear how Trump’s funding package will be paid for or if it would be offset by new spending cuts.

With 52 Republicans, the party would need eight Democratic senators to break a likely filibuster. Democratic sources are already confident that most, if not, all of their members will join forces to try to block the plan. Even some fiscal conservative Republicans may balk at the price tag.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that the administration was considering a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, but later said it was just one option under consideration.

Democrats are pushing back.

“Instead of having Mexico pay for the Wall, President Trump, Speaker Ryan and Washington Republicans would have the American middle-class pay for the wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a Friday statement.

“The costs for everything from groceries, to cars, to office supplies would go up by 20%, making it harder for middle-class families to pay for things they need every day.”

[READ MORE]

What Trump’s wall says to the world

(REAL CLEAR POLITICS) — By Patrick Buchanan

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote poet Robert Frost in the opening line of “Mending Walls.”

And on the American left there is something like revulsion at the idea of the “beautiful wall” President Trump intends to build along the 1,900-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The opposition’s arguments are usually rooted in economics or practicality. The wall is unnecessary. It will not stop people from coming illegally. It costs too much.

Yet something deeper is afoot here. The idea of a permanent barrier between our countries goes to the heart of the divide between our two Americas on the most fundamental of questions.

Who are we? What is a nation? What does America stand for?

Those desperate to see the wall built, illegal immigration halted, and those here illegally deported, see the country they grew up in as dying, disappearing, with something strange and foreign taking its place.

It is not only that illegal migrants take jobs from Americans, that they commit crimes, or that so many require subsidized food, welfare, housing, education and health care. It is that they are changing our country. They are changing who we are.

Two decades ago, the Old Right and the neocons engaged in a ferocious debate over what America was and is.

Were we from the beginning a new, unique, separate and identifiable people like the British, French and Germans?

Or was America a new kind of nation, an ideological nation, an invented nation, united by an acceptance of the ideas and ideals of Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Dr. King?

The Old Right contended that America existed even before the Revolution, and that this new nation, this new people, wrote its own birth certificate, the Constitution. Before Washington, Madison and Hamilton ever went to Philadelphia, America existed.

What forced the premature birth of the nation — was the Revolution.

We did not become a new nation because we embraced Jefferson’s notion about all men being “created equal.” We became a new people from our familial break with the Mother Country, described in the declaration as a severing of ties with our “brethren” across the sea who no longer deserved our loyalty or love.

[READ MORE]

Mexico’s president cancels White House visit after Trump hits cartels

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has cancelled his planned visit to the U.S. where he was expected to meet with President Donald J. Trump. The cancellation comes after Mexico’s government denounced Trump’s new border security measures aimed at interfering with the cash flow of the very Mexican cartels believed to have financed the current Mexican president’s campaign.

On Thursday morning, Peña Nieto took to Twitter to announce that his staff had notified the White House that he would not be going to the scheduled meetings with Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump signed two executive orders dealing with enforcing current immigration laws and the construction of a border wall. Trump specifically called out Mexican cartels in the executive order. In response to the anti-cartel measures, Peña Nieto took to social media, as Breitbart Texas reported.

In addition to denouncing the measure, Peña Nieto announced that he would be ordering the 50 Mexican Consulates in the U.S. to step up their efforts to protect “migrants”. The Mexican president made no mention of the fact that the migrants are one of the largest funding mechanisms for the cartels who reportedly helped him gain his office.

In response to Peña Nieto’s announcement, Trump responded on Twitter that it would be better to cancel the meeting. According to Trump, the U.S.- Mexico relation has been one sided with the current $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico in connection with the current North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Mexican President Peña Nieto has been the subject of immaculate investigative reporting in his own country, though his reported ties to Mexican cartels received little attention from the U.S. during the presidency of Barack Obama.

[READ MORE]

Border Patrol union: Trump’s border plan ‘gives us the tools we need’

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz

As President Donald J. Trump prepares to kick off his new border security plan, various news outlets have begun to criticize the effort by focusing on the border wall. However, members from the union representing the men and women from the U.S. Border Patrol stated that the proposal comes from listening to agents instead of politicians.

Various outlets have continued to question the notion of building a border wall and have focused on the perceived challenges of such an enterprise. Other outlets have criticized the effectiveness of the measure claiming that it does not address the current immigration crisis. The various news organizations have failed to mention the complete control that Mexican drug cartels have over human smuggling, narcotics trafficking, and other illicit activities along both sides of the border.

The executive orders that President Trump will be signing provides border security agents with the tools that they have been denied for too long, said Hector Garza, a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the President for the Local 2455 of the National Border Patrol Council. As part of the union’s leadership, Garza is able to speak about issues affecting the men and women that he represents.

Despite the many misconceptions by pundits and individuals who have not been to the border, a wall with the addition of new manpower, surveillance technology and other equipment will be an effective tool in slowing down illegal immigration and drug smuggling, Garza said.

“We know we won’t have a wall along the 2,000 miles of border,” he said. “What we will have is a wall where it is needed. That barrier with proper manpower, resources, technology and other tools will be effective. But most important, for the first time we have a president that wants to secure the border.”

[READ MORE]