The “Gibson Report” For July 24, 2017 — Administration Seeks To Warehouse Asylum Seekers In Mexico

 Gibson Report, JUly 24, 2107

The first item in Elizabeth’s report for this week is certainly worthy of note:

Administration to Release Regulations Requiring Asylum Seekers to Remain in Mexico

HRF: “[T]he administration indicated that it plans to issue regulations to advance the provision in President Trump’s January 25 executive order that seeks to remove immigrants “to the territory from which they came” while they await immigration court hearings.”

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All sorts of potential issues with this one. If they are Mexicans, how can you send them back to the country from which they seek asylum while awaiting an asylum hearing? And, if they are not Mexicans, how can you force Mexico to accept non-Mexican nationals back into its territory?

PWS

07-25-17

FOOD & DRINK: Making America Great — Mexican Immigrants Go From Field Workers To Winery Owners — Learning The Business From The Ground Up (Literally) — With A Great Glass Of Wine To Boot!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2017/05/30/mexican-migrant-workers-came-to-california-to-pick-grapes-now-they-own-wineries/?utm_term=.84781b47d357

The Washington Post reports:

“Outside Robledo Family Winery, south of Sonoma, on a cool April Sunday, the U.S. and Mexican flags whipped a stiff salute in the wind blowing off the San Pablo Bay. A third banner bore the winery logo. The flags represent three themes central to the lives of Reynaldo Robledo and many other Mexican migrant workers who have helped shape California’s wine industry: heritage, opportunity and family.

Robledo is part of a small but growing community of Mexican American families who started as migrant workers and now have their own wineries. They have emerged from the invisible workforce of laborers who prune the vines in bitter winter cold and tend them under searing summer sun. We read about them when they collapse from heat exhaustion in California’s Central Valley or perish in a winery accident. But they rarely appear in the glossy magazines that extol the luxury wine lifestyle, except as cheerful extras in harvest photos.

Amelia Morán Ceja worked in vineyards after school in the early 1970s. Now she owns Ceja Vineyards. The Cejas are one of five Mexican American families recognized by the Smithsonian for their work in California’s wine industry. (Ceja Vineyards; Sarah Deragon/Ceja Vineyards)
Five Mexican American families are helping craft the next chapter in the story. They started as migrant workers and now have their own wineries.

They came from Michoacan or Jalisco, two agricultural provinces near Mexico City. Their fathers left for El Norte as migrant workers — some under the Bracero guest-worker program, others crossing the border illegally but gaining legal status in a time when papers were easier to come by. They worked in California’s burgeoning agricultural industry before settling in wine country. They encountered some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated winemakers and contributed to California’s wine revolution in the 1970s and 1980s, a period that saw dramatic changes in viticulture and food culture as the United States became a wine-loving nation.

“Their story is the journey,” says Steve Velasquez, associate curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, which honored the families during its annual winemakers’ fundraising dinner in May. “A journey from Mexico to the U.S. to work in agriculture, from a handful of families to a thriving community of Mexican Americans, from vineyard workers to winery owners. . . . These families represent Mexican Americans who once just supported an industry but now help shape it.”

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Read the five inspiring stories at the link.

I observed similar success stories in many of the families that came before me in court. Laborers became supervisors. Cooks became chefs. Waiters became restaurant managers. Drywallers started construction companies. Truck drivers started trucking companies. Mechanics bought auto repair businesses. Gardeners started lawn services and landscaping companies. Folks took care of their own family members; but, they also created jobs and opportunities for other American workers. They were all about quality service, hard work, skills, family, and a certain amount of risk taking. Just what America needs for a great future!

PWS

05-31-17

Is Jeff Sessions About To Go After Tax Credits For U.S. Citizen Kids To Fund “The Wall?” — Sessions’s Motives Questioned — CA Girds For Legal Battle With USDOJ! — Trump Administration Fuels Federal Civil Litigation Bonanza!

http://theweek.com/speedreads/694129/sessions-says-mexicans-pay-border-wall-way-another

Bonnie Kristian reports in TheWeek.com:

“We’re going to get paid for it one way or the other,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said of President Trump’s proposed border wall while speaking with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. After raising the issue, Stephanopoulos asked if Sessions has any evidence Mexico will fund construction, as Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail.

Sessions conceded he does not expect the government of Mexico to “appropriate money,” but maintained the United States has other options to get money from Mexicans. We could “deal with our trade situation to create the revenue,” he suggested, or, “I know there’s $4 billion a year in excess payments,” Sessions continued, “tax credits that they shouldn’t get. Now, these are mostly Mexicans. And those kind of things add up — $4 billion a year for 10 years is $40 billion.”

Sessions appears to be referencing a 2011 audit report Trump also cited while campaigning. As Politifact explains, the report said that in 2011, $4.2 billion in child tax credits was paid to people filing income taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number. Some of these filers are illegal immigrants, but many are legal foreign workers, and the audit did not say how many are Mexican.

“The vast majority of that $4.2 billion, the filer may be undocumented, but you have to have a child to receive it,” said Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “And the children are overwhelmingly U.S. citizens.” Watch an excerpt of Sessions’ remarks below. Bonnie Kristian”

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Go to the above link to see the ABC clip that Kristian references at the end of her article.

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Reaction from Daily Kos wasn’t very subtile. Here’s Gabe Ortiz’s “headliner:”

Racist-as-all-hell Sessions: Child tax credits going to ‘mostly Mexicans’ can pay for the wall

Read Ortiz’s article here:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/04/24/1655786/-Racist-as-all-hell-Sessions-Tax-credits-to-mostly-Mexicans-can-pay-for-the-wall

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Ortiz isn’t the only one to publicly “call out” Sessions’s motivation for his almost daily attacks on immigrants. Here’s what California State Senate leader Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) had to say, as reported in the L.A. Times: “It has become abundantly clear that Atty. Gen. [Jeff] Sessions and the Trump administration are basing their law enforcement policies on principles of white supremacy — not American values. . . .”

Read the full L.A. Times article, including  Republican reaction to de Leon’s remarks, here:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-california-senate-leader-says-white-1492803106-htmlstory.html?utm_source=Politics&utm_campaign=b41d4376f3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_db59b9bd47-b41d4376f3-81147225

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De Leon was not the only California public official to strike back at Sessions’s attack on so-called “Sanctuary cities” last week. As reported in the L.A. Times, in a “Battle of the AGs:”

“[California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra said on Friday that threats to withhold federal funds from states and cities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities are reckless and undermine public safety.

. . . .

Becerra said Sunday that California is ready to fight any attempt to withhold federal funds.

“Whoever wants to come at us, that’s hostility, we’ll be ready,” Becerra said. “We’re going to continue to abide by federal law and the U.S. Constitution. And we’re hoping the federal government will also abide by the U.S. Constitution, which gives my state the right to decide how to do public safety.”

The state attorney general was skeptical about comments by President Trump in recent days that so-called Dreamers —young immigrants brought to this country illegally by a parent —  will not be targeted for immigration enforcement.

“It’s not clear what we can trust, what statement we can believe in, and that causes a great deal of not just anxiety, but confusion — not just for those immigrant families, but for our law enforcement personnel,” Becerra said.

He also denounced the Trump proposal to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “medieval solution” to immigration issues, adding that neither U.S. taxpayers nor Mexico want to pay for the proposal.”

Read there full report here:

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-u-s-atty-gen-sessions-disputes-1492964508-htmlstory.html?utm_source=Politics&utm_campaign=b41d4376f3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_db59b9bd47-b41d4376f3-81147225

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I reported some time ago that California was “lawyering up” by hiring none other than former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to advise on litigation strategies to resist the Fed’s efforts to punish “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Here’s a link to my earlier blog: http://wp.me/p8eeJm-4w.

Lots of Attorneys General and former Attorneys General could be involved in this one before it’s over! As I’ve said from the beginning, whatever he might do for U.S. workers, President Trump is a huge boon to the legal industry! If you doubt this, just go on over to TRAC Immigration and see how civil immigration litigation has increased dramatically under Trump. http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/467/ . (Thanks to Nolan Rappaport for forwarding this to me!)

Instead of solving legal problems, it appears that A.G. Jeff “Gonzo-Apocalypto” Sessions is fixated on going to war with the “other America” that doesn’t share his and Trump’s negative views of immigrants. Stay tuned!

PWS

04-24-17

 

 

 

TRUMP’S “DISSING” OF MEXICO MIGHT BACKFIRE — BIG TIME! — If Mexico Plays The “China Card” The U.S. Might Regret Electing A Bully As President!

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/mexicos-revenge/521451/

Franklin Foer writes in The Atlantic:

“The Mexico–U.S. border is long, but the history of close cooperation across it is short. As recently as the 1980s, the countries barely contained their feelings of mutual contempt. Mexico didn’t care for the United States’ anticommunist policy in Central America, especially its support of Nicaraguan rebels. In 1983, President Miguel de la Madrid obliquely warned the Reagan administration against “shows of force which threaten to touch off a conflagration.” Relations further unraveled following the murder of the DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Former Mexican police officers aided drug traffickers who kidnapped and mercilessly tortured Camarena, drilling a hole in his skull and leaving his corpse in the Michoacán countryside. The Reagan administration reacted with fury at what it perceived as Mexican indifference to Camarena’s disappearance, all but shutting down the border for about a week. The episode seemed a return to the fraught days of the 1920s, when Calvin Coolidge’s administration derided “Soviet Mexico” and Hearst newspapers ginned up pretexts for a U.S. invasion.

. . . .

Once the threat of Soviet expansion into the Western Hemisphere vanished, the United States paid less-careful attention to Latin America. It passively ceded vast markets to the Chinese, who were hunting for natural resources to feed their sprouting factories and build their metropolises. The Chinese invested heavily in places like Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela, discreetly flexing soft power as they funded new roads, refineries, and railways. From 2000 to 2013, China’s bilateral trade with Latin America increased by 2,300 percent, according to one calculation. A raft of recently inked deals forms the architecture for China to double its annual trade with the region, to $500 billion, by the middle of the next decade. Mexico, however, has remained a grand exception to this grand strategy. China has had many reasons for its restrained approach in Mexico, including the fact that Mexico lacks most of the export commodities that have attracted China to other Latin American countries. But Mexico also happens to be the one spot in Latin America where the United States would respond with alarm to a heavy Chinese presence.

That sort of alarm is just the thing some Mexicans would now like to provoke. What Mexican analysts have called the “China card”—a threat to align with America’s greatest competitor—is an extreme retaliatory option. Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda told me he considers it an implausible expression of “machismo.” Unfortunately, Trump has elevated machismo to foreign-policy doctrine, making it far more likely that other countries will embrace the same ethos in response. And while a tighter Chinese–Mexican relationship would fly in the face of recent economic history, Trump may have already set it in motion.

The painful early days of the Trump administration have reminded Mexico of a core economic weakness: The country depends far too heavily on the American market. “Mexico is realizing that it has been overexposed to the U.S., and it’s now trying to hedge its bets,” says Kevin Gallagher, an economist at Boston University who specializes in Latin America. “Any country where 80 percent of exports go to the U.S., it’s a danger.” Even with a friendly American president, Mexico would be looking to loosen its economic tether to its neighbor. The presence of Trump, with his brusque talk of tariffs and promises of economic nationalism, makes that an urgent task.Until recently, a Mexican–Chinese rapprochement would have been unthinkable. Mexico has long steered clear of China, greeting even limited Chinese interest in the country with wariness. It rightly considered China its primary competition for American consumers. Immediately after nafta went into effect in 1994, the Mexican economy enjoyed a boom in trade and investment. (A flourishing U.S. economy and an inevitable turn in Mexico’s business cycle helped account for these years of growth too.) Then, in 2001, the World Trade Organization admitted China, propelling the country further into the global economy. Many Mexican factories could no longer compete; jobs disappeared practically overnight.Mexico’s hesitance to do business with the Chinese was also a tribute to the country’s relationship with the “Yanquis.” A former Mexican government official told me that Barack Obama’s administration urged his country to steer clear of Chinese investment in energy and infrastructure projects. These conversations were a prologue to the government’s decision to scuttle a $3.7 billion contract with a Chinese-led consortium to build a bullet train linking Mexico City with Querétaro, a booming industrial center. The cancellation was a fairly selfless gesture, considering the sorry state of Mexican infrastructure, and it certainly displeased the Chinese.

But China has played the long game, and its patience has proved farsighted. The reason so many Chinese are ascending to the middle class is that wages have tripled over the past decade. The average hourly wage in Chinese manufacturing is now $3.60. Over that same period of time, hourly manufacturing wages in Mexico have fallen to $2.10. Even taking into account the extraordinary productivity of Chinese factories—not to mention the expense that comes with Mexico’s far greater fidelity to the rules of international trade—Mexico increasingly looks like a sensible place for Chinese firms to set up shop, particularly given its proximity to China’s biggest export market.Mexico began quietly welcoming a greater Chinese presence even before the American presidential election. In October, China’s state-run media promised that the two countries “would elevate military ties to [a] new high” and described the possibility of joint operations, training, and logistical support. A month and a half later, Mexico sold a Chinese oil company access to two massive patches of deepwater oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. And in February, the billionaire Carlos Slim, a near-perfect barometer of the Mexican business elite’s mood, partnered with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile to produce SUVs in Hidalgo, a deal that will ultimately result in the production of 40,000 vehicles a year. These were not desultory developments. As Beijing’s ambassador to Mexico City put it in December, with the American election clearly on the brain: “We are sure that cooperation is going to be much strengthened.”. . . .

Not so long ago—for most of the postwar era, in fact—the United States and Mexico were an old couple who lived barely intersecting lives, hardly talking, despite inhabiting the same abode. Then the strangest thing happened: The couple started chatting. They found they actually liked each other; they became codependent. Now, with Trump’s angry talk and the Mexican resentment it stirs, the best hope for the persistence of this improved relationship is inertia—the interlocking supply chain that crosses the border and won’t easily pull apart, the agricultural exports that flow in both directions, all the bureaucratic cooperation. Unwinding this relationship would be ugly and painful, a strategic blunder of the highest order, a gift to America’s enemies, a gaping vulnerability for the homeland that Donald Trump professes to protect, a very messy divorce.”

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Remember, folks, you read about the potential “Chinexico” disaster first on Courtside! http://wp.me/p8eeJm-AF

Pretty scary when we elect a President who might understand even less about the global politico-economic situation than a retired U.S. Immigration Judge!

PWS

04-234-17

 

 

 

Make China Great — For Years, China’s Leaders Have Been Trying To Get The Upper Hand On The US — Now, Trump Is Doing The Job For Them, According to Thomas L. Friedman In The NY Times!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/opinion/trump-is-a-chinese-agent.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

Friedman writes:

“Now more Asian nations are falling in line with China’s regional trading association — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — which has no serious environmental, intellectual property, human trafficking or labor standards like TPP. A Peterson Institute study said TPP would “increase annual real incomes in the United States by $131 billion” by 2030, without changing total U.S. employment levels. Goodbye to that.
But Trump took his Make China Great campaign to a new level on Tuesday by rejecting the science on climate change and tossing out all Obama-era plans to shrink our dependence on coal-fired power. Trump also wants to weaken existing mileage requirements for U.S.-made vehicles. Stupid.

O.K., Mr. President, let’s assume for a second that climate change is a hoax. Do you believe in math? There are now 7.5 billion people on the planet, and there will be 8.5 billion by 2030, according to the United Nations population bureau — and most will want to drive like us, eat protein like us and live in houses like us. And if they do, we’ll eat up, burn up, smoke up and choke up the planet — and devour our fisheries, coral reefs, rivers and forests — at a pace we’ve never seen before. Major cities in India and China already can’t breathe; wait for when there are another billion people.

That means that clean power, clean water, clean air, clean transportation and energy-efficient buildings will have to be the next great global industry, whether or not there is climate change. The demand will be huge.

So what is China doing? Its new five-year plan is a rush to electric cars, batteries, nuclear, wind, solar and energy efficiency — and a cap-and-trade system for carbon. Trump’s plan? More coal and oil. Hello? How can America be great if we don’t dominate the next great global industry — clean power?

The U.S. state leading in clean energy innovations is California, which also has the highest vehicle emissions standards and the strictest building efficiency codes. Result: California alone has far more advanced energy jobs than there are coal miners in America, and the pay is better and the work is healthier. In January 2016, CNNMoney reported that nationally the U.S. “solar industry work force is bigger than that of oil and gas construction, and nearly three times the size of the entire coal mining work force.”

“More than half the electric vehicles sold in the U.S. are sold in California,” said Hal Harvey, C.E.O. of Energy Innovation. “If there are two jurisdictions hellbent on transformation, it is China and California. There have been 200 million E.V.s sold in China already. They’re called electric bicycles, which cost about $400 — quiet, not contributing to congestion or pollution, and affordable.”

China is loving this: It’s doubling down on clean energy — because it has to and it wants to leapfrog us on technology — and we’re doubling down on coal, squandering our lead in technology.

It was bitterly ironic that on the same day that President Trump took America on a great leap backward to coal, The Wall Street Journal reported that “Tencent Holdings Ltd. bought a 5% stake in Tesla Inc., giving the backing of China’s most valuable company to the Silicon Valley electric-vehicle maker as it prepares to launch its first car aimed at the mass market. … Having a powerful friend in China could help Tesla as it eyes further global expansion. Big Chinese tech companies have backed a wave of green-car start-ups in the country recently.”

. . . .

So you tell me that Trump is not a Chinese agent. The only other explanation is that he’s ignorant and unread — that he’s never studied the issues or connected the dots between them — so Big Coal and Big Oil easily manipulated him into being their chump, who just tweeted out their talking points to win votes here and there — without any thought to grand strategy. Surely that couldn’t be true?”

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Friedman didn’t even get to my recurring thought. As we push Mexico, our second leading trading partner away, China will be waiting with open arms. What better than to fuel up some technology and capital-driven economic competition for the U.S. right here in North America, right across our Southern Border. And, once Mexico sees that the Chinese aren’t going to lean all over them on immigration and Central American migration, and that Beijing has no particular interest in trying to publicly humiliate Mexico’s leaders, the incentive for Mexico to cooperate with us on reducing migration and border issues drops to somewhere below zero.

I’m certainly no economist or foreign trade expert. But, I’m getting the feeling that neither are our President and his team. They just go around stirring things up, making gaffes, insulting friendly foreign leaders and organizations, and then, apparently, relying on their secret weapon, “Czar of Everything Trumpian” Jared Kushner to work behind the scenes to assure folks that nobody meant anything they said or did. Wow! What a way to make policy.

PWS

03/29/17

9th Cir. En Banc — After 80 Pages, 9-2 Majority Finds Mexican Gov. “Unwilling Or Unable To Prevent” Persecution Of Gays — Dissent Bemoans “Usurpation” Of BIA’s Fact-Finding Authority — BRINGAS-RODRIGUEZ V. SESSIONS

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2017/03/08/13-72682.pdf

Judge Wardlaw for the majority:

“In Castro-Martinez, we also failed to consider the difference between a country’s enactment of remedial laws and the eradication of persecutory practices, often long ingrained in a country’s culture. Rejecting Castro’s claim that, in Mexico, a systematic pattern or practice of persecution against homosexuals remained, we found Castro’s evidence unpersuasive “in light of recent country reports,” which showed that the “Mexican government’s efforts to prevent violence and discrimination against homosexuals . . . ha[d] increased in recent years.” Castro- Martinez, 674 F.3d at 1082.

Mexico is to be lauded for its efforts. But it is well recognized that a country’s laws are not always reflective of actual country conditions. It is not unusual that a country’s “de jure commitments to LGBTI protection do not align with the de facto reality of whether the State is able and willing to provide protection.” Brief for UNHCR as Amicus Curiae at 4. And we have recently recognized that Mexico has experienced “an increase in violence against gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals during the years in which greater legal protections have been extended to these communities.” Avendano-Hernandez v. Lynch, 800 F.3d 1072, 1081 (9th Cir. 2015) (emphasis in original).

Moreover, the anti-discrimination efforts discussed in Castro-Martinez seem to have been made by the national government, and thus do not necessarily reveal anything about the practices within state or municipal jurisdictions. See Madrigal v. Holder, 716 F.3d 499, 507 (9th Cir. 2013) (noting that while Mexico’s national government was willing to control the drug cartel that attacked the petitioner, it was not necessarily able to do so, in part because state and local officials were involved with drug traffickers).”

Writing for the dissent, Judge Bea (who claims to be the only U.S. Circuit Judge to actually have been the subject of deportation proceedings), joined by Judge O’Scannlain:

“I respectfully dissent from the majority opinion because it usurps the power of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to determine facts. It does this by reciting, but ultimately departing, from the “substantial evidence” standard which states that agency “findings of fact are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.” 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B) (emphasis added).”

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The Administration apparently believes that cases like this are going to be resolved on an “assembly line” operation with U.S. Immigration Judges sitting in “shifts” in detention centers from 6 AM until 10 PM.

While notable for its potential precedential effect, this case is not particularly unusual in terms of the difficult factual and legal issues that arise daily in U.S. Immigration Court in asylum cases coming from countries “south of our border.” This happened to be Mexico, but LGBT cases involving individuals from the Northern Triangle are quite common, even in jurisdictions like the Arlington Immigration Court.

I note that the amicus views of the UNHCR fare much better in the majority’s decision than they typically do these days at the BIA. For example, in Matter of M-E-V-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 227, 248 (BIA 2014), the BIA summarily “blew off” the views of the UNHCR on the issue of “particular social group.”

It’s also interesting that notwithstanding the dissent, the BIA actually lacks de novo fact finding authority of its own. Following a regulation change during the “Ashcroft era,” that authority belongs to the Immigration Judge with review by the BIA for “clear error.”

PWS

03/14/17

THE ATLANTIC: Our Unhappy Immigration History — President Herbert Hoover’s Anti-Immigrant Policies Resulted In The “Mexican Repatriation” — U.S. Citizens Were The Majority Of Those Illegally Removed!

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/americas-brutal-forgotten-history-of-illegal-deportations/517971/

Alex Wagner writes:

“Back in Hoover’s era, as America hung on the precipice of economic calamity—the Great Depression—the president was under enormous pressure to offer a solution for increasing unemployment, and to devise an emergency plan for the strained social safety net. Though he understood the pressing need to aid a crashing economy, Hoover resisted federal intervention, instead preferring a patchwork of piecemeal solutions, including the targeting of outsiders.
According to former California State Senator Joseph Dunn, who in 2004 began an investigation into the Hoover-era deportations, “the Republicans decided the way they were going to create jobs was by getting rid of anyone with a Mexican-sounding name.”

“Getting rid of” America’s Mexican population was a random, brutal effort. “For participating cities and counties, they would go through public employee rolls and look for Mexican-sounding names and then go and arrest and deport those people,” said Dunn. “And then there was a job opening!”

“We weren’t rounding up people who were Canadian,” he added. “It was an absolutely racially-motivated program to create jobs by getting rid of people.”

Why, specifically, men and women of Mexican heritage? Professor Francisco Balderrama, whose book, A Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s is the most definitive chronicle of the period (and, not coincidentally, one of the only ones), explained: “Mexican immigration was very recent. It goes back to that saying: Last hired, first fired. The attitude of many industrialists and agriculturalists was reflected in larger cities: A Mexican is a Mexican.” And that included even those citizens of Mexicans descent who were born in the U.S. “That is sort of key in understanding the psychic of the nation,” said Balderrama.

The so-called repatriation effort was, in large part, a misnomer, given the fact that as many as sixty percent of those sent to “home” Mexico were U.S. citizens: American-born children of Mexican-descent who had never before traveled south of the border. (Dunn noted, “I don’t know how you can repatriate someone to a country they’ve not been born or raised in.”)

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Pretty grotesque.  Where’s the apology? Where is the circumspection? Where its the humanity in the Administration’s new “immigrant scapegoating” program?

Thanks much to Nolan Rappaport for bringing this interesting, if disturbing, piece of immigration history to my attention.

PWS

03/06/17

ECONOMICS: Mary Anastasia O’Grady In The WSJ Says Mexico Can Fight Back Against US Threats!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mexicos-trade-reply-to-trump-1488144051

“Many conservatives who opposed Hillary Clinton are still skeptical of the Trump presidency as well. It may have something to do with recurring whoppers from the administration like White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s claim last week that “the relationship with Mexico is phenomenal right now.”

Bilateral relations with Mexico are on the rocks “big league,” and if Mr. Spicer doesn’t know that, he should get out more. Declaring otherwise undermines presidential credibility and leaves Trump fence-sitters to wonder what else the press secretary is making up.

Millions of American workers, investors and entrepreneurs who depend on trade with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement are right to be worried. Unless President Trump finds a way to climb down from his position that Mexico cheats the U.S. under Nafta, their livelihoods are at risk.

Courteousness and formality are signs of good breeding in Mexican society and this often produces, in foreigners, illusions of approval. But when the extranjeros are out of earshot, locals can be colorful. It is now fashionable to hold protest marches, beat Trump piñatas, burn effigies with orange hair and even post vulgarities about the U.S. president on public buses. Angry does not begin to describe the popular mood.”

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Read the entire article at the link. My main question is why would the Trump Administration pick this unnecessary fight with a neighbor whose goodwill, economic partnership, and cooperation we depend on?

PWS

02/27/17

WSJ: Trump, Kelly, Tillerson Continue On Different Pages Re Immigration Enforcement Program — Mexico Remains Skeptical!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-officials-on-tough-trip-in-mexico-trump-says-1487871849

FELICIA SCHWARTZ, JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA and ROBBIE WHELAN write in the WSJ:

“MEXICO CITY—Top Trump administration officials tried Thursday to soften the message on expanded U.S. immigration-enforcement efforts during talks here, but Mexican officials signaled little progress had been made in bridging differences that threaten to further fray ties between the two countries.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly faced a skeptical Mexican government as they sought to explain Washington’s decision to step up the enforcement of immigration laws, outlining policies to enlist local authorities in the U.S. to jail and deport more people and to send detainees back to Mexico—even if they aren’t Mexican.
Meanwhile in Washington, President Donald Trump made comments that seemed to sharpen the tone.

“All of a sudden for the first time we’re getting gang members out, we’re getting drug lords out, we’re getting really bad dudes out of this country at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before,” the president said during a White House event with manufacturing executives. “And it’s a military operation because they’re allowed to come into our country.”
“We’re going to have a good relationship with Mexico I hope,” Mr. Trump said. “And if we don’t, we don’t.”

In midday meetings in Mexico City, the U.S. cabinet members delivered two key assurances to their Mexican counterparts: that they wouldn’t institute “mass deportations,” and that the U.S. military wouldn’t take part in rounding up and ejecting illegal migrants.

Gabriela Cuevas, the head of the Mexican Senate’s foreign relations committee, said she was deeply troubled by the apparent discrepancy between what the U.S. envoys said in Mexico City and Mr. Trump’s actions and words.

“I see a different message coming from the White House and from the secretaries visiting here,” she said. “One doesn’t know if Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Kelly are telling the truth or not. It’s a problem of credibility. Did they come to tell lies? Or are they just not coordinating with their boss? Who do you believe?”

Later Thursday, the White House sought to walk back Mr. Trump’s use of the word “military” in reference to the immigration enforcement.

“The president was using that as an adjective. It’s happening with precision and in a manner in which it’s being done very, very clearly,” said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, at a news briefing. “The president was clearly describing the manner in which this was being done.”

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Lots of mixed messages here. I don’t see much chance at present that Mexico is going to agree to allow non-Mexican-citizens to wait for their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico.

PWS

02/23/17

 

President Trump Might find That Mexico Has More Leverage Than He Anticipated — Beating Up On Your Friends & Neighbors To Score Political Points At Home Is Likely To Backfire!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mexico-may-strike-back-heres-how/2017/02/22/5d1e8f56-f949-11e6-bf01-d47f8cf9b643_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.12282059b

WashPost Editorial:

“PRESIDENT TRUMP has a good idea of the power the United States wields over Mexico, and the pain it may inflict — the construction of a wall Mexico fiercely opposes; taxes that could be slapped on Mexican imports, wreaking havoc on its economy; deportations of undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the United States, who would be thrust back into a country that would struggle to absorb them. Mr. Trump might have a fuzzier idea of the pain Mexico, its people furious and its pride wounded by his taunts and contempt, might inflict on the United States.

Start with those deportations. At least half of America’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants are Mexican, but many have no documents proving their nationality. For the Trump administration to deport them, it would need cooperation from Mexico, which cannot be forced to accept deportees without certifying that they are Mexicans. As former Mexican foreign minister Jorge G. Castañeda has already warned, Mr. Trump can round up hundreds of thousands or millions of migrants, but without Mexico’s cooperation, they could clog U.S. detention centers and immigration courts — at enormous cost and, conceivably, for years.

Consider, too, the effect on America’s southern border if Mexico were to loosen immigration controls on its own southern border — the one over which Central American refugees are already streaming north in near-record numbers. Even with what U.S. officials say are aggressive interdiction efforts by Mexican authorities, the Border Patrol detained more than 220,000 mainly Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans crossing from Mexico into the United States in the fiscal year ending last fall, exceeding the number of Mexicans apprehended, which has fallen to a 45-year low. If you think the Border Patrol is swamped now, as Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly insists, imagine if Mexico, which last year sent home more than 140,000 Central Americans, simply stepped aside.”

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Predictably, other countries take “sovereignty” just as seriously as we do.

PWS

02/22/17

 

 

Forbes: “Don’t Mess Around With Slim” — Has Trump Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew In Provoking Economic/Trade Confrontation With Mexico?

http://www.forbes.com

Dolia Estevez writes in Forbes:

“At the press conference, Slim was flanked by two of his sons and a son-in-law and holding Trump’s books “Great Again” and “The Art of The Deal.” Slim called the American President a “great negotiator” who knows how to take advantage of weak adversaries.

Slim praised the Mexican President for calling Trump’s bluff and said that the outpouring of support for Peña Nieto showed Trump that Mexico is united to face the challenge.

This week’s unusual public showdown with Mexico–a friendly nation closely linked to the U.S. by geography, trade, culture and history—plunged U.S.-Mexico relations to a new low.

But in an apparent effort to cool tensions, Trump and Peña Nieto spoke for an hour by phone on Friday. The Mexican president’s office said in a statement that the two presidents, “agreed for now to not speak publicly about” the wall. Slim said the call between the leaders was a result of Mexico standing up to Trump. He suggested they should talk more and tweet less.

“Lack of unity brought Mexico five wars and four losses of territory. We learned that lesson. We have always been stronger united. We have to negotiate with Trump from a position of strength, without anger or submission. It will be a difficult and hard negotiation,” Mexico’s richest man said.

Slim said the “best wall” to prevent Mexicans from going North would be investment that creates job opportunities in Mexico.

Slim’s call for unity comes a week after a Mexican poll gave Slim the highest percentage approval among Mexican public figures as the best qualified person to face Trump. With his popularity approaching single digits, most Mexicans see Peña Nieto as politically too weak to stand up to Trump.”

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While Slim no longer holds the title of “World’s Richest Person” (that’s Bill Gates at $84.2 billion) his #6 ranking and $50 billion net worth is not too shabby and still makes hm the richest person in Latin America. Slim makes President Trump, who weighed in at a distant #502 with a mere $3.7 billion net worth, look like a “loser” by comparison.  Trump’s economic sword rattling has also helped Slim become the most popular man in Mexico and the one most Mexicans would choose to “do battle” with Trump at the negotiating table.

PWS

01/28/17

 

Some Thought The World Would Test President Trump With An Early Crisis — But He Didn’t Wait — He Provoked An Entirely Avoidable One — With Our Friend, Ally, Neighbor, And Huge Trading Partner To The South!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-little-mexican-war-1485477900

From today’s WSJ editorial:

“When Mr. Trump visited the Journal in November 2015, we asked if the U.S. should encourage political stability and economic growth in Mexico. “I don’t care about Mexico honestly, I really don’t care about Mexico,” he replied.

That’s obvious, but he should care—and he will have to—if Mexico regresses to its ways before its reformation began in the 1980s. For decades our southern neighbor was known for one-party government, anti-Americanism, hyperinflation and political turmoil.

With U.S. encouragement, Mexico began to reform its statist economic model and embrace global competition. Ahead of the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), Mexico privatized thousands of state-owned companies and deregulated much of the economy. With Nafta it cut tariffs and opened to foreign investment. Mexican agricultural was especially hard-hit by U.S. competition, but its businesses became more efficient and Nafta helped the country rebound from the 1994 peso crisis.”

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“I really don’t care about Mexico.”  That really says it all about our President. But, maybe we should care, even if he doesn’t. What’s going to happen when he’s called upon to handle a real international crisis, not just one of his own making?

PWS

01/27/17