Sunday, November 25, 2018

Yesterday All The Past

That was just yesterday.  In Trump World, all is chaos.  Yesterday the Mexican government had an agreement with the White House:

Quoting senior members of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team, the Washington Post reports that while a formal agreement has yet to be signed, the “Remain in Mexico” plan will prevent those seeking asylum from stepping onto U.S. soil until their applications are approved.

The deal marks a dramatic change in government policy, which currently allows those seeking asylum to remain in the U.S. while awaiting the decisions on their applications.

Today, not so much:

“There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government,” future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez told Reuters on Saturday, contradicting Trump and an earlier Washington Post report that said a deal ― albeit an informal one ― had been struck between the two governments.

Seems the problem is in the reporting, as Sanchez says incoming ministers can't make deals for the government, until they are the government.  The real problem is, the President only knows what gets reported in the "fake news."  His response to the news was, as ever, diplomatic:

He blames the Democrats.  Which is of a piece with his notice of the riots in the streets of Paris, over a proposed gas tax:

Yeah, I don't know how that's all about us, either; but "l'etat, c'est moi," so it's really all about Trump.

As for closing the border with Mexico, of the state trade with Mexico, Texas is the #1 exporter, and #2 importer.   Ties to Mexico are economic as much as they are cultural.  Closing the border will go over real big in the second most populous state in the Union with the strongest reason to keep trade flowing across that border. Shut down the border and the impact will be more immediate and damaging than shutting down the government for 6 months.  Even Ted Cruz would turn on Trump over that.

The same President who insists his border wall is under construction (and then demands Congress fund it) told reporters last week he had shut the border down, or he was going to, or no, he already had, all in the space of 5 minutes.

“Actually two days ago we closed the border,” Trump said at Mar-a-Lago during a meeting with journalists. “We actually just closed it. We said nobody’s coming in because it was out of control.” (See the video above at 16:10)

Then he walked back what he had just insisted, saying he would shut the border in the future if it’s necessary, “if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control.”

But minutes later he returned to his insistence that he had already closed the border.

“I’ve already shut it down, I’ve already shut it down — for short periods,” he said in response to a question to clarify the shutdown.

“I’ve already shut down parts of the border because it was out of control with the rioting on the other side in Mexico. And I just said, ‘Shut it down.’ You see it. I mean, it took place two days ago.” (19:00)

When someone asked if he had to sign an order to shut it down, Trump responded: “Yeah, they call me up, and I sign an order.”

Asked if the media could get a copy, Trump responded: “You don’t need it. Don’t worry. It’s not that big a deal. Maybe to some people it is.”

The people of Texas would have more than a passing concern with it, were it to happen.  As usual, the President speaks, and no one really listens.

Meanwhile, the courtiers heard the King's cry about the troublesome priest, and the situation on the border is very bad. 

The recent interim rule to deny asylum to anyone who crosses the border “illegally” won’t have its intended deterrent effect. It’s just an added punitive measure. As a journalist for the Marshall Project has reported, U.S. officials are making “clear they’re in no hurry to place extra border or asylum officers at ports of entry,” and that the strategy is “to create even bigger asylum bottlenecks, back-ups at entry stations.” Migrants marooned in Texas report waits upward of two weeks due to CBP caprice or antipathy; the wait is upward of three weeks in Tijuana. As Texas Monthly noted, up to 450 asylum-seekers were recently camped out on three bridges between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. That’s only going to get worse.

Many asylum-seekers waiting at ports of entry—destitute, without resources, and with young children in tow—are forced to live at makeshift encampments. Many fall prey to cartels and are regularly assaulted and even killed. By callously stranding individuals outside of ports of entry in horrid, perilous conditions, the U.S. is treating migrants as flotsam. On a recent trip to the border, I met with a group of Central American LGBTQ youth who told me that on each day, for five consecutive days, CBP refused to let them apply for asylum. When I told them it was lawful to present at a port of entry to ask for asylum, they replied, “That’s what we told CBP!” Each day they were rejected, they say CBP told them the same thing: “Guatemalans make us sick.” Turned away by CBP again and again, these asylum-seekers were ultimately forced to enter outside of a port of entry and thus saw their asylum claims criminalized.

When his words do stumble into actions, people suffer.  One more reason Trump's legal position is unsustainable. So his next act will be to close the border.  After he's through taking credit for supply and demand and fracking technology:

When the price goes back up, he'll blame Democrats.  Took me a minute to realize "President T" was Trump.  How long before he starts talking about himself in the third person regularly?

The President who shrinks as you watch.

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