After his tweeted threats to cut foreign aid payments to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador apparently failed to affect the massive caravan marching toward the U.S., President Trump ramped up the rhetoric and included a new target: Mexico. His gambit, it seems, paid off.
Though it began with just a couple hundred Hondurans headed for the United States, the support flowing in from leftist organizers and funders has grown this new caravan of hopeful immigrants into the thousands. And they’re getting close to the Guatemala-Mexico border. Indeed, some have already reached Mexico and requested asylum.
Officials from the U.S. and Mexico agreed on a plan of action in response to the approaching horde after President Trump threatened via Twitter to not only cut foreign aid funding, but to deploy the military to close the southern border as well.
The agreement solidified a deal between the two nations that has been brewing for several months. Mexico has now requested that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees establish shelters along the border with Central America, a move both confirmed and welcomed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
It’s finally Mexico’s turn to deal with the problem.
Our southern neighbors have increased their federal police presence at the border with Guatemala by 500 additional officers. Anyone with appropriate travel documents and visas will be let into Mexico, while others will be allowed to apply for refugee status. Those caught entering the country in what Mexican officials called an “irregular manner,” however, will supposedly be detained and deported.
Those who apply for refugee status will be vetted by U.N. officials at the immigration shelters on the border. Any who are determined to have a legitimate claim will begin the process of being placed in a host country – which may or may not be the U.S. – and the rest will be sent packing.
The Big Win
Typically, when a person manages to sneak into the United States through Mexico – regardless of whether they were from Mexico or some point farther south – they’re detained and housed in the United States until their case is decided. Not so with this new agreement.
Now anyone who gets past the Mexican authorities can be sent back for them to sort out. That’s the big win – It’s finally Mexico’s turn to deal with the problem.
Hard Hitting Hyperbole
Could Trump successfully stop all U.S. tax-funded foreign aid to these nations? Even if it’s within his authority as president, he would almost certainly face stiff resistance, obstruction, and nigh unending court battles over it – much the same response he might expect, say, for deploying the military to enforce a closed border. What would he do, have our soldiers shoot the would-be immigrants if they don’t stop walking forward?
One benefit of having the oft-unpredictable Donald Trump as president is that we almost certainly won’t have to find out. As much as this may appear to simply be more of the president’s obvious hyperbole – no doubt The New York Times will fact check his tweets and assess whether he has the authority – Mexico seems unwilling to take the risk. And who knows? Calling his bluff might be all the reason Trump would need to actually give it a shot.
But hyperbole or not, the president’s comments — which likely inspired much head shaking earlier in the day — as usual, delivered the desired results in the end. Say what you will about Donald Trump’s big talk; it sure seems to get the job done.