Archive for the ‘Mexico wall’ category

RIGHT ANGLE: Blame Who’s Responsible

February 2, 2017

RIGHT ANGLE: Blame Who’s Responsible, BillWhittledotcom via YouTube, February 1, 2017

 

Mexico: Blame Canada

January 31, 2017

Mexico: Blame Canada, Strategy Page, January 31, 2017

(Endemic corruption, cartels, crime, an unpopular president and other bad stuff in Mexico? It must be imperialistic America’s fault. Therefore, remittances should be encouraged and all U.S. border controls eliminated. At least Obama would agree. — DM)

The government announced it would spend $50 million to hire lawyers in the United States to defend Mexican citizens there illegally and faced with deportation. This is all about money and a lot more than $50 million. The Mexican central bank tracks how much money Mexicans abroad send home and in 2016 it was $25 billion, almost all of it from Mexicans in the United States and much of it from Mexicans in the United States illegally. That remittance cash accounts for more foreign exchange than Mexican oil exports. The remittance income is rising. It was nearly $22 billion in 2013 and is expected to rise to $28 billion in 2017, unless the United States enforces its immigration laws like Mexico does. Mexico has for decades tolerated illegal migration to the United States because the corruption and bad government in Mexico did little to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed Mexicans and created a lot of potentially troublesome young men and women. Tolerating and, for many Mexican politicians, openly supporting the illegal migrants, was a popular policy and the government came to regard it as a right. But it was also about money and the remittances created a huge source of foreign currency flowing back to Mexico.

There’s more to it than money. After years of being accused of permitting the abuse of Central American migrants who enter Mexico the government agreed pay more attention to border security on its own southern border. Many of the illegal migrants from Central American are heading for the United States and that was not seen as a Mexican problem. But criminal gangs increasingly robbed and kidnapped the migrants and the government did very little to stop that. The gangsters often attacked Mexican citizens as well. Mexico has more severe laws against illegal immigration and illegal migrants than the U.S.  It also enforces them more vigorously than does the U. S. By mid-2014 Mexico agreed to undertake Operation Sur which was supposed to curb illegal Central American migrants from entering Mexico. Operation Sur increased surveillance operations along Mexico’s southern border and improved border inspections. The government also tried to improve registration of legal migrants. In addition to the criminals, local police forces in southern Mexico have been accused of extorting money from illegal migrants and police corruption has long been a major problem. Despite Operation Sur, Mexico did little halt illegal migration across its northern border.

All this was noticed in the U.S. and politicians there found themselves under increasing pressure to enforce American migration laws as vigorously as Mexico (and Canada) did. By 2016 that brought to power an American government that seemed serious about applying Mexican practices to illegal migrants and actually did so. That was unpopular in Mexico and will probably lead to unexpected changes inside Mexico. But the practice of blaming your northern neighbor for your problems is losing its punch even in Mexico.

January 28, 2017: Police discovered the decapitated corpses of three policemen from the town of Huimanguillo (Tabasco state). The victims were slain near the border with Veracruz state.

January 27, 2017: In the south (Yucatan state) the government announced the arrest of three men suspected of smuggling drugs for the Sinaloa cartel. One of these, Roberto Najera Gutierrez, was described as a senior cartel leader and one of cartel boss Joaquin Guzman’s top lieutenants. The other two individuals are also Sinaloa cartel operatives. Gutierrez has directed drug trafficking operations from Central American countries and he has been especially active in Chiapas and Yucatan states.

January 24, 2017: The government confirmed the January 19 arrest (in Sinaloa state) of Juan Jose Esparragoza Monzon, the son of a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel. Monzon is suspected of investing cartel funds in real estate in Mexico as well as being involved in violent crimes in Baja California state.

January 23, 2017: Colima state had 607 murders in 2016 versus 189 in 2015. That is a 220 percent increase. A turf war between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels is engulfing the state, with the seaport of Manzanillo the prize. Around 700,000 people live in Colima. The 2016 summary was announced just before state security officials said it believed that that Jalisco New Generation cartel gunmen were responsible for the murders of a dozen people in the state between January 19 and 23. Seven headless corpses were found near Manzanillo on January 21.

January 19, 2017: The government announced that Sinaloa cartel commander Joaquin Guzman had been extradited to the U.S. Media called the unexpectedly rapid extradition a “surprise.” In U.S. federal court in New York Guzman pled not guilty to a 17-count indictment. He faces narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges. He is also accused of ordering murders and kidnappings in the U.S.

January 17, 2017: Oil theft continues to plague the national oil company, Pemex. Attempts to sue U.S. oil companies that sold stolen petroleum products have not been successful. Pemex lost a lawsuit in December 2016 that ultimately involved 23 U.S. companies and several individuals. It was trying to recover money from the sale of stolen products. Cartels sell the stolen oil and (in some cases) refined products to all buyers, including buyers in the U.S. Pemex’s suit failed because the defendants successfully argued they did not know the oil was stolen.

January 16, 2017: Government once again said that foreign companies should not fear investing in Mexico due to fear of violence.

January 14, 2017: A Mexican federal court ordered a drug lord to pay around $1 million in indemnities for the 1985 murders of a Mexican pilot and a U.S. DEA agent. The criminal ordered to pay was identified as Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, a co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. The murdered DEA agent was Enrique Camarena and his family will receive around $465,000.

January 11, 2017: The price of tortillas is once again increasing. They have gone up almost 20 percent in the last six months. When the price of corn and other staple goods increase, the government faces instant criticism. For the record, the price of eggs and milk has also spiked. President Enrique Pena’s poll ratings are already miserable. The majority of Mexican citizens believes his government is corrupt. Pena is trying to blame macro-economic and a new administration in the U.S. Fuel prices have increased and the peso has slipped against the dollar.

January 10, 2017: Security official said that police used surveillance photos from a parking lot to identify and then arrest Zia Zafar. Is accused of shooting and wounding U.S. consular official in Guadalajara on January 6. Zafar is a U.S. citizen from California and was extradited to the U.S. on January 9.

January 8, 2016: Protests continue over the rise in gas and diesel prices. Prices have increased 20 percent since January 1 when the government began reducing fuel subsidies. Authorities now estimate 1,500 people have been arrested for looting businesses and attacking gas stations.

January 6, 2017: Police in Ciudad Juarez broke up a gas price increase protest demonstration that tried to block the international bridge to El Paso, Texas. On the evening of January 5 demonstrators occupied customs offices on the international bridge. A government spokesman in Mexico City said that at least four people have died in violence related to gasoline price increase protests.

Los Zetas cartel gunmen ambushed a senior state prosecutor and three police officers in Tamaulipas state. Ricardo Martinez Chavez was the regional director of the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office. The attack occurred near the town of Nuevo Laredo.

January 2, 2016: Protests against the increase in fuels prices are spreading throughout the country. The fuel price increase kicked in on January 1 and the violence began on January 2nd. The government is trying to create a competitive energy market. Protestors are using the term “gasolinazo” to describe their gripe. The term translates as “gasoline-punch.” A group of protestors in Mexico City noted that President Enrique Pena promised that prices would drop after competition was introduced. However, in the initial phases of the program, prices are increasing.

December 31, 2016: The government is saying that reports are false that gunmen in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel threatened to burn down gas stations to protest impending price increases. However, for some 24 hours the claim raced around the internet and the Jalisco Attorney Generals Office began an investigation of the allegation.

December 30, 2016: Los Zetas cartel gunmen in Nuevo Laredo kidnapped four Mexican citizens who had just been deported from the U.S. The four men were rescued by Mexican Army soldiers who stormed the house where the victims were being held for ransom.

Mexican Standoff

January 27, 2017

Mexican Standoff, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, January 27, 2017

deplorableborderwall

Although left-wingers have been whipping themselves into a frenzy daily, characterizing President Trump’s approach to border security as monstrous and Hitlerian, Mexico’s approach to dealing with unwanted visitors on its soil is draconian compared to America’s.

Mexican law makes it a felony to be present without permission anywhere in that country. Political activism by illegals is forbidden. Those who use fake documents to enter Mexico are jailed or deported and those who assist them are also jailed.

Mexican immigration policy is based on Mexican self-interest. Only foreigners deemed useful to Mexico are allowed in “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” Immigrants to Mexico must be able to support themselves and their dependents.

Foreigners may be denied entry to Mexico if their presence is thought to: disturb “the equilibrium of the national demographics”; be detrimental to “economic or national interests”; if they have violated Mexican laws; or if they are determined not to be “physically or mentally healthy.”

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Blasting President Donald Trump for his Twitter-based demands that Mexico free up the pesos needed to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, President Enrique Peña Nieto abruptly pulled out of a planned summit with Trump.

Answering Trump in kind, the Mexican head of state tweeted midday Thursday in Spanish, “We have informed the White House that I will not attend the working meeting planned for next Tuesday with @POTUS[.]”

The previous night Peña Nieto had reiterated his government’s opposition both to the wall and to his country paying for it. “I regret and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that, far from uniting, divides us,” he tweeted according to an apparently reliable English translation.

In an unprecedented round of refreshingly transparent social media diplomacy, Trump, the master negotiator, published two tweets baiting his Mexican counterpart:

The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

Peña Nieto, who is deeply unpopular in his homeland, accepted Trump’s invitation to withdraw from the Jan. 31 summit. He had come under intense pressure in his country to cancel the meeting.

And on Wednesday as Mexico’s foreign minister was reportedly in the White House trying to patch up relations between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order moving forward with construction of the wall.

A labor leader might say Trump was bargaining in bad faith but the Americans who elected him would more likely say the president is simply moving ahead with honoring his campaign pledge to build the wall as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The executive order was sufficient to set at least the construction planning process in motion because a 2006 law supported at the time by Democrat Sens. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton was never repealed.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voted for the legislation in 2006 but now finds that vote decidedly inconvenient in the current political climate.

A fortnight after the recent election he said he would oppose Trump’s plan to move forward with wall construction.

“We’re not going to help him build his wall,” Schumer told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

It needs to be noted that Schumer received a rough reception from the public on Inauguration Day. In what may very well foreshadow the tone of the new 115th Congress, Schumer was booed by members of the public during his speech at the inauguration ceremonies in which he subjected the National Mall audience to an otherwise patriotic lecture that he insisted on infusing with a touch of politically correct identity-politics cant.

“Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity,” he said. “Whether we are immigrant or native-born. Whether we live with disabilities or do not. In wealth or in poverty, we are all exceptional in our commonly held, yet fierce devotion to our country.”

Other Democrats in Congress share Schumer’s political predicament. A slew of House members including Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), at the time in the House, are still there.

Among the Democrat senators still in the Senate who voted for the 2006 measure are Tom Carper (Del.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.).

“Democrats are solidly behind controlling the border, and we support the border fence,” Feinstein said at the time. “We’ve got to get tough on the border. There’s no question the border is a sieve.”

The 11-year-old law authorizes construction of 700 miles of fencing on the southern border, along with other security measures such as cameras and sensors.

When Democrats took over the subsequent Congress, an amendment to a 2008 spending measure stripped out a statutory provision mandating among other things that the barrier be made with double-layer fencing. Democrats got to pretend they supported building the border barrier but lacking funding, the wall was stalled.

But because the law authorizing the building of the wall is still on the books, Trump was able to move the process forward Obama-style with the stroke of a pen. Now he just needs Congress to appropriate the $12 billion in construction costs. He vows to make Mexico foot the bill and has proposed slapping tariffs on Mexican imports to cover the cost.

According to a Fox Business analysis:

Congress doesn’t have to pass a new law to begin construction, and can instead package the funds necessary into a massive spending bill Democrats would have a politically hard time opposing. Trump may get a head start on the process by diverting other funds congressional leaders have indicated are available for the project, ensuring a snafu over the spending bill doesn’t hinder prompt construction of the wall.

If Trump and Republicans follow through, a number of top Democrats will find they inadvertently handed Trump the border wall they now oppose. Their only option to block the construction would be to shut down the government over the matter by blocking the spending bill, a strategy they have consistently mocked and derided Republicans for using in the past.

Although left-wingers have been whipping themselves into a frenzy daily, characterizing President Trump’s approach to border security as monstrous and Hitlerian, Mexico’s approach to dealing with unwanted visitors on its soil is draconian compared to America’s.

Mexican law makes it a felony to be present without permission anywhere in that country. Political activism by illegals is forbidden. Those who use fake documents to enter Mexico are jailed or deported and those who assist them are also jailed.

Mexican immigration policy is based on Mexican self-interest. Only foreigners deemed useful to Mexico are allowed in “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” Immigrants to Mexico must be able to support themselves and their dependents.

Foreigners may be denied entry to Mexico if their presence is thought to: disturb “the equilibrium of the national demographics”; be detrimental to “economic or national interests”; if they have violated Mexican laws; or if they are determined not to be “physically or mentally healthy.”

According to Discover the Networks:

Mexican guards at the Guatemalan border, the locale for most attempts at illegal entry, are notorious for the brutality of their treatment of would-be immigrants. The guards’ use of violence, rape, and extortion against those seeking to cross into Mexico has, in fact, managed the border so well that the country has only a minimal illegal-immigration problem.

In addition, Mexico deliberately undermines U.S. immigration laws.

The Mexican government provides “survival kits” and maps to those seeking to sneak into the U.S. A dozen years ago Mexico’s foreign ministry published a 32-page book called “The Guide for the Mexican Migrant,” that explained to would-be border jumpers how to evade U.S. law enforcement.

“This guide is intended to give you some practical advice that could be of use if you have made the difficult decision to seek new work opportunities outside your country,” the book reads. Comic book-style illustrations showed illegals wading into a river in order to steer clear of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The guidebook advised readers to “[t]ry to walk during times when the heat is not as intense[,]” and drink “[s]alt water [because it] helps you retain your body’s liquids.” It also provided sound sartorial advice: “Thick clothing increases your weight when wet, and this makes it difficult to swim or float.”

In a column last year, former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) explained why the government of Mexico encourages its citizens to move to the U.S. by any means possible.

Mexico sees Mexicans in the United States as strategic assets in every sense of that word. They are seen as extensions of the Mexican state and partners in Mexico’s plans.

Mexico amended its constitution to permit dual citizenship and to let Mexicans residing outside Mexico vote in Mexican elections, Tancredo wrote. It did this to increase the Mexican population within the U.S. Moreover, he wrote, it is Mexican government policy to treat “all Mexican-Americans as ‘Mexicans First’ and Americans second.” Children born to Mexican nationals in the U.S. are dual citizens of both countries at the time of their birth and qualify to vote in Mexican elections when they’re older.

These policies are not “mere expressions of Mexican pride,” according to Tancredo.

They are indications of a policy of planned interference in American domestic affairs. The policy of dual citizenship is only the visible tip of the iceberg of a strategic plan for active and overt involvement in American politics to advance Mexican government interests.

Anyone who thinks I am exaggerating should do a little research and listen to the words of Mexican leaders. For example, Vincente Fox, President of Mexico from 2000-2006, proclaimed from a Texas stage that Mexico believes any person of Mexican descent owes a loyalty to Mexico “unto the seventh generation.”

Mexican politicians also encourage settlement in “el Norte” because they don’t want to lose the $25 billion in hard currency that the millions of Mexicans in the U.S. who can’t find work in Mexico send in the form of cash remittances every year to their families in Mexico.

That motherlode of greenbacks, Tancredo observed, constitutes “30 percent of Mexico’s foreign investment, rivaling tourism in importance to the Mexican economy[.]”

Trump could choose to pay for the wall by imposing a tax on foreign remittances. That would be painless for most Americans and have the added bonus of removing the incentive for many illegal aliens from Mexico to stay here. And it would drive the already-enraged Left crazy and encourage its activists to take their protests against Trump to the next level of nuttiness. Such a move could cause a backlash that would likely advance Republican interests.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s vow to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that harbor illegal aliens is already beginning to pay off.

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez (R) yesterday ordered his county’s jailers to honor federal immigration detention requests, the Miami Herald reports.

Gimenez cited an executive order signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump that threatened to cut federal grants for any counties or cities that don’t cooperate fully with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since 2013, Miami-Dade has refused to indefinitely detain inmates who are in the country illegally and wanted by ICE — not based on principle, but because the federal government doesn’t fully reimburse the county for the expense.

It looks like Trump wasn’t joking on the campaign trail when he claimed under his presidency, “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.”

After eight long years of Barack Obama, Americans desperately need to win.

America is addicted, sleepy and becoming comatose.

October 18, 2016

America is addicted, sleepy and becoming comatose, Dan Miller’s Blog, October 18, 2016

(The opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

Hillary and her media titillate us with their sexual fantasies and put us to sleep with heroin for the body and heroin for the mind. Trump yells “Wake up and Fix our open borders!” Hillary mumbles “America is already great and that’s not who we are.” Is “H” for Hillary or Heroin?

hillbutton

Sources of America’s Hard Drugs

Most heroin consumed in America enters across our southern border.

According to the DEA, the majority of the heroin consumed in the United States comes from Mexico (50%) and Colombia (43-45%) via Mexican criminal cartels such as Sinaloa Cartel.[90] However, these statistics may be significantly unreliable, the DEA’s 50/50 split between Colombia and Mexico is contradicted by the amount of hectares cultivated in each country and in 2014, the DEA claimed most of the heroin in the US came from Colombia.[91] As of 2015, the Sinaloa Cartel is the most active drug cartel involved in smuggling illicit drugs such as heroin into the United States and trafficking them throughout the United States.[92]

That’s the border that Trump wants to close and Hillary wants to keep open for the Mexican criminal cartels, rapists, other criminals and potential Democrat voters; U.S. citizen or non-U.S. citizen? What difference it make now? Just play Catch and Release.

Heroin is not the only “recreational” drug transiting our southern border.

Venezuela, Iran, USA and Narco-Terrorism

[D]eeper and more alarming than the Venezuelan homicide toll, there appears to be an imminent threat to the entire Western hemisphere from partnerships between Venezuelan drug traffickers and terrorist networks like Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that act a proxies for Iran.

Together, terrorism and illegal drugs represent a significant export for Venezuela. Iran and Venezuela partner together to move terrorist cells and drugs to hubs in the United States and throughout North America.

. . . .

Hezbollah’s annual budget of more than 100 million dollars is provided by the Iranian government directly and through a complex system of finance cells scattered around the world, from Bangkok and Paraguay to Michigan and North Carolina.

Far from being the passive beneficiaries of drug-trafficking expats and sympathizers, Hezbollah has high-level officials directly involved in the South American cocaine trade and its most violent cartels, including the Mexican crime syndicate Los Zetas. Hezbollah’s increasing foothold in the cocaine trade is facilitated by an enormous Lebanese diaspora.

. . . .

Alongside their efforts to battle their own serious homegrown drug problems in Iran, the Revolutionary Guards are also reportedly working to harness the strategic and tactical potential of the international drug trade in order to advance Iran’s expansion. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

At the same time, the U.S. administration continues to purchase 10% of its oil (roughly 300 million barrels per year) from Venezuela, the same entity that it sanctioned in 2011 for shipping gasoline to Iran.

This is all happening while terrorist groups are regularly connecting to drug cartels in the region, and forging a deepening narco-terror machine that in turn is funding terrorist activities. [Emphasis added.]

Miami: Three Hizballah operatives busted for laundering $500,000 of cocaine money for Colombian cartel:

Hizballah is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran has repeatedly declared its intention to destroy the United States, as you can read about in detail in my book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran (Regnery). Hizballah working with the drug cartel kills two birds with one stone: drugs weaken and destroy Americans, and sap American resources in largely futile anti-drug efforts, and the cash Hizballah earns in working with the drug cartel goes for more jihad against the U.S. [Emphasis added.]

How do the drugs get to America and elsewhere?

Drug ‘mule’ aged 12

Police in New York said the boy, a U.S. citizen who had been living with grandparents in Nigeria, is one of the youngest drug ‘mules’ they have ever seen.

He was only caught because his body began to pass the condoms the drug was hidden in while he was in a taxi.

Doctors who removed the remaining ‘packages’ from his colon said he would have died if one had burst. [Emphasis added.]

Police said the boy, Prince Nnaedozie Umegbolu, made the dangerous journey because he wanted to see his mother, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He was to be paid £1,200.

His father, Chukwunwieke Umegbolu, is in prison in Virginia for drugsmuggling.

The boy’s journey began in Nigeria where drug smugglers gave him the condoms to swallow.

He then travelled alone to London by Air Nigeria before flying on to New York by British Airways.

Please see also,  Here’s What It Feels Like to Smuggle 700 Grams of Cocaine in Your Stomach and The Down And Dirty Of Vagina Smuggling.

(Update — This new Project video was just posted. It’s about vote fraud and how to engage in it without being caught.)

(Update — This new Project video was just posted. It’s about vote fraud and how to engage in it without being caught.)

Heroin for the mind

Don’t look behind the curtain; you might see how the witch wizards are feeding us heroin for the mind.

Conclusions

America has a substantial drug problem; most hard drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, come across our southern border with help from Iran and its proxies. Trump wants to close the border to “undocumented aliens” and Hillary wants to keep it open to all, regardless of why they are coming and regardless of the consequences to Americans (as well as to young drug mules). Trump has the first endorsements ever by the Border Patrol Employees’ Union and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Employees’ Union because they are not being permitted to do their jobs.

Aside from her hopes for votes from new Democrat voters, why does Hillary support open borders? I don’t know because (unlike Abraham Lincon) she often lies about what she thinks and wants. But is it possible that she favors a continuous and copious supply of hard drugs for many of her supporters in large, Democrat controlled, American cities? Because she believes that America should share the disasters the “third world” continues to face? Because has sees no problem with this?

an imminent threat to the entire Western hemisphere from partnerships between Venezuelan drug traffickers and terrorist networks like Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that act a proxies for Iran.

Together, terrorism and illegal drugs represent a significant export for Venezuela. Iran and Venezuela partner together to move terrorist cells and drugs to hubs in the United States and throughout North America.

Perhaps she is uncomfortable with the notions that, despite the Iran Scam, Iran continues to be our enemy and that Iranian proxies Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations.

If Hillary becomes our next president, will America’s already serious problems with Iran and drugs worsen? I think so.

Trump’s Triumphant Trip to Mexico

September 1, 2016

Trump’s Triumphant Trip to Mexico, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, August 31, 2016

Lately, Donald Trump seems to be recovering his momentum. After appearing mostly flat-footed since the GOP convention, he is back to his old table-upsetting self–today, with a quick trip to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto. The meeting implicitly gave Trump the status of a head of state, and much of the news coverage, like this headline at CNN, puts a positive spin on Trump’s mission:

build that wall

Of course we have a right to build a wall. I don’t see how anyone could argue to the contrary. In fact, federal law already requires a wall to be built; the Obama administration is simply ignoring the statute. If this is the ground the battle is fought on, Trump can’t lose.

Byron York sees the Mexico junket as a big win for Trump:

Indeed, it was a big win — a very big win — for Trump. Going into a meeting with the potential for disaster — who knew how Pena Nieto would receive the world’s most controversial presidential candidate or what embarrassments might lie ahead? — Trump came out of the meeting looking very much like a potential President of the United States. Standing beside the Mexican leader in front of a green-gray granite wall reminiscent of the United Nations, Trump presented the picture of a statesman.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Trump was reciting “The Snake” before a rowdy audience in Everett, Washington. In Mexico, he looked like a world leader.

Given that Mexico’s President extended the invitation to meet, accepting it was, I think, an easy decision. There was no need to accomplish anything in particular:

After the hour-long session, Trump benefited enormously from the conventions and practices of international relations. There they were, the president at one podium and the candidate at another, translators translating, the assembled international press watching. When it came time to talk, Pena Nieto observed the niceties of diplomacy, treating Trump as a quasi-president already.

Score one for Donald.

GOP platform gets Trump-ified

July 13, 2016

GOP platform gets Trump-ified, The Hill, Jonathan Easley, July 13, 2016

CLEVELAND — Donald Trump is putting his stamp on the official policy platform of the Republican Party.

Now, the party has fully embraced one of Trump’s most controversial proposals, explicitly calling for a wall that must cover “the entirety of the Southern Border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

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Republican Platform Committee members on Tuesday voted to include language calling for the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

And in a nod their presumptive presidential nominee’s support for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, they also endorsed language that would impose “special scrutiny” of foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. from “regions associated with Islamic terrorism.”

Both provisions are departures from the GOP platform of 2012, when Republicans nominated Mitt Romney for president.

That party platform then called for completing “double-layered fencing” on the border, which was ordered by Congress in 2006 but never completed. It was silent on any special scrutiny of Muslims or other people from countries associated with Islamic extremism.

The language on a border wall is a significant shift away from the “autopsy” report written by the Republican National Committee after Romney’s defeat. That report emphasized the need for the party to appeal to Hispanic voters to win back the White House.

Platform Committee members described the endorsement of Trump’s immigration proposals as evidence the party is fully embracing him on the issues that have energized his supporters and infuriated his critics.

“Back on June 16 of 2015, Donald Trump proposed this, and it resonated with the people of America,” said Stephen Stepanek, a committee member and delegate from New Hampshire who endorsed Trump last month.

“So not only is the Platform Committee recognizing the position Donald Trump has held throughout the primary process, it has been endorsed by the American people, who have overwhelmingly supported his positions and overwhelmingly made him the presumptive nominee.”

Trump and his supporters have largely kept a low profile as the committee crafts the policy platform, which delegates will consider at the Republican National Convention next week.

But they have made their marks on issues like immigration and trade that have been the cornerstones of Trump’s campaign.

The only mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the international trade deal crafted by the Obama administration that Trump vehemently opposes — was stricken from an early draft of the platform.

The language on the border wall passed unanimously through a subcommittee and did not attract any opposition or amendments at the full committee hearing.

It passed easily on Tuesday without any additional debate.

The only change to the immigration plank came when Trump supporter Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of State who helped write part of Trump’s immigration plan, interjected to ensure the platform would refer to “illegal aliens” rather than “illegal immigrants.”

Getting the wall built into the platform is a big win for the Trump campaign as it seeks normalize the proposals that some party leaders have been loath to embrace.

“The Romney campaign was very heavy handed about influencing the platform,” said Oregon delegate Russ Walker, who was on the Platform Committee in 2012 and this year.

“It’s far less that way this time from the Trump campaign. What’s happened is the current Platform Committee is in sync with Trump and using language in the platform to say the things they’ve wanted to say for some time.”

Trump’s promise to build a wall to keep people from illegally crossing into the U.S. has been one of the primary drivers of his insurgent campaign and a flashpoint for controversy.

And the committee has reworded its policy document to match the presumptive nominee’s campaign promises.

The 2012 platform said the double-layer fencing “must finally be built.”

The working draft of this year’s platform called for “construction of a physical barrier,” but Trump supporters saw that language as being open to weaker interpretations.

Now, the party has fully embraced one of Trump’s most controversial proposals, explicitly calling for a wall that must cover “the entirety of the Southern Border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

Kelly Armstrong, a Platform Committee member and delegate from North Dakota, told The Hill, “I support the presumptive nominee, and so putting language in there to support his proposals is a good idea.”

“At the end of the day, a strong immigration policy is something Republicans will support, and we’ll support our nominee’s positions on that.”

But some Republican critics of the plan say it’s impossible to build a border wall on the rough terrain along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) told The Hill in an interview on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that adopting the wall into the party’s platform doesn’t make it any more likely to happen.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Simpson said. “You still have to appropriate money for it. Mexico’s not going to pay for it. There are places where a wall is appropriate, but you’re not going to build a wall down the whole 2,300 miles on the border.”

The platform does not address Trump’s promise that Mexico will pay for the wall.

And some Republicans have warned that the proposal will further turn away Hispanic voters.

Following the 2012 elections, the Republican National Committee issued an assessment meant to keep Republicans from losing the White House race again.

The RNC report warned that minorities “wrongly think Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.”

Now some fear Trump’s vow to build the wall, as well as his saying that most Mexican immigrants bring crime over the border, has reversed any progress the party has made.

“I’ve found you can’t look at the Hispanic voters monolithically — there are plenty of folks who came here legally who respect that process and do not appreciate people who ignore that process,” said Giovanni Cicione, a Rhode Island delegate on the Platform Committee. “That being said, those same people probably have relatives here illegally, so it becomes a difficult question.”

But most Republicans on the Platform Committee dismissed those worries.

“I’m not concerned about that,” said Darcie Johnston, a Platform Committee member from Vermont. “That’s more of a press narrative.”

For the most part, delegates on the panel viewed their votes as a reflection of proposals that have widespread support among grassroots conservatives.

They say they believe that bringing the platform in line with Trump on immigration will unite the party and capitalize on enthusiasm from the base.

“By the time we leave the Platform Committee meeting and by the time Republican delegates leave Cleveland, we’ll go home united and ready to support Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a delegate on the committee.

“You’re going to see a very united Republican Party,” she continued. “So many [delegates] have already come around. … A number of individuals are no longer talking about how they wish their candidate had won. They’re talking about what can we do to help Donald Trump.”