Archive for the ‘Mexico’ category

DHS Removes Obama’s ‘Handcuffs’ on Border Patrol Agents

February 21, 2017

DHS Removes Obama’s ‘Handcuffs’ on Border Patrol Agents, BreitbartBob Price, February 21, 2017

us-border-patrol-stop-640x480File Photo

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removed “handcuffs” placed on Border Patrol agents by the Obama Administration, freeing them to expand border enforcement operations.

DHS Secretary John F. Kelly lifted most of the restrictions imposed on Border Patrol agents under the previous administration and ordered Border Patrol agents expand their efforts to enforce laws against illegal border crossings. The order came in a memo obtained by Breitbart Texas from DHS officials and discontinued President Obama’s “catch and release” program known as the “Priority Enforcement Program” (PEP) enacted on November 20, 2014. The order leaves in place, President Obama’s deferred action programs for children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.

“Except as specifically noted above, the Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” Secretary Kelly wrote in the memorandum. “In faithfully executing the immigration laws, Department personnel should take enforcement actions in accordance with applicable law.”

To support the expanded enforcement actions, Kelly ordered the hiring of an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 500 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) officers. “CBP has insufficient agents/officers to effectively detect, track, and apprehend all aliens illegally entering the United States,” Kelly continued. “The United States needs additional agents and officers to ensure complete operational control of the border.”

Leaked Border Patrol training materials released in an article by Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby revealed the frustrating requirements placed on Border Patrol agents under the PEP program.

“Nothing says don’t arrest, but it clearly says don’t waste your time because the alien will not be put into detention, sent back or deported,” an official within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Darby at the time. “There is literally no reason to arrest an illegal alien because they are specifically telling Border Patrol there will be no consequence for the illegal alien. It is a waste of time and resources to arrest someone who is off limits for detainment or deportation and the documents make that fact clear. Border Patrol agents are now being trained to be social workers, not law enforcement.”

After the Obama Administration had put the PEP program in place, a high percentage of migrants apprehended at the border were released with a “notice to appear.”

“[The Obama] administration has handcuffed the Border Patrol,” Babeu told reporters in a March 2016 press conference reported by Breitbart Texas.

This new set of orders from Secretary Kelly effectively removes those handcuffs and ends Obama’s catch and release programs.

“A country has a duty and obligation to secure its border. That didn’t change because Obama was the president,” Jackson County, Texas, Sheriff Andy Louderback told Breitbart Texas on Tuesday. “We are back to the rule of law now, and the gloves are off now, there’s no PEP. We are now allowed to do our job. I am on cloud 80 right now.” Louderback previously served as president of the Texas Sheriff’s Association.

Breitbart Texas was at a press conference when sheriffs from across the state descended upon the Texas Capitol in August 2015 to decry the federal policies of the Obama administration saying, criminal aliens have free rein.

“Policies that facilitate the release of removable aliens apprehended at and between the ports of entry, which allow them to abscond and fail to appear at their removal hearings, undermine the border security mission,” Kelly stated. “Such policies, collectively referred to as ‘catch-and-release,’ shall end.”

Why Mexico’s Governors Became A Prime Target of Criminal Groups

February 3, 2017

Why Mexico’s Governors Became A Prime Target of Criminal Groups, Insight Crime, Patrick Corcoran, January 31, 2017

(Please see also, Mexico’s President Cancels White House Visit After Trump Hits Cartels. — DM)

G23051125.JPG MÉXICO, D.F.-Conferencia-Moreira. El presidente nacional del PRI, Humberto Moreira durante conferencia de prensa la mañana de este lunes en la sede nacional de dicho instituto político. EGV. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Juan Boites.

MÉXICO, D.F.-Conferencia-Moreira. El presidente nacional del PRI, Humberto Moreira durante conferencia de prensa la mañana de este lunes en la sede nacional de dicho instituto político. EGV. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Juan Boites.

A growing stream of corruption allegations against governors in Mexico exemplifies how changes in the country’s political landscape have inadvertently served to expand these officials’ role in enabling organized crime.

As reported by InSight Crime and other sources, a reputed financial operator for the Zetas criminal group accused former Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira of accepting $2 million in monthly payments in exchange for allowing the gang to open hundreds of so-called “narcotiendas” (narco-stores) and giving them virtually free rein to operate throughout the state. As part of the bargain, the Zetas intimidated and attacked political and business enemies of Moreira, according to the testimony of the former Zetas member.

Moreira has denied the charges, and while they have not been verified, they do fit with the broader pattern of Moreira’s tenure at the head of the Coahuila state government, which lasted from 2005 to 2011. After having operated primarily as an offshoot of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas, the Zetas took control of Coahuila in 2007 and 2008. In so doing, they initiated a campaign of kidnapping and extortion that had no local precedent and turned certain cities, such as Torreón, into virtual war zones. Rumors that Moreira was directly responsible for the Zetas‘ rise were rampant during his tenure, and since his exit, Moreira’s alleged ties to the criminal group have sparked multiple criminal investigations, including some convictions, against him and his subordinates in the United States.

The grim arc of Moreira’s career is not unusual. Two former governors of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington and Eugenio Hernández, are facing indictments in the United States for allegedly aiding criminal groups. Former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte is a fugitive with a raft of corruption cases hanging over his heard, while his former counterpart from Sonora, Guillermo Padrés, turned himself in to Mexican authorities in November amid similar allegations.

InSight Crime Analysis

This confluence of stories on governors’ wrongdoing is not a coincidence, but rather a byproduct of a Mexican political system that concedes enormous and largely unchecked authority to the statehouse.

In the post-Mexican Revolution political system that dominated the 20th Century, while Mexican governors enjoyed a great deal of autonomy strictly within their domain, they operated at the orders of a near-omnipotent president. The power of the presidency provided an important check on their power. The multi-party system that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s brought the days of the all-powerful president to an end, but this opening had the unintended effect of vastly increasing the practical control that governors exercised.

If a gang secures the support of a single governor whose state controls a major port or a border crossing, it has likely guaranteed itself a major role in the national criminal landscape.

It is not a coincidence that one of the first examples of the so-called narco-governor essentially coincided with the end of the PRI’s monopoly on Mexican politics. Former Quintana Roo Governor Mario Villanueva went underground days before the end of his term in 1999, amid rampant rumors that, in exchange for bribes much like those Moreira is accused of receiving, he had given the Juarez Cartel of Amado Carrillo free use of his state. After being arrested in Mexico in 2001, Villanueva was later extradited to the United States. After serving a lengthy prison sentence, earlier this month Villanueva was returned to Mexico and subsequently arrested. He is reportedly awaiting another lengthy prison term.

Today, governors rather than presidents exercise practical control over their states’ congressional delegations. They often wield substantial influence over the municipal governments within their states as well, as mayors rely on them for budgetary transfers and for support in advancing their political futures.

This shift in the political landscape over the past two decades has made governors collectively the most important cohort in Mexican politics, frequently described as modern-day viceroys. Working as a unit, they are capable of scuttling a president’s agenda.

This has consequently turned them into an irresistible target for criminal groups looking for allies within government. The scope of governors’ authority makes it ideal for criminal groups to try to corrupt or otherwise co-opt them. If a gang secures the support of a single governor whose state controls a major port or a border crossing, it has likely guaranteed itself a major role in the national criminal landscape. The Familia Michoacana and the Knights Templar, for example, were largely concentrated in a single state, but that has been enough to make the gangs major players over the past decade.

A gang can leverage the support of a key governor in any number of ways. They can use his government as a sort of beachhead amid a territorial expansion, as the Zetas allegedly did. Most governors control large and relatively effective state police forces, which, when deployed at the service of a criminal group, can be extremely valuable allies.

Criminal groups can also use political support indirectly to lean on local governments. Governors can help gangs by pressuring prosecutors to limit prosecutions against their members, as many laws targeting organized crime are in the realm of state courts. As the chief interlocutors with the federal government, governors can also obstruct federal efforts to target one group or another.

From a criminal group’s perspective, governors are also more reachable than the president. The fact that they occupy a lower profile than the president makes dealing with governors far less risky. In addition, governors are not burdened with the prerogatives of statesmanship, from monetary policy to foreign relations, which limit time for focusing on law enforcement and security matters. Relative to presidents, governors are also more isolated from pressure from the US government to crack down on criminal groups.

This collective dynamic is behind the spate of cases like Moreira’s and Yarrington’s, among many others. Although much of the commentary on security issues in Mexico focuses on the goals and missteps of the presidency, a great deal of the government’s efforts are channeled through other offices. And as long as Mexican governors in key states are actively boosting the interests of powerful crime groups like the Zetas, there will be a limit to what federal policies can accomplish.

RIGHT ANGLE: Blame Who’s Responsible

February 2, 2017

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

 

Ford to Build in America, Cancel Mexico Expansion Plans as ‘Vote of Confidence’ in Donald Trump

January 3, 2017

Ford to Build in America, Cancel Mexico Expansion Plans as ‘Vote of Confidence’ in Donald Trump, Breitbart, Matthew Boyle, January 3, 3017

trumpfordAP Photo/Evan Vucci

Ford will build a plant in Michigan instead of Mexico as a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration, its CEO Mark Fields announced on Tuesday.

The announcement means Ford will cancel its plans to build a new plant in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in Michigan—creating 700 new jobs here in the United States—CNN reports.

“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump. We did it for our business,” Fields told CNN, noting that his company had conversations on Tuesday with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Trump and Pence will officially be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Fields said his company’s decision to create jobs in America rather than in Mexico is a “vote of confidence” in Trump’s incoming administration and the pro-business environment it will create.

The investment, CNN reports, will be at the plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and will aim “to produce more electric and self-driving cars” since “Ford believes electric vehicles will outsell gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Trump’s success in keeping Ford jobs here is winning praise even from labor unions.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” Jimmy Settles, the UAW’s vice president, said.

CNN notes that Ford’s decision to keep the jobs here in the U.S. rather than shipping them overseas to Mexico—as it announced early in 2016—is a “major U-Turn” for the auto manufacturer.

“The news is a major U-turn for Ford,” CNN wrote. “Last year, the company announced it would invest $1.6 billion in Mexico to transfer the production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico to save costs. Now the Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Ford will expand its plant in Flat Rock.”

Breitbart News was the first news organization to ask Trump about Ford’s plans to ship jobs to Mexico. In an interview back in February 2016, Breitbart News asked Trump about this decision from Ford—and about similar plans from Carrier Corporation, which had planned to expand in Mexico and shut down U.S. facilities in Indianapolis—and Trump laid out his exact plans to keep the jobs here in the United States instead of seeing them drained to Mexico.

“There’s only one way you’re going to reverse it, and that’s that you’re going to have to make it more expensive to do business that way,” Trump told Breitbart News back then about the news from Ford and Carrier that they planned to go overseas:

First of all, you’re going to have to look to lower taxes [for those who do business inside the United States]—and we may very well have to charge taxes at the border, when somebody drives a car through the border to sell it in the United States. But look, we’ve closed our plants. We’ve lost our jobs. They’re no going to build cars in Mexico and sell them in the United States, okay? We can lower our taxes, and we’re probably going to have to charge a surtax at the border. Otherwise we’re going to lose a fortune. And that will help Ford and other people make a decision to buy in the United States, to build in the United States.

Even though he’s not even president yet, Trump has already succeeded on both cases, Carrier and Ford. He’s also succeeded in getting 8,000 other jobs in the U.S. with Sprint and OneWeb, news announced last week.

Trump, of course, shocked the political class by winning the state of Michigan against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Nov. 8 on his pathway to 306 electoral votes.

Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins

November 30, 2016

Carrier Blinks, Jobs Stay, Trump Wins, PJ MediaMichael Walsh, November 29, 2016

carrier(AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

Big day on Thursday for Indiana and the great workers of that wonderful state.We will keep our companies and jobs in the U.S. Thanks Carrier

More #winning:

From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump and Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and the vice president-elect, plan to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis factory to announce a deal with the company to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state, according to officials with the transition team as well as Carrier.

Mr. Trump will be hard-pressed to alter the economic forces that have hammered the Rust Belt for decades, but forcing Carrier and its parent company, United Technologies, to reverse course is a powerful tactical strike that will hearten his followers even before he takes office.

“I’m ready for him to come,” said Robin Maynard, a 24-year veteran of Carrier who builds high-efficiency furnaces and earns almost $24 an hour as a team leader. “Now I can put my daughter through college without having to look for another job.”

This was one of those campaign promises the How Not to Do It Left assured us would be impossible to keep. But the Circumlocution Office failed. Leave it to the New York Times to put a “progressive” spin on the decision, and compare Trump, favorably if indirectly, to Bernie Sanders:

It also signals that Mr. Trump is a different kind of Republican, willing to take on Big Business, at least in individual cases.

And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. If Barack Obama had tried the same maneuver, he’d probably have drawn criticism for intervening in the free market.

Trump understands that if he makes an example out of one of these corporate relocaters, the others will fall quickly into line, lest they see their heads on pikes in the morning. So first Ford, now Carrier:

“I think it’s pretty clear Carrier did this because the public relations cost to them was far greater than the short-term savings,” said Robert Reich, a prominent liberal Democrat who served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. “Even though it’s political theater, these are real people and the longer they are employed at Carrier, the better.”

Over the long term, and for less prominent firms, however, the temptation to move to cheaper locales for manufacturing will be just as great as it was for Carrier, Mr. Reich said.

Oh, shut up.

Birth of a Policy Wonk: Trump Gets Into the Weeds on Immigration

September 1, 2016

Birth of a Policy Wonk: Trump Gets Into the Weeds on Immigration, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, September 1, 2016

trump wall

The full text of Trump’s speech is here.

****************************

While Hillary Clinton hunkers down under a nonstop barrage of email releases, avoiding press conferences while doing a desperate distaff impression of Richard Nixon (“I am not a crook!”), Donald Trump won the daily double on Wednesday, appearing presidential in his visit with President Nieto in Mexico City and then coming back to deliver a substantive speech (almost dizzyingly so) on immigration in Phoenix.

Indeed, I can’t remember a more highly detailed speech on one subject area by a presidential candidate in my lifetime. And we thought Trump was weak on policy. He’s out-wonking the wonks with his ten-point plan on immigration, no matter how you fall out on them.

You could almost call it “Birth of a Policy Wonk” with the onetime gambling plutocrat taking off his gold lamé tuxedo to reveal the tweedy duds of a Johns Hopkins poli sci prof. Well, not quite. Donald will always be Donald and he did roam off prompter a few times, though not far. Still, credit where it’s due. He had a lot to say. (Critics immediately got on the air to ask him to explain more, even though the speech was already an hour and fifteen minutes long. If he had spoken for fifteen hours, they would have asked for thirty. And that’s before George Stephanopoulos gets into it.)

But before examining those ten points, let’s take a step backwards and tip the hat further to Donald for his overall theme—the rule of law. Most of all, Trump wants us to enforce our existing immigration laws. Who’d a thunk it?  Certainly, not Clinton. Enforcing the law is not her long suit. But we know that, so on to the ten points.

ONE—THE WALL: He wants to build the promised wall with the best technology and protection against underground tunnels. No surprise here.  And he still, despite his morning visit south of the border, wants Mexico to pay for it. (Shrieks from the media, but actually this is a giant canard. Illegal aliens send some $25 billion a year in remittances back to Mexico. Start taxing that and Mexico has paid for the wall in no time—without having to say one word to their government.)

TWO—END CATCH-AND-RELEASE:  This alone could change everything.  Why did it ever exist in the first place?  The Obama (and undoubtedly Hillary) endorsed catch-and-release always seemed something out of Orwell. Scratch that—Lewis Carroll.  (“I caught you sneaking across,” said the Mad Hatter. “Now you’re released… Here’s a hundred dollars and a house. And would you like a cup of tea?”) Bravo to Trump for ending it.

THREE—ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CRIMINAL ALIENS: Did you know there were two million of them  inside this country? Are we crazy?  Trump wants to pass Kate’s Law—named for Kate Steinle, the young San Franciscan who was murdered by one of these characters —which imposes severe punishment on illegal alien recidivists. The idea was first proposed by Bill O’Reilly. Trump can count on some positive coverage there to make up for Megyn Kelly.

FOUR—SANCTUARY CITIES ARE OUT:  And good riddance too. Their funds will be blocked if they don’t comply. But will San Francisco have the cash to clean up its poop problem? Trump didn’t say.  (Just kidding, of course, but it is a problem.)

FIVE—UNCONSTITUTIONAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS CANCELED: These are by you-know-who. This is where Trump also said he would enforce all existing immigration laws and add to ICE personnel, etc. to make sure they can be enforced.

SIX—SUSPEND THE ISSUING OF VISAS FROM PLACES WHERE ADEQUATE SCREENING CANNOT OCCUR:  aka the Islamic Middle East.  This is the “extreme vetting” proposal made by Trump in his recent foreign policy speech.  It makes sense but he has not addressed the more complicated issue of Western Europe, where second-generation Muslims are shooting up nightclubs and slicing the necks of priests. Do we withhold visas from France, Belgium, etc.?  Something has to be figured out.

SEVEN—OTHER COUNTRIES MUST TAKE THEIR PEOPLE BACK WHEN WE ORDER THEM DEPORTED:  Donald, the enforcer. He might even be able to make this work.

EIGHT—BIOMETRIC ENTRY-EXIT VISA TRACKING:  This one’s extremely important since half our illegal aliens come in by overstaying their visas, including many of the most dangerous jihadi-types. High time we did this.  Maybe Apple or Google could help. (Yeah, right.)

NINE—TURN OFF THE JOBS AND BENEFITS MAGNET: This is self-explanatory.

TEN—REFORM LEGAL IMMIGRATION TO SERVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF AMERICA AND ITS WORKERS: ditto.

In all there’s nothing in Trump’s ten proposals with which I disagree. Notably missing is what to do with the eleven million (or whatever the real number is) existing illegal aliens, other than the criminal element that would be immediately sent out. No mass deportations in evidence despite much of the post-speech media coverage, even on the increasingly confused Fox News, focusing on Trump supposedly not softening on immigration.

Trump said we should deal with that population after everyone felt the border was genuinely secure. He implied that could take a while. Again, I concur.  This the humane way to do it. Seal the border tight.  Get rid of the unsavory.  (People who come here illegally and then commit crimes are definitely unsavory.) Then see what our country looks like. Everyone may feel generous at that point.  Ann Coulter may be freaking out, but so what?  She’ll still sell more books than ninety-nine percent of authors.  (Yes, I’m jealous.)  Trump’s approach is just fine.  Cross your fingers (and mark your ballots) so he has a chance to put it into action.

The full text of Trump’s speech is here.

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.