Immigration

Mexico Calls Border Wall a ‘Hostile Act’

Mexico’s foreign relations secretary called President Trump’s plan to build a border wall an “unfriendly, hostile” act, adding that it is a “bad idea” that will not accomplish anything, the AP reports.

And while Trump has repeatedly asserted that he will get the U.S.’s neighbor to pay for the wall, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray repeated that Mexico won’t pay a cent for it.

Cruz Says El Chapo Should Pay for the Wall

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “wants to use assets seized from drug lords such as El Chapo, the Mexican kingpin who was recently extradited to the U.S., to pay for border security and the border wall,” Axios reports.

“U.S. prosecutors are seeking $14 billion in drug profits and other assets from El Chapo. They also routinely seize the assets of other drug dealers and traffickers.”

The Dallas Morning News reports the name of the measure is “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act,” or ELCHAPO.

Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Order Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that President Trump’s executive order threatening to pull funding from sanctuary jurisdictions is unconstitutional, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Sanctuary policies vary, but they all limit in some way cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.”

The New York Times calls it “another setback for President Trump in what is shaping up to be a long season of litigation surrounding the clash between the White House and so-called sanctuary cities.”

Quote of the Day

“I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.”

— Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show.

Support for Immigration and Trade Hit New Highs

“Americans’ support for immigration and free trade hit record highs in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, just three months after the inauguration of a president who pledged to curtail both.”

“Six in 10 Americans said immigration helps the nation more than it hurts—up 6 points since the last sounding, in September 2016…. Support for free trade rose slightly in the latest survey, with 57% saying it is beneficial for the U.S. and 37% saying it isn’t—a gap of 20 points, and a record level of support.”

At Least One Promise Kept

David Frum: “Obamacare remains the law of the land. So does NAFTA. Tax reform exists only as pixels in a tweet. Infrastructure ain’t happening. Five months after the Republicans won united control of Congress and the presidency, it seems uncertain whether one-party Washington can avoid a government shutdown over a budget dispute.”

“Yet as Day 100 of his presidency nears, President Donald Trump can take credit for one huge accomplishment, an accomplishment more central to his election campaign than any of the unfulfilled pledges above. Illegal immigration into the United States has slowed dramatically. The Department of Homeland Security reports that illegal crossings across the southern border plunged 40 percent in the first month of the Trump presidency, the steepest decline in illegal migration since the recession of 2009. Illegal immigration by family groups with children has dropped by over 90 percent.”

No Border Lawmaker Supports Funding Wall

“Not a single member of Congress who represents the territory on the southwest border said they support President Donald Trump’s request for $1.4 billion to begin construction of his promised wall, according to a Wall Street Journal survey, testing the administration’s ability to reach a deal on government funding next week.”

“Most lawmakers representing the region—both Democrats and Republicans—said they are opposed and many said they have unanswered questions. A few were noncommittal, but not a single member of the House or Senate representing the region expressed support for the funding request.”

Trump Warns 9 “Sanctuary” Cities They May Lose Funds

The Trump administration “sent nine so-called sanctuary jurisdictions letters demanding they help enforce federal immigration law or risk losing federal grants,” The Hill reports.

“The jurisdictions included New York City, Chicago and the surrounding Cook County, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Miami-Dade County in Florida and the state of California, which were all identified in a May 2016 Justice Department inspector general report as in violation.”

Quote of the Day

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

— Attorney General Jeff Sessions, quoted by CNN, criticizing a federal judge in Hawaii that has blocked President Trump’s travel ban.

Trump Moves to Build Deportation Force

“The Trump administration is quickly identifying ways to assemble the nationwide deportation force that President Trump promised on the campaign trail as he railed against the dangers posed by illegal immigration,” the Washington Post reports.

“An internal Department of Homeland Security assessment… shows the agency has already found 33,000 more detention beds to house undocumented immigrants, opened discussions with dozens of local police forces that could be empowered with enforcement authority and identified where construction of Trump’s border wall could begin.”

Trump Administration Weighs ‘Extreme Vetting’ Measures

“Foreigners who want to visit the U.S., even for a short trip, could be forced to disclose contacts on their mobile phones, social-media passwords and financial records, and to answer probing questions about their ideology,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The administration also wants to subject more visa applicants to intense security reviews and have embassies spend more time interviewing each applicant. The changes could apply to people from all over the world, including allies such as France and Germany.”