Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mexico Vows It Won't Be Bullied By Trump

by JASmius

Hey, the Mexican government is essentially saying that, I'm not.

Besides, I'm pretty sure Trump doesn't speak Spanish anyway:

Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray called [m]illionaire Donald Trump’s proposal to force the country to pay for a wall along the U.S. border, or face economic consequences if it doesn’t, a kind of diplomatic harassment that’s doomed to fail.

“Mexico will not pay for that wall, not only because it doesn’t make any sense for either Mexico or the U.S. to enter into that type of threat rhetoric, but it’s also a matter of dignity,” Videgaray said Saturday in an interview in Washington. “There’s no way in which Mexico can be bullied into doing such a thing.”

The "Republican" presidential candidate said in a memo this month that as president, he would block payments that Mexican workers in the U.S. send to their home country, known as remittances, if Mexico’s government refuses to foot the bill for a wall he wants to build along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,218 km) border. Trump has said the wall would subdue illegal immigration and cost $8 billion to $10 billion. Officials in Mexico have repeatedly said they have no intention of paying for it.

Mexico has taken action to counteract Trump’s anti-i[llegal alien] message, including mounting an unprecedented effort to covert the country’s many permanent residents in the U.S. into citizens, a status that would enable them to vote - presumably against Trump. Officially, Mexico says it respects U.S. sovereignty and has no strategy to influence the result of the presidential race. Yet diplomats are mobilizing to assist [alien]s in gaining U.S. citizenship, hosting free workshops on naturalization. [emphasis added]

Now look: I think we can all agree that we want to see illegal immigration halted and reversed and U.S. immigration law enforcement restored.  Can a border wall be part of that?  Sure.  Though I think it would require more than just a ten-foot fence....

....but (1) a wall is only part of the solution, not all of it, and (2) we're going to have to pay for it.  Isn't it obvious that if we make construction of a border wall contingent upon the country who has ZERO incentive to halt illegal immigration northward and EVERY incentive to keep it flowing at maximum capacity footing the bill for it, it will NEVER get built?  And isn't that really the point of why Trump is framing the proposal and issue this way?  To swindle Trumplican primary votes and then abandon their hopes and dreams as soon as he has the GOP nomination in hand, and be off to his landslide November defeat at Mrs. Clinton's hands?

We went over all of this two weeks ago:

For a Trumplican, reading t[he TrumpWall memo] sends them simultaneously into rapturous, quasi-religious ecstasy and projectile orgasmic release. For a constitutionalist it breaks us out in hives just as it has for the past seven years. The POTUS does not have the constitutional legal authority to do what Trump proposes in this memo to the WaPo. It is a change to the law, which under Article I, Section 1 is legislating, a power solely and exclusively enumerated to Congress. So Trump has no business making such a promise, unless he's braggadociously flaunting his planned future high crimes & misdemeanors.

The WaPo is also more than a little skeptical of this being so easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy as well:

The proposal would jeopardize a stream of cash that many economists say is vital for Mexico’s struggling economy. But the feasibility of Trump’s plan is unclear both legally and politically, and also would test the bounds of a president’s executive powers in seeking to pressure another country.... [emphasis added]

But it would not be taking place in a vacuum, and would trigger adjustments and countermeasures by the 20% of the Mexican population north of the former border:

Legally, though, could the U.S. government simply seize that cash and use it for other purposes? In fact, would there be any cash to seize at all? The disincentive would have illegal [alien]s looking for more informal methods of getting cash back home, creating a black market for remittances, or simply holding onto the cash.

Is all of this to suggest that even slowing down that outflow of ill-gotten wealth to Mexico is impossible and futile? Not at all. It can certainly be made more cumbersome and difficult. But it is not the effortless switch-flipping that Trump is insisting it will be. Because nothing that Trump promises could ever be that simple, even if it was constitutionally legal. And even if it was, it's not as though he would be any more authorized to just take the funds and throw them in a border wall slush fund, completely bypassing Congress (like Obama did with the 2010 post-Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement from British Petroleum) in the process. Nancy Pelosi and Chucky Schumer would still have to appropriate the funds for said wall, and that would be as difficult as getting Enrique Peña Nieto to simply cut a check.

Has anybody (I take it for granted that Trump hasn't) thought about what Mexico's retaliation for this move might be? Cutting off U.S. oil imports, perhaps? Cessation of cooperation on the Mexican narco-terror problem? Maybe establishing closer economic ties with....Red China (They're in ever growing need of petroleum, after all) in exchange for improving our southern neighbor's "infrastructure"? In which case we'd need a lot more than just a wall on the border, but an outright second preemptive invasion of Mexico, which also happens to be the only way we'll ever get President Nieto's payment.

This is not "BS", Trumplicans.  This is reality.  Your candidate is making you promises he cannot keep, and either he knows it or he's too ignorant to realize it, and either way, you're going to wind up bitterly disappointed.  Because you don't just want particular policy outcomes, but you want them in a maximally vengeful, cathartic way.  It's not enough that illegal immigration be halted and reversed, you want revenge upon the Mexicans for encouraging and profiting from it by forcing them to pay for TrumpWall.  But what if you can't have both?  What if the latter obviates the former?  In which case, which would you prefer to have: the policy outcome you claim to seek, which can only be attained, if at all, over a much longer stretch of time and by less satisfyingly blunt, bilious, and bullying means, or the revenge that is not, in fact, attainable?

In a word - two words, actually - GROW UP.

Exit quote, twenty-five hours ago:

Everybody (including, never forget, Donald Trump) laughed at Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" plan, but it recognized the proven fact of economic incentives, positive and negative, and how if you reduce and remove the lure of easy illegal entry and illegal entry-level job procurement, Hispanic "migrants" will be escalatingly less likely to make the trek north, the influx will slacken, the "border crisis" will subside, and those illegals already here will see that the jig is up and the incentive worm has turned, and they will....self-deport. Simply go home.

It's much easier to provide somebody with a reason to motivate them to do what you want than to simply try to force them to do so against their will. That's the difference between Donald Trump's belligerent immigration bravado that sounds so cathartic but will never get any place in real-world reality and a border hawk plan that actually produces the results we all want to see.

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