President Trump makes many bold statements. First it was “lock her up”. Then it was “build the wall”. Then it became “finish the wall”. Finally, it was ‘millions of arrests next week’.
Hillary Clinton, Trump’s close friend for years, was never charged with a crime, let alone locked up.
Building “The Wall” on the border never started and no serious plans were put forth. As such, it cannot be completed either because completing a project requires that it has been initiated. Likewise, the supposed ‘raids’ never happened, and not even two dozen, let alone ‘millions’ of non-citizens have been arrested.
Now, Trump has declared that the tiny central American nation of Guatemala, which has been wracked by violence for years, will be ‘punished’ for refusing to become Trump’s supposed dumping ground for ‘illegals’:
President Trump threatened to punish Guatemala for what he described as the country’s reneging on a proposed deal to welcome Central American asylum seekers.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter Tuesday that the U.S. had been “ready to go” but was now considering tariffs, remittance fees and an unspecified “BAN.”
Last year, Guatemalans living outside the country sent more than $9 billion home, making up about 12% of Guatemala’s gross domestic product.
“Guatemala, which has been forming Caravans and sending large numbers of people, some with criminal records, to the United States, has decided to break the deal they had with us on signing a necessary Safe Third Agreement,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales canceled a trip to Washington this month for discussions on a deal that would have required migrants from El Salvador and Honduras to seek asylum there rather than in the U.S.
For several months, Mr. Morales’s government had been negotiating the possibility of designating Guatemala a safe third country for asylum seekers. But he called off the planned meeting with Mr. Trump after Guatemala’s top court blocked him from signing such a deal amid growing concerns that the Central American country is unprepared to absorb the influx of migrants.
A senior Guatemalan government official said the country is ready to sign a bilateral agreement with the U.S. that would include “important compensations.” Guatemala is seeking U.S. financial assistance and wants the U.S. to expand the number of working visas it grants for Guatemalans to migrate legally to the U.S., he added.
The government in recent days asked Guatemala’s top court to clarify what actions the government would need to take to sign an agreement with the U.S., the Guatemalan official said. The court said any deal must be approved by the nation’s legislature, but the government said it considers that ruling ambiguous.
Mr. Morales on Tuesday blamed the Constitutional Court for prompting Mr. Trump’s threats against Guatemala, saying it illegally interfered in the country’s foreign policy.
“I hope that now the Constitutional Court assumes before the Guatemalan people the consequences of its decisions,” he said in a statement posted to his Facebook account.
U.S. sanctions would have terrible economic consequences for the country, fueling crime and the flow of migrants, said Enrique Degenhart, Guatemala’s interior minister. Guatemala is already the top country of origin for migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“More than one million jobs are in danger,” Mr. Degenhart said in an interview. He is currently in Washington to meet with U.S. government officials.
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said the U.S. was making progress toward an agreement with Guatemala.
Despite Mr. Trump’s remarks Tuesday, ministers and security secretaries from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are due to meet with U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in Washington on Wednesday.
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the region, and its murder rate is four times that of the U.S. Critics of a safe-third-country agreement say it is ill-equipped to serve as a haven for the thousands of Salvadorans and Hondurans fleeing violence. Opponents of the deal in Guatemala are preparing legal challenges should Mr. Morales sign an agreement with the U.S.
Washington has been in negotiations with countries across the region about a safe-third-country approach to asylum, under which the U.S. could deport migrants to the first safe country in which they arrived after fleeing their homelands. The U.S. has a safe-third-country agreement only with Canada, which it signed in 2004.
Such an agreement with Guatemala would fit into Mr. Trump’s broader strategy to overhaul the region’s asylum rules to stem the unprecedented flow of Central American migrants, mostly traveling in families, arriving at the southern U.S. border.
Last week, the Trump administration moved to sharply limit Central American migrants’ ability to seek asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico, announcing that, with limited exceptions, migrants who pass through another country first must seek asylum there rather than at the U.S. border, where they will be ineligible to do so. The vast majority of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border come from Central America, passing through Mexico, and in some cases Guatemala, first.
Last month, Mexico agreed to ramp up its migration enforcement after Mr. Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all imports from Mexico.
The U.S. State Department plans to cut more than $550 million in development and security aid to the three Northern Triangle countries—Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras—in response to their failure to reduce the surge of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. over the past year. The cuts would affect violence-prevention programs, agricultural assistance and funding for schools and job-training programs. (source, source)
So much for all of the praise given to Guatemala from the White House for backing the Israeli Lobby– truly there is no honor among thieves.
Likewise, don’t expect “retaliation” against Guatemala. It’s just more hot air, and while it is still enough to likely win the 2020 election, hot air without results will exhaust enough Americans to such a point that assuming a 2020 election victory, expect a 2024 Democrat presidency.