Most Democrats and pro-migration advocates stayed silent after President Donald Trump announced he had gotten the reluctant Mexican government to agree to keep all migrants in Mexico until their U.S. court hearings.
The “Remain in Mexico” deal allows Mexico to say it did not give in to Trump’s push for a “safe third country” deal. But it gives Trump’s border agencies a legal way to ignore the establishment’s catch and release policies, which allow economic migrants to get U.S. jobs when they merely carry a child across the border and ask for asylum.
Under the deal, migrants who arrive at the border will have to remain in Mexico until their court dates. The means they cannot get into the United States, cannot get U.S. wages, and cannot repay smuggling debts to the cartels.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Twitter account was silent following the deal, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer poured sarcasm all over the deal:
This is an historic night!@realDonaldTrump has announced that he has cut a deal to “greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”
Now that that problem is solved, I’m sure we won’t be hearing any more about it in the future. https://t.co/DNNfbevkGP
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 8, 2019
Trump won his deal June 7, two days after Schumer predicted Trump was bluffing:
Publicly, the president has continued to talk tough on tariffs with Mexico, but I continue to believe he’ll ultimately back off
When he does, I would urge him to consider commonsense policies to deal with the real issues concerning migration & the border https://t.co/w3yHormBOH
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 5, 2019
Trump’s win gives him more leverage in the back-and-forth negotiations with Democrats and business over U.S. economic and immigration policies — and demonstrates the value of his tariff threat amid complaints from Democrats, establishment Republicans, the media, and nearly all of the Washington, DC, establishment.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio acknowledged Trump’s win and focused attention on the media’s sour reaction:
The threat of tariffs got #Mexico to agree to take unprecedented steps to control illegal migration.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 8, 2019
Rubio scoffed at coverage by Politico, saying, “A good example of how hard it will be for some in media to be fair in covering deal with
#Mexico This [Politico] story opens with ‘Trump dropped his unpopular plan to impose tariffs after deal was reached’ as if the tariffs had nothing to do with getting the deal.”
Politico’s headline hid the deal and portrayed Trump as escaping a trap he set for himself:
Trump drops tariff threat on Mexico after migration deal reached
The move avoids a possible confrontation with Congress over the tariffs, which experts have warned could drastically damage the U.S. economy.
Politico’s first paragraph also downplayed the win:
President Donald Trump on Friday dropped his unpopular plan to impose tariffs on hundreds of billion of dollars of goods from Mexico after the two countries reached a deal to stem the flow of Central American migrants entering the United States.
The Washington Post described Trump’s decision to withhold tariffs as a win for Mexico while burying Mexico’s promise to host migrants before their court dates. This “Remain in Mexico” promise likely gives border officers to the enforced catch and release practice, which allows migrants to walk through the border wall if they carry a child and ask for asylum. The Post’s article began:
President Trump announced Friday night that a deal was in place that would avert threatened tariffs on Mexican imports in exchange for Mexico taking “strong measures” to curb the influx of Central American migrants at the U.S. southern border.
The New York Times followed the same downbeat formula, with a front-page display saying:
Trump Calls Off Plan to Impose Tariffs on Mexico After Reaching Deal on Migrants
President Trump said that the United States and Mexico had reached an agreement to reduce the flow of migrants to the southwestern border.
The outcome prevents a trade war that experts had warned could have been an economic catastrophe on both sides of the border.
The Hill also downplayed the deal and suggested Mexico won the day:
President Trump said Friday evening he would drop plans to impose sweeping tariffs on Mexico after the United States’ southern neighbor agreed to take new steps to crack down on illegal migration.
The decision marks a complete change from late last week, when Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods out of frustration with the rising number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border.
It is also a victory for the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose representatives spent all week in Washington trying to persuade the Trump administration to drop the tariff plan.
The major media networks buried the lede:
Trump tweets ‘signed agreement’ reached between the US and Mexico on tariffs, stemming ‘tide of migration’ https://t.co/ZCvGIb1ejB
— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2019
CBS showed a frowny-faced Trump but no details:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 8, 2019
NBC buried Trump’s win under a string of tweets about sexual, religious, and racial minorities:
BREAKING: President Trump tweets that US and Mexico have signed an agreement involving the border and illegal immigration, and he is indefinitely suspending his tariff threat. https://t.co/oCvzGZKdi4
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 8, 2019
The courts may block the deal, said immigration advocate Andrew Selee, the president of the Migration Policy Institute:
The success of this agreement with Mexico (from a Trump administration perspective) hinges entirely on MPP (Remain in Mexico) surviving the legal challenge currently underway. That’s a big risk. https://t.co/d68X1xJ9Ki
— Andrew Selee (@SeleeAndrew) June 8, 2019
The ACLU is trying to block the deal:
ACLU’s @OmarJadwat on expansion of Remain in Mexico: “The Trump admin. announced that it intends to further expand its forced return to Mexico policy, which has been illegal since day 1 & has already proven to be a disaster. We continue to press our legal challenge to the policy”
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) June 8, 2019
Immigration lawyer Sarah Pierce is hoping the courts will block the deal:
The administration is gambling that MPP/Remain in Mexico doesn’t run into further legal troubles in the United States.
The case is still ongoing in the 9th Circuit. https://t.co/D2z4cR4eGT
— Sarah Pierce (@SarahPierceEsq) June 8, 2019