Commander OPSEC Has A Secret. A MEXI-SECRET!
Yesterday, Donald "OPSEC" Trump stood on the White House driveway and waved around a piece of paper PROVING that he is the world's best negotiator, period. He does too have a secret deal with Mexico to solve immigration, and probably an IRL girlfriend who thinks his pancake makeup is muy sexy, Papi! But he steadfastly refused to answer any questions about it (or her), saying, "I would love to do it but you will freeze action it ... You will stop it, you will analyze it. Every single letter you'll see. But in here is the agreement." Which is exactly how normal foreign policy works, with leaders holding a press conference to announce that they have a very good, secret deal, but no one can see it because then they'd analyze it, which would be NOT LEGAL and NOT COOL.
Newsweek reported White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney followed up later in the day, saying, "you may never find out what's in the deal, the purpose isn't to satisfy your journalistic inquiries, it's to stop people from crossing the border." So quit, asking, peasants!
Luckily, we don't have to ask, since President 007 waved it around in front of all the cameras, and the super sleuths at the Washington Post and White House Watch figured it out already.
“the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a… https://t.co/zhT70LoiMY— Jabin Botsford (@Jabin Botsford)1560277160.0
EXCLUSIVE: Visible on Trump’s paper: "such agreement would… party’s domestic and international legal obligations, a… https://t.co/bw6S8Oea2R— Dan Froomkin (@Dan Froomkin)1560278834.0
Try not to think about all the foreign governments that are hoovering up data around this sloppy jackass day and night. This way madness lies!
Aaron Blake at The Washington Post has pieced these two photos together, and the document appears to require Mexico to change its law to require Central American migrants to seek asylum in Mexico under a "safe third country agreement," rather than crossing that country and presenting themselves at the American border. The secret deal would come into effect if, at some indeterminate future point, the US decides that Mexico has not sufficiently reduced the flow of migrants.
[UNREADABLE] such agreement would [UNREADABLE] party's domestic and international legal obligations, a commitment under which each party would accept the return, and process refugee status claims, of third-party nationals who have crossed that party's territory [UNREADABLE] other party. The parties further intend [UNREADABLE] an agreem[ent] [UNREADABLE] to burden-sharing in relation to the processing of refuge[es] [UNREADABLE].
Mexico also commits to immediate[ly] [UNREADABLE] domestic laws and regulations with a view to identifying any changes that [UNREADABLE] to bring into force and implement such an agreement.
If the United States determines, at its discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the Joint Declaration, that the measures adopted by the Government of Mexico pursuant to the Joint Declaration have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border of the United States, the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under the domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring that the agreement will enter into force within 45 days.
So, let's see if we've understood this clearly. Donald Trump bragged about getting Mexico to deploy more troops to their own southern border with Guatemala -- something they'd already agreed to in December. And Mexico agreed to allow more migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed -- another concession they'd already made to quitfired Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen back in December. And the only "new" piece is a not-so-secret agreement to discuss a "safe third country" plan in the Mexican legislature if, in 45 days, the migration numbers don't go down? He held a gun to the head of the American and Mexican economies and he managed to extract a promise to talk about it some more in six weeks? That's what he's taking a victory lap over?
SLOW FUCKIN' CLAP.
The Post reports that Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has confirmed that, "It would be applied if we fail, and if we accept what they tell us." Sounds like the Mexicans bought themselves some time, perhaps working on the assumption that Republicans in Congress -- not to mention the stock market -- would kick Trump in the dick if he tried to put tariffs on Mexican imports, so he'll be just as happy to call it a win and go home. They didn't count on him being such a fucking idiot that he'd blab his face-saving side deal, guaranteeing that in 45 days he'll be deluged with evaluations of just how well Mexico has succeeded in curbing migrant flows.
But if there's a stupid way to screw up foreign policy, Donald Trump will find it! MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.