The Democrat-controlled House just voted, with the aid of 13 Republican Congressthings, that there is no "national emergency", and they don't want the President spending any money to guard the border or build the wall. [House votes to reverse Trump emergency on border wall money, by Jamie Dupree, AJC, February 26, 2019]. They're WRONG.
Piedras Negras is a Mexican border town, population 150,000, right across the Rio Grande from Eagle, Pass, TX, population 28,000. I’ve crossed that border on foot many times. (For those triggered by the sound of of the name, Piedras Negras means “black rocks”—i. e. coal.) It’s smaller than border cities such as Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, but that hasn’t stopped Central American caravanners from showing up there too. Piedras Negras doesn’t have the resources to handle them. What has happened in Piedras Negras shows why Trump is right—and why the GOP must uphold Trump's veto of this attempt to overturn his National Emergency Declaration.
Some 1800 Central Americans, mostly Hondurans, landed in Piedras Negras in early February and received temporary shelter. The arrangement ended after caravanners misbehaved. As the Wall Street Journal reported:
Hundreds of Central American migrants encamped in Mexico’s border city of Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass, Texas, are being relocated to other cities after a group of migrants rioted earlier this week and attempted to leave an abandoned factory where they were being held.
[Mexican Authorities Relocate Hundreds of Migrants From Border City, by Juan Montes, February 15, 2019]
The Los Angeles Times described developments in Piedras Negras as a victory for the Trump administration [Trump prevails as Mexican officials stop caravan at Texas border and ship migrants to other cities, by Molly Hennesy-Fiske, February 20, 2019].
Officials in Piedras Negras, as in other Mexican cities, mistrusted the caravanners. So police “ushered” them “into a makeshift government shelter at a shuttered factory surrounded by chain-link fence.” But conditions in what amounted to a detention center quickly went south:
[R]iots erupted last Wednesday [February 13]. Migrants broke through security barriers and struggled with guards. Some threw pipes, tables, chairs and parts of a tent at Mexican officers. Migrant advocates and reporters were barred from the facility, which was surrounded by dozens of federal police in riot gear.
Meanwhile, “on the other side of the Rio Grande, in the sleepy town of Eagle Pass, Texas, 250 troops and scores of Border Patrol agents were sent to shore up defenses as President Trump vowed to stop this latest caravan.”
Thus, the Times concluded, “for the moment, Trump appears to have gotten his way.” Some might say we Americans got our way because Trump is doing what he said he would do: defending our country.
But as of February 19, “the shelter was closing, with all but one group of migrant family members sent to other, larger border cities, where prospects of entering the United States were little better.”
The caravanners were transported to other Mexican cities.
Before authorities emptied the shelter, they permitted the Central Americans to leave for short periods, and some tried to cross the bridge into the U.S. Mexican authorities stopped them and tore up the visas they received at the shelter. “If they try to cross illegally, the card is void,” a municipal spokesman said.
The authorities in Piedras Negras wouldn’t allow American Treason Lobby lawyers into the shelter “to help them seek asylum.” That’s code for allowing the lawyers to coach the caravanners on how to file a phony asylum claim.
(Good! Remember, the briefing paper the White House posted before President Trump’s border speech in January offered sobering data: 72 percent of “migrants” say they cross the border for economic reasons and don’t qualify for asylum. Only 10 percent of claims are granted for illegals from the Northern Triangle, and in three days, border agents catch more families than will be deported in a year. They are thus released and told to appear at a hearing, but 98 percent of families and unaccompanied children are never deported. [A Border Security and Humanitarian Crisis, WhiteHouse.gov].
Authorities in Piedras Negras and its state of Coahuila wanted a tight lid on the Central Americans. They didn’t want them rushing the U.S. border or causing problems in their own city. “Nobody wants them in their cities because it’s a lot of spending,” a city official told the LA Times. “It’s better for us if they leave. We’re a small city. We can’t afford the costs.”
Dumping these unwanted visitors on other states in northern Mexico provoked the usual criticism, Los Angeles’ La Opinión reported [Autoridades estatales en México rechazan recibir a inmigrantes centroamericanos, (State Authorities in Mexico Reject Receiving Central American Immigrants), February 20, 2019]. Authorities dispersed the caravanners “by bus to neighboring states, which has provoked criticism that Coahuila is abandoning the immigrants to other cities.” The mayor of Ciudad Juarez was quoted: “They are offering free transport to bring them here. That type of thing is not fair.”
Well, isn’t that how Mexican officials have been dealing with mass immigration? Dump the invaders in another part of Mexico. Or, as a national policy, dump them on the U.S.
Another picture of what happened at the shelter in Piedra Negras came from an unlikely visitor: Todd Bensman, Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Bensman noted how good the Central Americans had it, which didn’t stop them from rioting, and the crackdown at the border:
This caravan of some 2,000 mostly Hondurans, with a smattering of Salvadorans and Guatemalans, began arriving on February 8, but was unable to rush the American border en masse because the Mexican government detained them all first in the Piedras Negras ceramics factory, surrounding it with troops and state and local police forces. Preventing a mass swim across the Rio Grande, that would have been covered by international media, may have improved political optics for both the Mexicans and the Americans...
But Bensman helpfully predicted the likely outcome of Mexico’s seeming toughness:
However, the process that will enable Mexico to accomplish such a quick shelter closure portends an unseen, very different outcome than the one intended by U.S. administration officials and current immigration policy. The process also portends precisely the outcome sought by everyone in this caravan and in any future ones. Under the auspices of a special visa program, Mexico is essentially dispersing the migrants around northern Mexico where they will be free to try their luck crossing other parts of the American southern border and to then access the much-prized American catch-and-release loophole they have always sought, though in smaller, less visible-groups.
[Mexico's Dispersal of Latest Caravan Simply Frees Migrants to Cross the U.S. Border Less Visibly, February 18, 2019. Emphasis added.]
This is one reason we must reform our asylum process ASAP, as Trump tried to do before Leftist lawfare stopped him, albeit temporarily. [Supreme Court Won’t Revive Trump Policy Limiting Asylum, by Adam Liptak, The New York Times, December 21, 2018] More and more Central Americans, including caravanners from Piedras Negras, apropos of the White House border briefing, will cross the border illegally, file bogus asylum claims, then disappear into the country. That means two or three might soon be standing next to you at the 7-Eleven, as they purchase a six of Tecate and a fistful of lottery tickets after a tough day of illegal work at a construction site.
For public relations, Mexico appears to be doing the Americans a big favor by stopping and detaining the thousands of Central Americans arriving in caravans. But the reality is that…[a]nyone in the caravan who wants to cross the U.S. border will almost certainly do so very soon.
Bensman’s visit to Piedras Negras attracted the obloquy of La Opinión, which blamed Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
After defenders of immigrants and reporters were denied access to the shelter in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, where there are dozens of Central American immigrants, Mexican authorities opened the doors to a representative of an organization in favor of President Donald Trump. That is the accusation of reporters and defenders, pointing out that the INM [Instituto Nacional de Migración, Mexican immigration bureaucracy] of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador permitted access to Todd Bensman, investigator of the Center for Immigration Studies that supports the policies of the Republican president.
[Acusan a Gobierno de AMLO de apoyar a organización contra inmigrantes y a favor de Trump (AMLO Administration Accused of Supporting an Organization that is Against Immigrants and in Favor of Trump), February 17, 2019]
Jose Diaz-Briseno, a Mexican correspondent for Reforma in Washington D.C., indignantly tweeted his displeasure in Spanish (my translation):
INCREDIBLE: The INM ( Instituto Nacional de Migración) permitted the entrance to the migrant shelter in Piedras Negras to an investigator of CIS, one of the MOST active centers for restricting migration to the United States. But it would not permit the entrance to the press or defenders.
That bellyaching aside, Bensman proved that Trump can’t depend on Mexico to help him get control of the border. But the angry Mexicans and their political officials who oppose these hordes tramping through their towns show that mass immigration is a continent-wide humanitarian disaster.
Central American governments are cynically dumping their people on Mexico and the United States.
If that’s not a national emergency, what is?
Congress is apparently voting to undo Trump’s declaration. We must hope and pray jelly-spined Republicans don’t cave and vote to override Trump’s veto.
They, of course, are secretly depending on Trump to stand tall.
He must not cave to the Treason Lobby that is using illegal (and legal) immigration to overwhelm the Historic American Nation.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.