Since calling off his threat of tariffs against Mexico on Friday, President Donald Trump has claimed that he won massive concessions from the country in line with its demands that it reduce the Central American immigration. While the agreement he has announced has been widely panned as old news — an apparent attempt by Trump to save face after backing down from a reckless threat — the president has insisted that there is another, secret deal that’s even more significant.
He made this claim once again on Tuesday in front of reporters, even waving a piece of paper supposedly containing the details of the agreement.
“That’s the agreement that everybody says I don’t have,” Trump said.
Since it’s Trump, this could have been a blank stage prop — a tactic he has appeared to use before — but an intrepid Washington Post photographer got a close-up shot revealing details from the document as the sunlight shone through it.
“the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring that the agreement will enter into force within 45 days.” @realDonaldTrump #Mexico agreement. Second photo flipped @washingtonpost @postpolitics pic.twitter.com/lWuJU9bpYK
— Jabin Botsford (@jabinbotsford) June 11, 2019
The document appeared to refer to Mexico agreeing to something about “burden-sharing in relation to the processing of refugees.”
It continued: “Mexico also commits to immediately … domestic laws and regulations with a view to identifying any changes that … to bring into force and implement such an agreement.”
And further: “If the United States determines, at its discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of 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 domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring the agreement will enter into force within 45 days.”
Obviously, it’s hard to be confident about the full context of the agreement unless we can see it in full. But the last paragraph described here is particularly vague and unimpressive. It basically says that if Trump isn’t happy with the agreement after a month and a half, Mexico will try really hard to live up to the agreement. It’s essentially meaningless.
Perhaps the rest of the document has more substantive information, but the other sentences visible seems to suggest vague promises as well, such as Mexico committing to reviewing its laws and regulations “with a view to identifying any changes” … whatever that means.
However, as others have pointed out, regardless of Trump’s deal or lack thereof with Mexico, immigration through the country to the southern U.S. border is likely to reduce in the coming months. This has nothing to do with policy, but with the summer heat, which makes the journey more difficult and typically leads to a seasonal reduction in Central American immigration. If this effect plays out as it usually does, Mexico can claim to have complied with Trump’s desires and the president can claim a personal victory — even if nothing has really changed.
Masks take center stage in presidential race as Biden slams Trump for ‘costing people’s lives’
In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden laid into President Donald Trump for his comments belittling his decision to wear a mask at the Memorial Day events at the beginning of the week.
"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," said Biden. He added that "This macho stuff ... It's costing people's lives."
Trump has frequently refused to don a mask while speaking to the media, even when he is in public places where masks are required.
“He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way,” Biden to @DanaBashCNN about Trump belittling his wearing of a mask. “This macho stuff ... It’s costing people’s lives.”
1 in 5 teachers—citing COVID-19 concerns—likely won’t return to US schools this fall: survey
While most U.S. schools have ended in-person instruction for the rest of this academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic, polling results published Tuesday show that the majority of parents and teachers expect classrooms to reopen in the fall and worry about what that will mean for safety and education.
In mid-May, Ipsos conducted a pair of online polls for USA Today of K-12 teachers and parents of school-aged children. Pollsters found that if schools reopen in the fall—with strict new rules to limit Covid-19 infections—nearly six in 10 parents would consider not sending their kids back and one in five educators likely would not return to teaching. Among teachers 55 and older, that figure was one in four.
Trump says he can ‘absolutely’ force governors to reopen churches if he decides to do so
At Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing, President Donald Trump was pressed on whether he really has the authority to force governors to allow houses of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Can you explain what authority you had in mind when you said that you would do that?" asked a reporter.
The president emphasized that he does have the power — but did not elaborate on how specifically he would do so, and added that he doesn't think he will have to.
"I can absolutely do it if I want to," said Trump. "I don't think I'm going to have to, because it's starting to open up. We need our churches and our synagogues and our mosques. We want them open, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other — we want them open and we want them open as soon as possible."