Trump, in Optimistic Address, Asks Congress to End ‘Trivial Fights’
NEW YORK TIMES: President Trump, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, defended his tumultuous presidency on Tuesday and said he was eager to reach across party lines and put aside “trivial fights” to help ordinary Americans. He called on Congress to work with him on overhauling health care, changing the tax code and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and military. But he raised new questions about his policy priorities and how he plans to achieve them, especially on immigration.
How Trump Will Hurt My Border Town
NEW YORK TIMES: In 2000, George W. Bush, the governor of Texas, was elected to the presidency on a pro-border, pro-trade platform that included support for comprehensive immigration reform. Although I didn’t vote for him, I was impressed by his respect for Mexico — and I know many Latinos here in El Paso who felt the same. In 2016, though, many of those same voters fled the Republican Party and its candidate, Donald Trump. Despite his occasional nod toward moderation, like his comment on Tuesday that he is open to a bill to grant legal status to some undocumented immigrants, voters in El Paso remain skeptical — not just because of his frequent pandering to anti-immigrant xenophobia, or his nonsensical wall, but because we know, close up, the impact that the Trump agenda could have on our economy, in El Paso and nationwide.
Still No Justice for Mexico’s Missing Students
NEW YORK TIMES: A few weeks ago, much was made of reports of a telephone call made by President Trump to his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto,during which he reportedly said that if Mexican troops were too fearful of the country’s “bad hombres” to confront them, he would dispatch United States troops to take care of the job. The problem with Mexico’s approach to fighting violence isn’t one of fear — that Mexican authorities are afraid of organized crime — but of complicity, as the unsolved case of the September 2014 disappearance of 43 students at a teachers college in Ayotzinapa, in the Pacific state of Guerrero, distressingly illustrates.
Trump seeks to parlay post-speech boost into action on contentious agenda
WASHINGTON POST: President Trump sought Wednesday to build on the momentum of a speech that invigorated fellow Republicans, as the hard work of turning his vision into policy loomed. Following his first joint address to Congress — in which Trump won high marks for his muscular but measured tone — he planned to meet with leading lawmakers and members of his own team for talks on how to advance his sweeping agenda.
A tale of two speeches: The contradictions of Donald Trump’s presidency
WASHINGTON POST: The President Trump who spoke to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night bore only passing resemblance to the President Trump who spoke from the Capitol’s West Front on Inauguration Day. Some of the words were the same, but the tone was utterly different. Therein lies the contradiction — and — challenge of his presidency. In his inaugural address, Trump spoke of American carnage and as the tribune of the forgotten American. To the assembled members of Congress seated behind him that January day, he offered a rebuke and the back of his hand. On Tuesday, he made repeated appeals for national unity and cross-party cooperation. Looking out across the House chamber, he seemed to offer an open hand to the same political establishment he had pilloried just weeks ago.
U.S.-Mexico borderland communities are resilient, says researcher
PHYS ORG: An academic from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) who has extensively studied communities on the borderlands between the US and Mexico, says these communities’ strong cross-border cultural identity and economic ties make them undaunted by the possibility of a physical wall. Dr Hugo Gaggiotti has worked extensively with border communities such as Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, which has experienced rapid growth in youth employment in assembly plants known as maquilas, which have been set up, mostly by US carmakers, aerospace and pharmaceutical companies. Maquilas are ways for multinational, mostly American, companies to carry out labour-intensive work in Mexico, such as car dashboard wiring assembly, without having to pay import or export taxes.
Amid U.S.-Mexico acrimony, energy might present common ground and opportunity, analysts say
LOS ANGELES TIMES: President Trump has repeatedly said he wants to renegotiate NAFTA and railed at U.S. companies that moved operations to Mexico. His administration has suggested imposing punitive tariffs, and he continues to say he’ll make Mexico pay for a wall on its norther border. South of that border, Mexico’s foreign secretary reportedly told Mexican lawmakers in private that the country is prepared to impose tariffs of its own. According to news reports, Luis Videgaray said the Mexican government is bracing for a long “battle” with the Trump administration.
Mexico Won’t Take Back “Foreign” Invaders
NEW OBSERVER: The announcement was made by interior secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong to visiting U.S. emissaries in Mexico at the end of last week. Chong said in an interview with Radio Formula that the U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and the homeland security secretary, John Kelly, had asked Mexican officials if they would host deportees from other countries while their immigration cases are processed in the U.S. “They can’t leave them here on the border because we have to reject them. There is no chance they would be received by Mexico,” he said.
Contracts for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico wall will be awarded by April
CBS NEWS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, signaling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border. The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10, according to a website for federal contractors. The field of candidates will be narrowed by March 20 and finalists must submit offers with their proposed costs by March 24.
IBC Bank earnings take a hit in 2016
SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL: The parent company of IBC Bank, International Bancshares Corp. reported annual net income of nearly $134 million in 2016 down from about $137 million in 2015. Net income for fourth quarter 2016 was up slightly from $35 million in 2015 to $35.5 million as of December 2016. The Laredo-based border (Nasdaq:IBOC) bank’s performance was negatively impacted by a decrease in its net interest margin due to less revenue from securities, according to the company. IBC Bank sold an undisclosed investment in its merchant banking entities which increased its net income during 2016. The bank also spent roughly $2.5 million after tax on software and technology during 2016.
Beyond ‘bad hombres’ – border visit opens Rouzer’s eyes to ‘humanitarian’ immigration issues
PORT CITY DAILY: Last week Congressman David Rouzer traveled to the Texas-Mexico border. The trip, he said, changed the way he saw the issue of border security and immigration. Congressman Rouzer was part of a caucus of Republicans inspecting border security measures along a 160-mile route from McAllen to Laredo. The group, which included Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, traveled the route by air, on foot and on horseback, according to Rouzer. Immediately, the trip impressed on the group how difficult the construction of a wall across the border would be.
Still no timeline for withdrawal of state troopers on border, Texas DPS chief says
THE EAGLE: It’s still too soon to tell if the Trump administration’s ramped up border-security efforts will allow Texas to scale back its own state-funded surge operations, the state’s top law enforcement officer told lawmakers on Tuesday. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw said that uncertainty is due, in part, to the time it takes to hire and train more federal agents. The Trump administration said in an executive order signed earlier this month that part of its border-security plan was to hire at least 5,000 additional U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Border Group Continues Opposition to Wall Plan
KTSA: Missed opportunities. That’s just what one advocacy group along the Southern Border heard in President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress Tuesday Night. “No one cares more about the Border than those of us who live on the Border, work on the Border, and raise our families on the Border” Monica Weisberg-Stewart with the Texas Border Coalition told KTSA News, sounding what has become a growing frustration with the Trump Administration over those plans for building a wall along the Southern Border.
Some Trump Voters in Texas Not Happy About Border Fence
RED STATE: In the period since Donald Trump’s inauguration, we’ve seen countless instances of Trump voters expressing dismay over him doing exactly what he promised he’d do during the campaign, as President. Probably the best, and most ironic example, is that of the American family of Syrian immigrants turned away at Philadelphia airport, who themselves voted for Trump. But also, there’s this guy, who thought Trump’s talk of banning travel from certain Muslim countries was just “for the media” and that he wouldn’t actually pursue a ban. And people like these who seemed to think Trump represented their socially conservative and/or Christian values and have been dismayed to see him do exactly what he said he’d do on immigration, which, it turns out, differs from their beliefs.