Ever since the immigration deal with México to avert the punitive tariffs Trump had threatened was announced, Donald Trump has been defending the “deal” as a “win” for him. On Tuesday, Donald Trump held up a folded piece of paper arguing that it contained the “secret” deal with México that he said México would disclose soon. Trump has refused to disclose the contents.
A Washington Post photographer took a closeup of the folded piece of paper and used Photoshop filters and other tools to try to read the contents of the paper. Other news media have exposed other parts of the document.
In all, it looks like the piece of paper exposes a deal with México that forces México to begin adopting a “safe third country” agreement that forces asylum seekers to seek asylum in México before attempting it in the U.S. México has resisted such an agreement. From what has been disclosed, México has 45 days to reduce migrants crossing México to get to the U.S. for asylum. If México does not reduce the migrants reaching the U.S. southern border as determined by the Trump Administration, then they have another 45-days to begin implementing a safe third country scheme. Mexico’s legislative body would have to approve such an agreement.
Apparently, if México does not implement a safe-third-country scheme, Donald Trump will follow through on his threat to implement the punitive tariffs. This is where the 90-day window initially announced ties in.
The AMLO government has largely confirmed the safe-third-country agreement through its own press releases. Other pronouncements by the Mexican government about “regional” solutions and the need for other countries like Brazil, Guatemala and others to be part of the solution lends credence to the idea that a safe-third-party agreement is part of the deal.
Because of the sensitive nature of any safe-third-party agreement within México it makes sense that México would want to avoid the requirement for a safe-third-party agreement and to acknowledge that it is in the works.
But because Donald Trump chose to dangle a piece of paper arguing that it contains a “secret” agreement with México there is another development that should be discussed.
That development is the news that El Chapo’s mother and two sisters have received U.S. visas to enter the U.S. to visit Chapo in prison.
Why is this important?
Because of the secrecy of the U.S. immigration visas, it is unknown what, if any, visas were issued to Chapo’s relatives. El Chapo was convicted in February and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25. Chapo’s current wife is a U.S. citizen by birth. She has been implicated in helping Chapo escape jail in addition to planning another escape before Chapo was extradited to the U.S.
Although Chapo’s sisters argue that they are not part of his illicit business, the fact that a nexus exists would make them ineligible for visas to visit the U.S.
Tie into that the ongoing controversies about immigration that led to the threats for punitive tariffs the idea that Chapo’s family members receive immigration visas become even more important to the discussion.
In addition, there is another element to this that needs to be tied in.
Chapo’s mother and siblings have publicly thanked Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) for facilitating the visas.
Without knowing the full facts and because Donald Trump argues that there is a “secret” agreement than inquiring minds want to know if allowing Chapo’s family to enter the U.S. to visit Chapo was part of the negotiations. This is even more poignant because immigrants whose only violation is to be in the country without the proper documents are banned from entering the U.S. for up to ten years and deported. I specifically used the term, “violation” because U.S law sometimes does not consider being in the country without documents to be a criminal offense, but rather an administrative violation.
Contrast those immigrants with Chapo’s family and you understand why it always seems like rich people and drug dealers get better deals than poor people just looking for work.
The “secret” paper likely does not include the Chapo provision but when was the last time you saw AMLO advocate for visas for poor people like he apparently did for Chapo’s family?