I’m spending much of the morning at the Inter-American Dialogue’s event with Fr. Francisco de Roux, head of Colombia’s new Truth Commission, and the latter part of the day in an NGO sit-down with him. In between, I’ll be in the office writing a Colombia update, talking to a reporter in Tijuana, and doing some research in my teetering pile of unread government documents. At some point today, Apple will be delivering the iPad Pro I ordered when they were announced late last month, which promises to be a distraction.
DOD — the Department of Defense missions do not involve military personnel, at this time, directly participating in any law enforcement. Law enforcement is left in the hands of the customs and border police
An unknown number of the caravan members are expected to present themselves at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and petition for asylum, but there are already some 2,500 people — mainly Mexicans and Central Americans — who are already on a waiting list managed by the migrants themselves
Con una votación de 9 ministros a favor y uno en contra, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) declaró oficialmente la inconstitucionalidad de la Ley de Seguridad Interior (LSI) con la cual se buscaba regular la participación de las fuerzas armadas en tareas de seguridad
El plan apuesta por una salida abiertamente militar a los dilemas de seguridad pública. Se plantea la creación de un cuerpo militar (la Guardia Nacional), ubicado administrativamente en la SEDENA, para atender de manera permanente asuntos de policía
Busca modificar la Constitución para permitir que elementos de las fuerzas armadas, adscritos a la Guardia Nacional anunciada por Andrés Manuel López Obrador, puedan, de forma permanente, patrullar calles, prevenir delitos, e incluso detener personas
About 100 migrants declined offers of rides to shelters and had camped out late Wednesday by the steel border fence at Tijuana’s beach area, when a similar number of local residents marched up to the group shouting, “You’re not welcome,” and, “Get out!”
The vanguard of what President Trump has labeled an invasion force formed an orderly line at about 6:45 a.m. on Thursday near a major border crossing between Tijuana and the United States and waited patiently
Uruguay’s Senate approved a law Thursday allowing U.S. aircraft, military personnel and civilians into the South American country to help provide security for a Group of 20 summit of world leaders in neighboring Argentina
I’m bringing the visiting head of Colombia’s Truth Commission to a meeting on Capitol Hill, then I have to leave that small group behind and participate in an all-afternoon planning session for WOLA’s border work. I plan to stay late in the office this evening catching up on other work.
Other former military officers said the soldiers were well aware of the political motivation behind their mission. Lacking much else to do, they will quickly pick up on Mr. Trump’s loss of interest in the caravan
Authorities fear camps could become permanent fixtures and hinder Venezuelans from integrating into society. But with over 1 million Venezuelans now living in Colombia, officials said they had no choice
La violencia aparece como el segundo factor, pero el principal es el económico, según un estudio realizado por el Observatorio de Desplazamiento Interno con datos de Migración. El 40 % de retornados teme volver a su comunidad
Other than two internal WOLA meetings (this morning and mid-afternoon), I’m in the office today. My father is in town, so I’ll be breaking a bit early. Otherwise, I’ll be here writing a Colombia update.
Los grandes polos ideológicos de la región serán México y Brasil, con López Obrador y Bolsonaro. Pero la capacidad de estos dos líderes de conducir la política latinoamericana estará determinada por las alianzas que logren hacer con el bloque de centroderecha
The M-41C vehicles that the Brazilian Army used through 2009 will be part of the Uruguayan Army’s 13th Armored Infantry Battalion Brazil purchased the M-41 armored vehicles from the United States in the 1960s. EB used the vehicles equipped with cannons for almost five decades for training purposes
El alto consejero asegura que hubo una mala interpretación de la cifra de $170 billones para financiar el posconflicto en los próximos 15 años, por lo que destacó que la cifra establecida es de $129,5 billones
Aunque el alto funcionario pide “paciencia”, las deudas en materia de desarrollo son de larga data y las demoras en la implementación han empezado a deteriorar la confianza que las comunidades depositaron en el Acuerdo de Paz
As Dominicans have ably shown, the most extreme rhetoric has a way of becoming real. And the consequences of inciting millions of people against vulnerable groups of immigrants are impossible to control
Ahora, aunque ese precursor de la heroína está a la baja, la zona sigue siendo un territorio que se disputan los grupos del crimen organizado, pues además de la droga controlan la producción minera y la explotación forestal
Yesterday was a holiday here in the United States, which gave me time to add edits, photos, footnotes and other touches to a monster-sized forthcoming report on Colombia, based on our early September research trip. That is out of my hands for now, I’m happy to say, as colleagues here add their parts to it. I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.
I’m in and out today. I have an on-camera interview this morning here in the office, a lunch with a visiting Colombian colleague, and a visit from some Bogotá-based U.S. officials. This evening, the president of Colombia’s Truth Commission arrives in Washington, where he’ll be for the rest of the week, and I’ll brief him about his visit.
Putting troops at the border to protect against what Mr. Trump deemed a threat, in his rallying cry for the midterms, has put Mr. Mattis’s views about politicizing the military on a collision course with the president
Reposan en más de 12.000 cajas. ¿Cómo llegaron ahí? ¿Por qué la Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP) dice que los archivos están en riesgo? ¿Por qué este tribunal transicional pide su custodia? ¿Están completos? ¿Qué dicen?
I have less on the schedule today: attending a discussion with a visiting Colombian official first thing in the morning, then I’ll be in the office. I need to catch up on correspondence, especially from yesterday when I wasn’t near a keyboard at all. I’ll probably help with WOLA’s response to Trump’s rule, being released today, illegally rolling back access to asylum. I’ll give a thorough revision to our draft report on Colombia, based on fieldwork done two months ago.
Also I’d like to post here several things that we’ve produced over the last few weeks—writing, podcasts, graphics—that I haven’t shared here because it’s just been too busy.
I’ve got six events on the calendar today, including two speaking events. I’m guest-teaching a class of visiting Latin American officials at the National Defense University’s Perry Center, talking about U.S. security aid programs. I’m talking at a small event about Colombia at WOLA. Then a couple of meetings with a scholar and an activist. Then seeing Colombia’s peace commissioner, who is in town, at the country’s embassy. Finally, a dinner meeting with WOLA supporters.
So I don’t expect to be posting here, or really even able to answer the phone.
Even before the Democratic Party won majority control of the House of Representatives, it wasn’t clear how Donald Trump was going to be able to get his border wall through Congress, which must approve the funding for it. Senate rules make it possible to block big budget outlays—like $25 billion for a wall—if 60 senators don’t first allow a vote to proceed. The Senate’s Republicans were (and still are) well short of that “filibuster-proof majority,” and Trump had been threatening to shut down the government to try to break the inevitable logjam of opposition.
His bargaining position just got far weaker. With the result of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Trump’s border wall has hit a wall of its own. With a Democratic majority, there is no way that a piece of legislation with border-wall money can pass the House of Representatives. Full stop.
Democrats will now write the first draft of all funding legislation. The Homeland Security appropriations bill will be drafted by a subcommittee headed by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, who strongly opposes Trump’s wall. “I am acutely aware of America’s security funding priorities,” she said in January. “We will not address our security needs by building this wall.” In July 2017, when the appropriations subcommittee that she will now preside met to approve the 2018 Homeland Security budget bill, Rep. Roybal-Allard introduced an amendment that would have cut Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Assets and Infrastructure funding by $1,571,239,000—the exact cost of the border wall—and to use it for other purposes. The amendment failed by a party-line vote of 22 to 30.
Democrats will also decide ahead of time which bills and amendments may be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives. Because there are so many representatives, the House has a Rules Committee that acts as a gatekeeper. It meets before any major legislation comes to the House floor, to decide which bills and amendments will be “in order”—that is, permitted to be considered—during the next day’s debate. Republicans have used the Rules Committee to prevent much legislation and amendments from coming to the floor, ruling it “out of order.” As of January, though, this powerful committee will be chaired by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), a longtime advocate of human rights in Latin America.
It is very hard to imagine a scenario in which President Trump gets his border wall through this House of Representatives. And if it doesn’t get through the House, it doesn’t get through Congress, and it doesn’t get funded.
Unless: if the president really wants his border wall, Democrats might be open to a deal if it includes big concessions to their agenda. President Trump would have to give the Democratic Party something very big to win their approval for his wall. That “something” would probably have to do with immigration policy.
In 2017, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) reportedly offered not to filibuster a package of border-wall money if the White House and Senate Republicans supported legislation allowing “Dreamers” to stay in the United States. That deal fell through, and now that judicial decisions have preserved Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for now, the Democrats would probably demand much more for border-wall funding. Their demands would probably extend to preserving access to asylum, strict limits on family detention and separation, non-deportation of migrants with Temporary Protected Status, reforms to CBP and ICE, and probably other demands that strike at the heart of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller’s anti-immigrant crusade.
If the White House isn’t willing to concede a lot on immigration—and after the over-the-top campaign rhetoric we’ve just heard, it probably isn’t—then Trump’s border wall is dead and done with. We are now “beyond the wall.”
I was up way too late last night watching election returns. I’m not at my cognitive best, but I’m delighted that one house of the U.S. Congress will be run by some people whose views of U.S. policy toward Latin America at least sometimes resemble mine. And that there will now be a meaningful check on presidential power. Let’s just enjoy that for a moment.
Otherwise, I’ve got meetings this morning with a journalist and some European diplomats, and an after-lunch strategy/debrief meeting with staff here at WOLA. When not there, I’ll be at my desk, fighting sleepiness and catching up with news and correspondence. Also, a bit of writing: yesterday, I finished a first draft of a behemoth report on Colombia (19,000 words! 171 footnotes!), and now it’s time to tighten up the prose.
This generation will be remembered for having allowed for concentration camps for children to be built on “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” This is happening here and now, but not in our names
Thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala head north hoping to find work and a better life in the US. The largest Central American caravan in decades keeps growing as thousands more join this journey – but when they reach Mexico, the migrant caravan starts taking different directions
I voted early, and my kid’s school is closed, so I’m working at home this morning. Mainly preparing a talk I’ll be giving to a class of Latin American officials at the National Defense University on Thursday. Then I’m off for some mid-day parent-teacher conferences, after which I’ll spend the rest of the day in the office. I expect to draft several more pages of a big Colombia report (almost done, I can almost taste it), then go home this evening, where I’ll anxiously watch the midterm election returns on at least three screens at once.