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Trump’s orders on immigration could shift Mexico’s thinking

A huge surge in detention. Illegal immigrants who came up through Mexico[1] being shipped quickly back to Mexico[2]. National Guard[3] troops arresting illegal immigrants across the West. After years of neglect, immigration enforcement is proving to be a fertile space for action and for speculation, as draft reports leak out of Homeland Security, frightening immigrant rights groups and thrilling President Trump s backers who have longed to see this sort of crackdown. The White House[4] has shot down some of the reports, including a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press that envisioned 100,000 National Guard[5] troops patrolling from Oregon to Louisiana, empowered to arrest illegal immigrants.

There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard[6] to round up illegal immigrants, White House[7] press secretary Sean Spicer[8] told reporters last week, responding to the AP report.

Still, Mr. Trump has gotten off the blocks quickly on immigration, issuing a series of executive orders that, if fully carried out, could fundamentally shift the risk calculus for Mexico[9] and for the hundreds of thousands of Central American illegal immigrants who have streamed through that country en route to the U.S. in recent years.

We ve taken historic action to secure the southern border. And I ve ordered the construction of a great border wall, which will start very shortly. And I ve taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country, Mr. Trump said Saturday night in Florida, holding a campaign-style rally to take stock of his first month in office. He was deploying Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly on Wednesday to Guatemala, source of some of the new surge of illegal immigrant children and families. Mr. Kelly is expected to meet with President Jimmy Morales and observe a return flight of deportees from the U.S. to Guatemala. He ll then travel to Mexico[10], where he and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson will talk border security and trade with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Back home in the U.S., Mr. Kelly is dealing with the fallout from a series of raids rounding up illegal immigrants earlier this month.

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We shall build a great wall… on the Canadian border?

posted at 10:41 am on February 20, 2017 by Jazz Shaw

The irony is almost too much to take on a Monday morning. Our neighbors to the north are apparently learning a lesson about the importance of border security and the problems you can run into when you lose control of those boundaries. Canada only shares land borders with one country, so if they re having trouble of this sort the only suspect insight is the United States. And sure enough, it turns out that people are attempting to illicitly cross over into the Great White North from America[1]. (ABC News)

Canadian police intercepted 22 people overnight near Emerson, Manitoba, for illegally crossing the border, according to police. The small town of Emerson has become a hotspot for asylum seekers seeking refuge in Canada since the election of President Trump, who made reducing illegal immigration and decreasing the number of refugees entering the U.S. a central part of his platform. The border town of 671 has been galvanized to help asylum seekers, as the issue has brought an influx of media attention from across the globe, according to the CBC.

All of this activity is taking place in Emerson, a tiny hamlet in Manitoba, Canada. It s across the border from a nearly empty patch of land just north of Pembina, North Dakota. In other words, it s not precisely the middle of nowhere but you can probably see it from there. Before you get your hopes up too much it s worth noting that these don t seem to be disaffected liberals illegally fleeing the reign of Donald Trump. I mean, if they were that would be particularly idiotic. How tough is it to get into Canada? As long as you have a drivers license and your face doesn t appear on a wanted poster inside the border patrol station you can pretty much just drive in whenever you feel like it. In this case, the perpetrators are reported as being primarily refugees from African nations (some of whom are likely in the United States illegally to begin with) who are worried about immigration law enforcement officials swooping in to scoop them up under new, more aggressive deportation policies which are expected to be put in place shortly. Isn t this really Canada s problem? I mean, it s not clear how many additional resources we should be dumping into the situation when we have so many bigger fish to fry on our own southern border. If some of our illegal immigrants, or even legal resident aliens for that matter, want to skip town for one reason or another I m just not sure that constitutes an emergency on our part. (And if any of you disaffected Democrats want to join them I m not going to propose additional money to put up a fence to stop you.)

All kidding aside, this is a reminder about the potential for actual problems on the northern border. It has always been ridiculously easy to cross back and forth between Canada and the United States and criminals going back to the prohibition era have made use of that fact on a regular basis. There are plenty of places where a person of even moderately good health with a pair of hiking boots from Walmart can basically stroll across the border if they feel like it. Of course, if you happen to be heading north in most of these locations, congratulations! You are now essentially in the middle of the wilderness with a hike of anywhere from 20 to 50 miles in front of you before you even get to a road. And that s assuming you don t manage to get eaten by a bear or trampled by a herd of angry, nationalistic moose in the process.

In closing, I will remind everyone that border security is still not a joke. We need to take these things seriously and no doubt owe a certain amount of cooperation to our Canadian neighbors. The one exception, of course, is if Justin Bieber wants to flee the country in some desolate North Dakota location. Have at it, buddy. I ll even spring for some moose jerky to sustain you on your trip..

We Shall Build A Great Wall… On The Canadian Border?

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Ice-cold war: Russian icebreakers outnumber US vessels in vital Arctic

Russian President Vladimir Putin[1] not only is lurking in the Middle East and Eastern Europe but also is building up military forces in the expansive Arctic as the U.S. watches. Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican whose House subcommittee oversees Coast Guard policy, said the U.S. is losing the battle for the Arctic and needs to fight back with at least one basic weapon icebreakers to ensure American access. Russia[2] deploys nearly 40, the U.S. only two. The U.S. Coast Guard says it needs three medium and three heavy ice plows but sails only the 1970s Polar Star (heavy) and the 2000 Healy (medium) in what is an increasingly busy and contested region.

Mr. Hunter, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, has been working behind the scenes to help the Coast Guard (which operates on a relatively small $10 billion budget) to press Congress and the White House for more money. He also arranged a marriage between the Coast Guard s ship-buying office and the Navy so that the Coast Guard can reap some of the larger service s expertise. The Coast Guard has not designed and bought a heavy icebreaker in decades.

Russia[3] is working overtime to strengthen its Arctic presence while the U.S. is acting like a bystander and a nation without any similar strategic interests, Mr. Hunter told The Washington Times. With new icebreaking capability, we can exponentially strengthen our presence and guarantee year-round access for reasons of national security, commerce and research. The post-Cold War Arctic has ranked low in regional priorities, but the Pentagon has begun to pay more attention. It issued strategy papers under President Obama. It stripped away various commands that had a piece of the polar north and consolidated full responsibilities to U.S. Northern Command. The Coast Guard, the country s fifth military branch, operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, deputy commandant for operations, told The Times that the plan is to deliver by 2023 the first heavy icebreaker since the 1970s.

Timely replacement of our one, aging operational heavy icebreaker is vital to the advancement of U.S. interests, Adm. Ray said. We need to maintain a level playing field with other nations that have invested heavily in their national icebreaking capabilities.

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