Re: Immigration – Remarks by President Trump in Roundtable on Immigration and Border Security | Calexico, California – 4/5/2019

If you look at our southern border, the number of people and the number of the amount of drugs, human trafficking — the human trafficking is something that nobody used to talk about.  I talk about it.  It’s a terrible thing.  It’s ancient and it’s never been bigger than it is — modern, right now, today.  All over the world, by the way, not just here.  All over the world.  Human trafficking — a terrible thing.  President Trump



U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station
Calexico, California

12:39 P.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all very much.  It’s a great honor.  And I’ll be here many times.  We’re building a lot of wall.  We’re going to look at a piece of it today.  And I was just told it had a tremendous — it’s had a tremendous impact already — the piece that we’re going to be looking at.

But we have — under contract and under construction — we have a lot of things happening.  And we expect to have close to 400 miles done within about two years from now.  That’s a lot.  Four hundred miles will cover most of it.

I just want to thank everybody for being here.  We have some of our great, great people from the state.  And of all places, it’s California.  And we love California.  But those people wanted us to build wall and we got it built — including the wall in San Diego, which is pretty much completed and it’s had a tremendous impact.  That wall has had, Kevin, a tremendous impact.

So I want to thank the Border Patrol Station in Calexio –Calexico, and it’s been a great group of people.  I just met them backstage.  And the way you work is pretty incredible.  And the job you do is beyond belief.

We have a system that’s full.  It’s just full.  And I was telling some of the people before: If it’s full, there’s nothing you can do about it.  We have some horrible court decisions that have been made over the years.  It’s very unfair and that’s the way it is.

But the system is full.  And when it’s full, there’s nothing you can do.  You have to say, “I’m sorry, we can’t take you.”  We’ve been trying to take people, and I have to disagree with it.  We’ve been trying to take people and you can’t do it.  You can’t do it.  So we’re going to look at that and we’re going to look at it very, very strongly.

I’d like to thank Secretary Nielsen for being here; General Semonite, Chief of Army Corps of Engineers, for being here.  Really, thank you very much.  It’s been fantastic, the job you’ve done.  And you’re going to be speaking later on and explaining exactly that’s happening with the wall and how much.  In fact, we’re going to be doing some of it now, I think.  Probably a better time to do it.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan of our group.  We have spent a lot of time together.  And, Kevin, you’re doing a great job.  And thank you very much for being here.  Appreciate it.

California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez.  We appreciate very much.  Melissa, thank you very much.  I appreciate it.  National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.  Been a friend of mine for a long time.  And making a lot of progress, Brandon.  And I’ll tell you, we’re really making progress in letting people know that this is an absolute emergency.



I see that some of our biggest opponents, over the last two days, have said, “You know what?  It really is an emergency.”  They can’t believe what’s happening.  And part of it is because of the fact that the country is doing so well.  And part of it is just a scam.  People want to come in and they shouldn’t be coming in.  They shouldn’t be coming in.  And there are people that are causing problems, and gang members and lots of others.  We’re getting them out.  We’re stopping them, for the most part, but we’re getting them out when they do get in.  And nobody has done the job we’ve done.

National Border Patrol Council President — so, I want to thank you very much.  You’ve been fantastic.  And several members of law enforcement.   I want to also thank Leader Kevin McCarthy.  He came in from Washington with us today.  He’s been an amazing leader.  The relationship is the best we’ve ever had, I think, as Republicans — the unification, the unified nature of what we’re doing has been really something very special.  And I want to thank Kevin very much.  You’re doing a fantastic job.  I appreciate it.

And I think you and your group are going to be leading the charge on getting rid of some of these horrible loopholes that everybody knows is very bad.  Whether it’s catch and release or whether it’s visa lottery, so many of them — chain migration is a total disaster.  The asylum laws are broken.  They’re totally broken.

And, look, I inherited this stuff, and we’re going to get it fixed.  We have to.

So Kevin, I appreciate you being here and I appreciate you leading the charge.

I also want to state that there is indeed an emergency on our southern border.  It’s been loud and clear.  We’re in court and a lot of people aren’t even bringing too many of the suits anymore.  A lot of people are going to bring the suit; pretty hard of them to say there’s not an emergency.  We have a big emergency at our southern border.

The United States had more than 70,000 illegal migrants rush our border.  They rush our border.  And we have military, and these are great military people.  These are people that are strong and solid and love our country.  But they can’t act the way they would under other conditions and there’s not a lot they can do, but they’ve been doing it anyway.  And we’re going to bring up some more military.

And want to also thank Mexico, because Mexico — and I’m totally willing to close the border — but Mexico, over the last four days, has done more than they’ve ever done.  We were talking about that before, Kevin.  They’re apprehending people now by the thousands and bringing them back to their countries, bringing them back to where they came from.  And I think you see that.  That’s at their southern border.  And that’s a big difference.  That will help us, you know — pretty much 90 percent, 80 percent.  What do you think, fellas?  Pretty close, right?  But that’s a big difference.  They’ve never done that before.  I mean, when I say “never done it,” I mean, like, in 30 years, they’ve never done it like they’re doing it right now.

So the crisis is a direct result of the obstruction by Democrats in Congress.  And we have to do something about it.  And we’re going to.  And I think a lot of the Democrats feel that way, too.  I think they feel it.  They see it.  There’s not much they can do, but to say, “Wow.  What was that I just saw on television?”

Since October, agents along the 70-mile stretch of border here in El Centro Sector have seen a nearly 400 percent increase in family units arriving in the sector.  And you compare that with other years, it’s pretty amazing.

But what we’ve done and what we’re doing, you’re going to see some very, very strong results.  And as soon as the barriers — or the walls; I like calling them “walls” because that’s what they are — go up, you’re going to have a tremendous impact.  Where we are going to be, in a little while, I’ve heard from people in that area that the impact has been incredible.

It’s a colossal surge and it’s overwhelming our immigration system, and we can’t let that happen.  So, as I say, and this is our new statement: The system is full.  Can’t take you anymore. Whether it’s asylum, whether it’s anything you want, it’s illegal immigration.  We can’t take you anymore.  We can’t take you.  Our country is full.  Our area is full.  The sector is full.  Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry.  Can’t happen.  So turn around.  That’s the way it is.If you look at our southern border, the number of people and the number of the amount of drugs, human trafficking — the human trafficking is something that nobody used to talk about.  I talk about it.  It’s a terrible thing.  It’s ancient and it’s never been bigger than it is — modern, right now, today.  All over the world, by the way, not just here.  All over the world.  Human trafficking — a terrible thing.

And they come into the areas of the border where you don’t have the wall.  They don’t come through your points of entry.  They come into areas where you don’t have the wall.  And they make a left, or they make a right.  They come right into the country — loaded up with people, in many cases.  And it’s pretty sad.

By the end of next year, we’ll have completed or begun construction — and that’s what we’re really here with the Army Corps of Engineers for.  And I think what I’d like to do is — while we’re on that subject, General, if you could just give a little detail of the wall that’s under construction, what we’ve built, where we’re going, because the press never likes to talk about it.  They don’t like to talk about what we’ve done.  It doesn’t fit their narrative, but we’ve done a lot.  We’ve renovated a lot and we’re building a lot.  And maybe you could give a little summation of that now.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL SEMONITE:  Thanks, Mr. President.  You know, before we talk concrete and steel, though, I think it’s important to talk a little bit about, you know, maybe service to the nation and protecting this country.  Four days ago, I was in a combat zone with our service members, and I saw the dedication that they have to be able to protect ourselves from overseas.  Unbelievable service.

But, sir, I would put these agents right in front of you today — the Customs and Border Patrol of the same exact team — they protect America here from within.  And I’ve been on the ground; I’ve seen the dedication they have.  And this is not for a paycheck.  This is not for any other kind of reward.  This is to be able to step up and take care of this country.

So I think that, before we do anything else, we’ve just got to make sure we have, you know, acknowledged the great work that these guys do.  A phenomenal job.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL SEMONITE:  When it comes to the actual construction, the Corps of Engineers is very, very proud to work for Secretary Nielsen and the Commissioner.

We have put in the ground over 82 miles that is up to date.  And then, right now, by the end of this year, we’ll have another 97 miles that will go in.  And I’m really talking the entire depth of the border all the way across from Texas into California.  And then, sir, where the money that both Congress has appropriated and other money that you have been able to direct, we will put in the ground another 277 miles in the next year.  What that will end up with is by the end of — around December of 2020, the total amount of money that we will have put in the ground in the last couple of years will be about 450 miles.  That’s probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 different projects.

There are a lot of different complexities — some of that is on federal land, some of that is on private land, some of it can be done relatively quick because you don’t have to have a land acquisition.  Others we want to make sure we go through a due diligence.  But when it comes to both the capacity of the contract community to be able to execute this, the dedication of the CBP and DHS to be able to set the conditions for us to be able to build, and then, for our team on the ground, we are committed to continue to be able to make this happen.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, sir. So you heard the numbers.  The numbers are really spectacular.  We’ve gotten it, and it’s very, very tough to get money from the Democrats.  So I’m getting it for everything else, but we don’t get it for the wall.

But the good news is we are getting it for the ports — the ports of entry.  We are getting it for machinery.  The detection — drug detection machinery.  We’re getting a lot of money coming in and that’s good.  And the wall is like pulling teeth.  It’s pretty tough.

I want to just say — ICE Special Agent in Charge, Dave Shaw.  Where are you Dave?

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Right here, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Dave, thank you very much for doing a great job.  I appreciate it very much.

We also have — in addition to Kevin McCarthy, we have some of our great people in Congress.  And I want I thank you all for being here: Doug LaMalfa, Duncan Hunter — where’s Duncan?  Where’s Duncan?  Hi, Duncan.  Hi.

REPRESENTATIVE HUNTER:  I’ll accept (inaudible).  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Hi.  He was right back there.  Thank you, Duncan.

Ken Calvert.  Thank you, Ken.  Thank you, Ken.  Appreciate it.

Chuck Fleischmann.  Chuck, thanks.  Great job you’re doing.

Tom McClintock.  What a good name that is.  My friend, too.  Thank you, Tom, very much.

Kay Granger.  Kay?  Thank you very much.  Great job.

And Mike Rogers.  Thanks, Mike.  Really terrific.

And they have been working hard.  Working all the time.  This is one of their big things that they work on.  They feel so strongly about it.

So with that, I’d like to maybe ask you to say a few words, Gloria.


THE PRESIDENT:  And I appreciate what I see over there.  That’s very nice.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President, very much.  On behalf of the men and women on the El Centro Sector, and myself, I just — we’re extremely honored that you took the time to come out here, learn about our challenges, our needs out here in the 70 miles of border that our agents patrol.

You’re absolutely correct, General.  These men and women go above and beyond the call of duty here for the work that they handle on that border.  We are part of several other sectors on the southern border that are overwhelmed.  Our resources are extremely strained.  The — we are not prepared to deal with the amount of people, family units, and children, and now organized caravans that are coming across this border today.

Our agents are being stretched in so many different directions.  I am truly proud of every single one of them because they do so much to protect this country —


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — and even continue with the processing and enduring the callous actions of these smugglers.

Here in this sector, just this year, Fiscal Year ’19, we have identified 193 fake families — people who are just teaming up kids with them to come through because they know that they can get a court date later and be able to get released into the community.

So those are the challenges that the agents are dealing with.  But they’re out there.  They’re trying to investigate as much as they can to get it done.

We touched on the wall.  And, you know, we’re very fortunate here in the El Centro Sector.  We have about 58 miles of border barrier.  Most of it is old.  It’s ineffective for us nowadays.  It’s over 20 years old.  And for groups that come over, it’s very easily for them to cross.

So, fortunately, with your approval, last year we were able to construct, with the help of DOD — by the way, DOD: phenomenal.


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Phenomenal support that we’ve been receiving from the Department of Defense.  Without their support we wouldn’t be as efficient as are, operationally, because they are here providing us that support from the behind the scenes.

Right now we have 37 Marines out there monitoring cameras for us.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  Yeah.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  So those are 37 Border Patrol Agents that don’t have to be doing that duty because they’re on the frontline.

But one of the things I wanted to bring up was: That border wall was constructed in eight months, from February to October.  As soon as it was completed, we started measuring and we started monitoring its effectiveness.  So for the first quarter of FY19, we have had many, many efficiencies noted.

For example: illegal entries, in general — they decreased by 75 percent.  Central American people that used to get arrested right through that area decreased by 86 percent.  India nationals — this sector was leading the country with India national apprehensions for like two or three years.  The wall goes up; it drops by 56 percent.

The use of force incidents — which are more important to me than anything because it’s assaults and incidents that directly affect our Border Patrol agents doing the job on the border — they dropped by 65 percent in those two miles of 30-foot border wall.  So the border wall works for us.

For Border Patrol agents, a border wall system is what works.  We need the border barrier.  We need to provide the requirements that meet our need.  In this case, for us, it’s 30 feet high.  That’s what we ask for and that’s what was provided.  So thank you —

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — on behalf of the Border Patrol here for allowing us to have that.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s very nice.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Appreciate it.  Thank you to you guys, to all of you.

THE PRESIDENT:  And usually, that 35 percent is coming around; they’re not going over because, when people are watching, they’re not going over.  They’re going around where it ends.  So it goes, and it ends, and they’ll go around because it’s virtually 100 percent effective in terms of going through.

So as we extend it, it becomes — as you know folks know better than anybody — as we extend it, it becomes virtually impossible, except for a Mount-Everest-type climber.  And there aren’t too many of them.  (Laughter.)  It becomes virtually impossible to go through.  So that’s really something.  Those are great.  Thank you very much.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President.

I did ask the team of agents — they didn’t want — did not want you to leave from here — because your time is precious — they wanted to present you with a nice memento —


CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  — in appreciation for all the support that you’ve given us.  So we went ahead and secured a piece of the new border wall that is out here in El Centro Sector.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s nice.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  And I would like to present this to you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  It reads this way, it says:

Number 45, Mr. President, the agents and employees of the U.S. Border Patrol, El Centro Sector are the tip of the spear proudly defending America’s borders.  In recognition of your commitment and unwavering support for the men and women on the frontlines and the border security mission of the United States, we would like to present you with this piece of the first 30-foot border wall installed along the United States border with Mexico.  Honor first.  United States Border Patrol.  El Centro Sector.  April 5th, 2019.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s beautiful.  Thank you.  Thank you, Gloria.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  So thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s a heavy piece of wall.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Yes, it is.  (Laughter.)  Yes, it is.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Appreciate it.  We’ll keep it here.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

Madam Secretary, please.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Oh, sir I — I think Gloria probably said it quite well and General Semonite.  I just want to thank you always for coming out to the field to listen to the men and women.  We greatly appreciate your support.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  And I want to thank all of our folks from Congress for being here.  We really appreciate you listening to the men and women who are on the “tip of the spear,” as Gloria said, and helping us resource the Department to do the mission that you’ve given us.

So thank you all for being here.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate it.


MR. JUDD:  Mr. President, thank you very much for having me here.  The men and women of the Border Patrol really appreciate your time.  We know that Air Force One has never seen — in your predecessor’s time, Air Force One has never been this close to the border before.  So these men and women here, they greatly appreciate you coming out and the time that you’ve given them.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, I didn’t think Secret Service was supposed to let guns in the room.  (Laughter.)


MR. JUDD:  What’s up with that?

THE PRESIDENT:  We trust him.  We trust him, I think.

MR. JUDD:  On a — on a serious note, I began my career right here in El Centro 21 years ago — in the El Centro Sector.

I work with people like Butch Mauldin, Pat Whipple, Mario Campos, Mike Matzke.  We work pre-wall, post-wall.  We’ve seen what happens when walls are built.  We’ve seen how illegal immigration is driven low when we build those physical barriers.  People say that it’s “archaic.”  People say that they don’t work, but in reality — and what Chief Chavez just explained — those walls do, in fact, work.

Frankly — and I appreciate the congressmen that are here, because I know they support your agenda — but, for those congressmen that want to be obstructionists, I say if they’re not going to be a part of the solution, at least get out of your way.  Let your administration —

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

MR. JUDD:  — do what needs to be done to get the border secure.

And with that, I’ll turn it back over to you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I just want to thank you.  You’ve been an incredible representative of your men and women, I can tell you that.  He’s constantly getting us to do what’s right.  And Chris and so many others, you guys are fantastic and I appreciate it.  Even from before I started, they were calling.  They want to see it happen.  And it’s happening.  And I want to just thank you very much.

I — you know, when you talk about previous administrations — so we have a stretch along the Rio Grande where — and you people know exactly where I’m talking about.  It’s about 38 miles — done by, actually, both previous administrations.  It was sort of done as a combination of one going into the other.  And it’s a wall — not a good-looking wall.  It’s a wall.  It’s got 36 doors in it.  Big doors.  Very big doors.  And they never put the doors on.  So it’s 38 miles with 36 doors that you can drive a truck through.  There’s only one problem: They never put the doors on it.

So we’re putting the doors on it.  Or, even better, maybe not putting any doors.  I said, “Maybe you do it without the doors.”  Because putting the doors on cost most than the property is worth.  I’d rather give the money for the property and just say, “Bye-bye,” or sell it to somebody on the other side.

But, I mean, literally, putting the doors on cost more money.  I said, “What’s the property worth on the other side?”  “Much less than the doors.”  These are doors with the hydraulic.  They need hydraulic because they’re so heavy, which is ridiculous in itself.

But — so that’s the kind of thinking that went into this.  So now we’re filling up those big — those big, gaping wounds in this wall.  And it’s going to have a big effect.  And we’re adding to it very substantially in that area — the Rio Grande area.  And you know exactly the area I’m talking about, right?


THE PRESIDENT:  You’d never saw anything like that.  He said, “I’ve never seen this one before.”  A wall and big holes in it.

So a lot of good things are happening.

Would you like to say a few words?  Please.

SHERIFF MIMS:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Welcome to California.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

SHERIFF MIMS:  Margaret Mims, Sheriff of Fresno, California.


SHERIFF MIMS:  And thank you for your personal attention to the very important issue of border security.  You know, I talked to local law enforcement across our nation, and always the number-one issue is border security when we talk about our issues.

An uncontrolled, unsecure border directly affects our local communities.  And without a secure border, transnational gangs, human traffickers, and drug cartels will take advantage of any opportunity to exploit our current border crisis to further their criminal behavior in our local communities.

We’ve experienced this firsthand.  We have seen increased fentanyl traffickers and deaths in the Central Valley of California as a result of fentanyl overdoses.  We’ve also seen MS-13 gang members from El Salvador commit horrendous, vicious murders.  Our investigations into this gang resulted in connecting 18 homicides committed in three western states.

I want to commend all of our federal law enforcement partners from Homeland Security and especially the Border Patrol today because what you do here makes a difference in our local communities and the job that you do is under very difficult circumstances.

Mr. President, there is a border crisis.  And this crisis does not stay at the border.  It trickles into our local communities, stretching the resources of local agencies.  We must do everything we can to protect our communities from this threat.  Border security is more important now than ever.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  And you’re right about that.  It goes into Iowa and Idaho and New Hampshire and — you know, it’s not the border, it’s the border and then they come in and you end up in places that you would never think of — of the kind of crime that we see.  And it comes right through this border.  It starts right here.  That’s why, if we stop them at the southern border of Mexico — which, right now, Mexico is doing — that would be a fantastic thing.  And I think that’s happening.  I think it’s hap- — never been before.  Never — nobody’s ever seen anything like it.

All of a sudden, Mexico is doing terrifically.  They have to because you’ve all seen — and I don’t want to do this, but it would be a very profitable situation — we’re going to have to tariff the cars coming in from Mexico to the United States.  And if that doesn’t work, which it will, we’ll close the border.

Somebody said it will take a year.  No, it won’t take a year, it will take a day.  They wrote, you know, a lot of fake news — I said, “in a year.”

Well, the tariffs will work, number one.  But what will work — really work — is the closing of the border.  We hope we don’t have to do that, but I’ll do it because, ultimately, the security of our nation is the most important thing.  And we’re not even talking about the drugs, the massive amount of drugs that pours through.  And it would have a tremendous impact.

And we’re going to be working on that.  We’ve been working on that.  We’ve done a tremendous job on drugs coming into the country.  If you look at some of the numbers — we’re having a news conference next week at the White House on the impact that we’ve had — between opioid and all of the other problems we have — with drugs.  Different drugs than we had 10, 15, 20 years ago — much different — but also the drugs coming in through the border.  We’ve had a great impact.

Joseph, would you like to say a few words?  Looks like he’s in good shape, this guy.  (Laughter.)

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Well, Mr. President, good afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR: Thank you for coming here to Calexico Station.  We’re happy to have you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  I’d like to talk to you a little bit about the border wall and what it’s done for us here and the activity levels.  And when I talk about activity levels, I’m not just referencing the illegal apprehensions or illegal entries; I’m also talking about things like assaults, uses of force, manpower deployments, and statistics related to OTMs — other-than-Mexicans — and also family units.

Now, immediately, as you said, we saw some incredible results from the border wall.  We saw a 75 percent decrease in the first quarter of Fiscal Year ’19 in illegal entries; 65 percent decrease in assaults and uses of force.  Prior to that — prior to the construction, we were number one in the nation in uses of force and number two in the nation in assaults.  So that’s been huge for us.

Prior to the construction of a wall, we had a — or, excuse me, after the construction of the wall, we had an 86 percent decrease in illegal aliens from the golden — or excuse me, the Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

We also saw that we were able to redeploy — decrease 38 percent of our manpower in those areas and deploy them to other parts of the border so that they could be more effective out there.

We have apprehended 40 — or, excuse me, aliens from 40 different unique countries across the globe.

Now, in support of the border wall, when you move to other parts of the border where the fence is less effective — we’ll speak about downtown Calexico, for instance — we have an older, much less effective, picket-style fence.  Much shorter — 15 feet.  Luckily, we were able to bolster that infrastructure with concertina wire in early December.  The DOD helped with that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Very effective.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Very effective.  Fifty-three percent decrease in illegal entries after the concertina wire was deployed.

We also had some unintended consequences.  We saw a 228 percent increase in fence breaches due to the inferiority of the fence in that area.  These fence breaches have cost us $317,000 so far to repair.  And they keep going.

Now, contrast that with the new wall, and we’ve only seen three breaches post-construction, which is — compare that, we have total — I said “228 percent increase,” but it’s been a total of 538 since the c-wire went up in December.

THE PRESIDENT:  Right.  Right.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  These breaches though, they don’t just represent the ease in which the aliens can enter the United States, they also represent a significant challenge and security and safety challenge to our Border Patrol agents on the lines.

We saw a 143 percent increase in the assaults against our agents in this area with the breaches.  A couple of months ago, an agent was responding to a breach where several illegal aliens had already pushed through the border.  He was struck in the back in the neck with a rock and required hospitalization.

Just last month, a female agent was monitoring cross-border traffic when an illegal alien — a self-admitted gang member — with a rusted lawn mower blade in his hand, threw it through the agent’s closed window.  Luckily, she saw the assailant out of the corner of her eye as he was coming at her, and she was able to actually put up her left hand and block that lawn mower blade from hitting her in the face, but she did sustain injuries to her arm.  So it’s a significant challenge to us.

I referenced the OTM and family unit statistics earlier.  The stretch of border now, where — specifically in the Calexico Station, where we see all of those aliens — just happens to be where we have the oldest, most outdated infrastructure in the sector.  It’s the old — what we call the “landings mat” style fence.  Ninety percent of all the OTMs and family units that enter in El Centro — excuse me, in Calexico Station, enter through that area.  It represents a 77 percent increase over the same time last year.

Mr. President, at the end of the day, walls work, infrastructure works.  We need more wall, we need more manpower, and we need more technology.  And the mix of those is incredibly important.  I can’t stress that enough.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Joseph.  The people of Calexico have been incredible.  They’ve really rolled out the red carpet.  We appreciate it.

And, let me ask you a question — you or Brandon — or both, you could ask.  What do you do when we have military and we have the great Border Patrol and we have everybody here, but you have big open sections for miles and miles before we build a wall?  We’re building it now, but before — how do you stop these large numbers of people coming?

You’re not — look, other countries — what they do is very, very tough.  We can’t do what they do.  You understand that.  We can’t do what they do.  We don’t want to do what they do.  But how do you stop these large, sometimes massive groups of people from just pouring through?  What do you do?  Prior to the wall.  Once the wall is up, it’s easy.

WATCH COMMANDER REMENAR:  Well, you just grab as many as you can.  You arrest as many as you can.  And the ones that get away, get away.

MR. JUDD:  But there was nothing — there is nothing that you can do to physically keep them out of the country.  That’s what barriers are for.  They physically keep people out.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah.  And —

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Groups, as you know, are going up.  It used to be that we’d see, maybe, one group a year of over a hundred.  We’ve already seen over a hundred groups of over a hundred people, which is a hundred reaching our border at one time that the Border Patrol goes and picks up.  And they’re being very, as usual, humble.  They also save thousands of people every year — many of whom have been left for dead by the smugglers and traffickers.  So they take all parts of their mission seriously, but we need to resource them so they can do them all.

THE PRESIDENT:  And so, I just speak to the folks in the first, second, third row.  They’re very special people.  And some in the fourth row I see.  The system is full.  Can’t take anymore.  Sorry, folks.  Can’t take anymore.

Asylum — you know, I look at some of these asylum people; they’re gang members.  They’re not afraid of anything.  They have lawyers greeting them.  They read what the lawyer tells them to read.  They’re gang members.  And they say, “I fear for my life.  I…”  They’re the ones that are causing fear for life.

It’s a scam.  Okay?  It’s a scam.  It’s a hoax.  I know about hoaxes.  I just went through a hoax. (Laughter.)

So, our system is full.  We’re not taking them anymore.  Okay?  We can’t do it.  You can’t do it.  You know, you can go up to a point, but we can’t do it anymore.


SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Sir, I appreciate it.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Secretary Nielsen.  I appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  It’s an honor to be here on behalf of ICE.  Like you said, America is facing an unprecedented crisis at the border.  The sheer volume of family units crossing the border has overwhelmed ICE’s limited resources and, as result, more than 126,000 people have been released into the U.S. since the end of last year.

The crisis is further amplified by the lack of space in our detention facilities, which is simply inadequate to handle the volume of illegal border crossings occurring daily.

Families are being released at the border with nothing more than a notice to appear in court, knowing full well that none of them ever will.

Meanwhile, ICE is exhausting its limited resources trying to increase bed space capacity for single adults.  At this point, we need more resources, including more officers and agents along the border and in the interior.  We need the funding and the authority to detain these aliens during their immigration proceedings.

In addition, as you know, current laws and court rulings — like the judicial interpretation of the Flores settlement agreement — have created pull factors that basically incentivize illegal migrants to cross our border by the thousands every day.  We must amend these outdated laws to deter the illegal immigration and prevent the effective operation of our lawful immigration system [sic].

It’s also — America is also facing a public safety crisis.  ICE has had to reassign hundreds of officers to the border, limiting our ability to arrest and remove criminal aliens, gang members, and public safety threats from our communities.  Just in fiscal year 2018, ICE arrested approximately 10,000 gang members, including 2,000 that were members of the MS-13 gang.  We also seized over a million pounds of narcotics, including 27,000 pounds of fentanyl.  Any reduction in these vital law enforcement efforts creates an unnecessary and unacceptable risk in our communities and for our citizens.

I appreciate your time, sir.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  You know, you mentioned fentanyl.  So, as you know, we’re working on a trade deal with China — that’s part of it.  They have agreed that they will not be — essentially, not sending it.  They’re going to criminalize it, which it’s not criminalized right now.  And they’re going to classify it in such a way that it’s very hard to send, make, and a lot of other things.  So we have some pretty good things coming on, because it comes — a lot of it, I guess most of it — comes in from China.  And President Xi, himself, has told me they’re going to do that.  We have an agreement and they have actually already started, so that’ll help you a lot.

SPECIAL AGENT SHAW:  Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Some of it’s coming right in here — right to Mexico, and then across.  So I think we’re going to take care of a lot of it.  Thank you very much.



SUPERVISOR GONZALEZ:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Welcome to Calexico.  What we are currently encountering along the border — the entire southwest border — is truly a border humanitarian issue.  The influx of people, especially from Central America, is completely overwhelming our agents and our agency.  The apprehension demographic has completely changed from what it was in the past.  In previous years, the majority of our arrests were from people from Mexico.  Now those arrests are from Central America, especially with the threat that we have now of organized caravans coming to our borders and bringing thousands of people.

Mr. President, now the majority of our agents are assigned to transportation duties, processing duties, and hospital watch.  Here at El Centro Sector, that is with a workforce that is approximately 300 agents below the allowed amount.  To put things into perspective, approximately 60 agents per day are assigned to these duties.  If you look over here, that can go to the preparation of the food, the caring of the unaccompanied children, and helping the family units.  Those are 60 agents that can and should be patrolling our border.  That affects our national security.


SUPERVISOR GONZALEZ:  As previously stated, El Centro Sector has seen an increase of 400 percent of family unit apprehensions.  That’s 400 percent.  We’ve seen an increase of 24 percent in the apprehensions of unaccompanied children.  What we’re seeing is minors being exploited and being implanted into these fake family units.  Transnational criminal organizations are coaching these families and even providing them with fraudulent documents to assist them with their claim.

Very recently, here in El Centro Sector, through an operation, we were able to rescue six minors that had been implanted into these fake family units.  What’s even more concerning is these children range from a 9-month-old infant to a 14-year-old.  Something that’s also — that we’re beginning to see are Mexico nationals claiming that they are from Central America in an attempt to exploit these loopholes and these old outdated immigration laws.

Mr. President, we are in daily communication with consulates from all over the world in an attempt to verify these family unit claims.  This task is nearly impossible because we don’t have the resources or just the logistics of what it takes to help us.  This is a complete crisis.  We need your assistance.  We need additional agents.  We need resources.  We are completely overwhelmed as agents and as an agency.  Thank you for your assistance.

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Good.  And we’ll take care of it.  And I agree with you.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible.)

Good job.  We’ll take care of it.  Your turn.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  I’m up.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, Mr. President.  First, I want to thank you for your leadership on border security because the impacts are definitely felt in California.  And the second thing I want to do is — on behalf of my constituents and all Californians, I want to thank all of the men and women here whose job it is to make sure that that border is secure.  And it’s made more and more difficult every single day by the majority party in California.

As you recall, Governor Brown — when he was in office, he reluctantly allowed National Guard troops to go down to the border to assist.

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s true.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  And then, Governor Newsom got into office and he very quickly said, “No more National Guard troops down at the border.  We don’t want to assist.”  That comes from the fact that the Democrats in California decided that California would be a sanctuary state.  That if you were an illegal immigrant, and you want to come into the United States, California is the place that you want to come.  We are going to roll out the red carpet.

That causes a strain not only on our taxpayers, not only on law enforcement, not only on our schools — I mean, it is across the board; it is felt everywhere.

THE PRESIDENT:  And by the way, it makes it much tougher for everybody.


THE PRESIDENT:  I mean, they pour into these areas that — sanctuary cities are a disaster.


THE PRESIDENT:  They pour in.  And a lot of the places in California, they don’t want to be sanctuary cities.


THE PRESIDENT:  They’re actually asking not to be a sanctuary city, which is pretty incredible.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  We had a lot of cities across California —

THE PRESIDENT:  Absolutely.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN MELENDEZ:  — a lot of people go to their city councils and demand that their city council state for the record that they would not become a sanctuary city — which, of course, didn’t work because the legislature said, “No, we’re going to become a sanctuary state.”

So we have the issue of drugs, which everyone here has spoken about.  I don’t need to add onto that.  I think we’re very clear on the problems with the drugs.  And we’re very clear on the financial burden that this places on this country and on this state.  But when everyone else in the world wants to say, “This is not a crisis,” what I would say to them is, Obama’s Secretary just — I think, last week — Jeh Johnson said he cannot imagine how these agents are managing the border and that it is a crisis.  So if Jeh Johnson can acknowledge it, I would hope that Democrats across this country could acknowledge it as well.

Because what is happening is Democrats are saying they want to take our border and change it from a border into a crosswalk, and we cannot have that.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Jeh Johnson was great.  He — very strong statement.  And Mr. Morgan too, who worked for President Obama, said, “This is a problem…” — has been, not just now.  I mean, this has been going on — I think, probably, the economy and a lot of other things have brought them up even more.  We’ve had some every bad court decisions.  The Flores decision is a disaster, I have to tell you.  Judge Flores, whoever you may be, that decision is a disaster for our country.  A disaster.  And we’re working on that.

But I just want to thank you.  Great job you’re doing.  We really appreciate it.  We’re going to get it taken care of.  It’s all going to come together.  Thank you.

Kevin, please.

COMMISSIONER MCALEENAN:  Really quickly, Mr. President, I just wanted to echo Secretary Nielsen and Chief Chavez: Thank you for coming down to see us to listen to our men and women, to talk about the progress we’re making.

And you’ll see that with the resources that you supported for the border, with General Semonite’s team’s assistance.  That wall is formidable.  It’s making an impact in the security of this sector, but we need to continue to work with Congress on improving the laws.

As you noted, we need partnership from Mexico on these flows in attacking the criminals that are exploiting these individuals and, really, the ones that are profiting from this entire cycle.

And I just want to thank my men and women who do a tremendous job here every day.  I’m very, very proud of their commitment, even though they’re facing extreme challenges, as you’ve heard.

THE PRESIDENT:  And they’re central casting.  I’ve never seen a group of people like this.  (Laughter.)  Everyone is in perfect shape.  And you’re proud of what you do, right?  You wouldn’t trade places with me for anything.  I know that, right?  (Laughter.)  You’re smart.  Don’t do it.  (Laughter.)  Don’t do it.

You know, Dave, you were mentioning before about, you know, people coming in and they come in and they come in.  You don’t have to take them in.  When your system is packed, when you cannot get another person in, when every one of your detention areas is teeming and you have to let people go into a country — they can’t take them.  They can’t take them.  We don’t have room.  We don’t have room.  That means you can’t take them.  You understand it.


THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think anyone has ever expressed it like that, but I’m expressing it like that.  When it’s full, it’s full; you can’t take them.  They go back to Mexico and Mexico will bring them back to their country, okay?  Or if they’re Mexican, it’s a step easier, frankly.  And again, over the last four days, Mexico has been very nice.  Okay?

So just to — because you made a point.  It was very interesting.  But you can’t take them; you can’t take them.  There’s nothing you can do, okay?

I’d like to maybe end by having a man who’s really been a help, and that’s Kevin McCarthy.  You can speak on behalf of your great representatives that are here with you.  And maybe you could stand up and say a few words, Kevin, because you’ve been very much at the forefront of this fight.  And you love this state very much.

MINORITY LEADER MCCARTHY:  Well, thank you, Mr. President.  And on behalf of all these members of Congress, we want to thank you.  We know you’re on the frontline — (applause) — and we do not intend to for you to be doing the job they’re asking you to do today.  We think you should be on the border.  And we don’t think that’s right.

We realize that current law — the way asylum is applied, the way they catch and release — does not allow you to do your job correctly.  And I don’t believe it was the intent of what American intended when they passed these (inaudible).

We want to work — bipartisan or anyway possible — but we’ve got to solve this problem.  It is a crisis.  We know that you are being overloaded.  But I want you to know that we think it’s a top priority and we will work with this President and we will work with anybody who wants to solve this problem.

So thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate that.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Kevin.

And, you know, Kevin mentioned catch and release.  You catch them and you release them.  I’m saying this for them because you people all get it.  It’s the dumbest thing anyone has ever heard.  Maybe — I’m trying to figure out which is the worst — which is the dumbest?  Is it chain migration or is it visa lottery?  “Pick them out of the hat.  Let’s go.”  Do you think they’re giving us their finest?  I don’t think so.  Right?  I don’t think so.  It’s just — it’s crazy.

And we have to work with the Democrats and get it all — we have to — look, we need common sense in our country.  This is about common sense.  This is about anything other than common sense and that’s what we need.

Now, Gloria has asked me to recognize — and she will recognize three people that she thinks are just outstanding.  Please.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity.  There are three individuals in this audience today that I did not want to miss the opportunity to recognize in your presence.  So we have an agent, his name is Cesar Arroyo.  Cesar, if you could please stand.

Cesar Arroyo was off duty one night with his family.  It was his birthday.  He was headed to a local restaurant to celebrate that birthday.  Well, he witnessed an accident and the vehicle that was involved in the accident went airborne and fell into an irrigation canal.

In the vehicle was a mother and three children, and — to include an infant in the backseat.  Cesar immediately jumped out of his vehicle, ran across the street, and into the canal, and started working to save those individuals.  All four people out of that vehicle were pulled to safety to the canal bank while others got there to help him and assisted.

But it was his actions that truly reflect the character of what a Border Patrol agent is and I wanted to recognize those actions here today.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  That’s a great job.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  There is another Border Patrol agent, his name is Carlos Lara.  And Carlos was on duty as well.  And Carlos was on duty as well.  And Carlos witnessed an individual jump in — cross the border illegally — jump into an irrigation canal.  And he immediately took action to also jump in and rescue that individual and pull him to safety.

So for Carlos’s actions as well, I wanted to recognize that, Mr. President, because that happens on a regular basis here.  But that day, he went through an extreme hardship because of the all things he had to do to get that person.  And eventually, he was able to bring him to safety as well.  So thank you, Carlos, for your actions as well.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Carlos.  (Applause.)

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ:  And, Mr. President, last but not least, we have extraordinary mission support personnel — our civilian workforce — that works tirelessly behind the scenes to get the job done so that these Border Patrol agents are able to get to the frontline and get the work done.  From admin support secretaries, clerks; to timekeepers; to logistics directors; to logistics personnel; our mechanics that we couldn’t get, you know, a vehicle ready to go in the field without their help.

We have a young lady here today, her name is Nubia Avalos.  And Ms. Nubia is like our unsung hero behind the scenes who is constantly delivering excellence in every task that we assign to her.  This young lady here is the one in charge of your next 11 miles of 30-foot border wall —

THE PRESIDENT:  Very good.  Good.

CHIEF PATROL AGENT CHAVEZ: — that are going to start in June of 2019.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Very important.  Very important.  Thank you.

She’ll get it done.  On time, on budget — maybe under budget, right?  Under time, under budget.  That’s happened too, right?  Thank you very much.  Congratulations.

I just want to thank everybody.  We’re now going over to look at the new section of wall.  And we have a lot of it going up.

And again, General, I want to thank you for the job.  You’ve really got it together.  We have a lot of work under construction, but a lot more is coming in the very — very, very soon.  Money has been transferred.  Money has been approved.  And that wasn’t easy.

When you have people that don’t want to give you money, that’s not so easy.  But we know we need it.  We had no choice.

So I just want to thank you all.  And let’s go see the wall.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Q    Mr. President how does — how do you fix the asylum system?  You said you want to see asylum reform.  What do you specifically want to do about it?  Governor Newsom, today, saying that some of your ideas regarding asylum show a disregard for the Constitution.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Governor Newsom, honestly, is living in a different world.  And that’s a very dangerous world he’s living in.  And if he keeps living there, lots of problems for the people of California.  They don’t want that.

They want to be secure.  They want to be safe.  And not only asylum, but many other things.  Loopholes.  When you have asylum substation where rough, tough people with criminal records are asking for asylum, it doesn’t work that way.  So we have a full system.  Nothing we can do.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Let’s go.  (Applause.)


1:31 P.M. PDT


Live: President Trump Participates in the “United States, Mexico & Canada Agreement” (USMCA) Signing Ceremony – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 11/30/2018

This morning we will watch President Trump, Live from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He will sign the United States, Mexico & Canada Agreement (USMCA).  This trade agreement will terminate NAFTA.

The president argued the USMCA focuses on fairness and reciprocity. The deal sets new protections for labor, the environment, and intellectual property.

He added, the deal will close job-killing loopholes, which he says will be a great victory for American farmers, manufacturers and autoworkers.

Despite the agreement, President Trump confirmed U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will remain in place.  President Trump said the deal will terminate NAFTA, which he criticized as one of the worst trade deals ever made.

He plans to sign the deal next month before sending it to Congress for approval. (Source:  One America News Network)

USMCA a Trade Deal for the 21st Century


One of the core promises that swept President Donald Trump into office was that he would renegotiate better deals for the United States with our traditional trading partners. With the announcement of a new trade pact among the United States, Mexico and Canada, we welcomed the tremendous news that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be, if approved by Congress, replaced by a much stronger agreement. Known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the package will be important for American workers and our economy as a whole, including the agricultural sector, which counts Mexico and Canada in our top three trading partners.

I have long said that I believe our country is located in the best neighborhood on Earth – North America – with valuable allies to our north and south. Though the old NAFTA agreement was considered a generally positive compact for agriculture, there was certainly room for much-needed improvement. Under USMCA, we have created new rules to help our farmers, ranchers and workers better face the challenges of the 21st century economy, which will secure greater access to the Mexican and Canadian markets and maintain and improve the highly productive integrated agricultural relationships we have as nations.

The agreement with Mexico came first, near the end of August, and includes a number of provisions sought by the United States. Importantly, 21st century innovations in agricultural biotechnology are addressed for the first time, including cutting-edge processes like gene editing. These innovations serve as a template for agreements in the future. And we mutually pledge to work together to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency and ensure nondiscriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products. In addition, the United States and Mexico agreed not to use so-called “geographic indicators” to restrict the marketing of certain cheeses under common names, such as provolone, Swiss, or ricotta, which the European Union had wanted to restrict.

The second piece of the USMCA puzzle was the negotiation with Canada, where key sticking points centered on dairy issues and were among the last to be cleared. Notably, as one of the president’s top goals, the new agreement will eliminate Canada’s unfair “Class 6” and “Class 7” milk pricing schemes, in which Canada has used low-priced products to undercut United States dairy sales in Canada and other international markets. The deal will also crack open additional access to United States dairy into Canada, including products like fluid milk, cream, butter, skim milk and cheese, and will also preserve and expand critical access for United States poultry and egg producers. America’s wheat farmers also get a big win. A reform of Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading process will help United States wheat growers along the border become more competitive. These are all significant victories for American agriculture.

As we celebrate this breakthrough, it is worth noting that there were many detractors who said it could not be done. But the emergence of an agreement is further proof that President Trump’s trade negotiation strategy is working. To strike the best deals possible for the United States, the president has shown that he is willing to walk away from the bargaining table if he feels our country is being unfairly treated. In the case of USMCA, the president’s approach resulted in earnest negotiations among the three nations and a final package which is beneficial for all three countries.

This is not the first major step forward in international trade under the Trump administration, nor do we feel it will be the last. Before President Trump successfully concluded USCMA, he made good on his promise to revise and improve KORUS, the trade pact with the Republic of Korea. Add to these achievements the president’s recent announcement of his intention to negotiate a trade deal with Japan – a significant market for United States agriculture exports that, until recently, had rejected talks of a bilateral agreement with the United States – and growing optimism for a successful trade deal with the European Union, and it is easy to see the dominoes falling. The president is committed to achieving good trade deals for America – including our current issues with China, which I believe we will surmount as well.

The bottom line is this: Free, fair and expanded trade among nations is good for the American economy and our highly productive farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers. The newly minted USMCA goes in the win column for President Trump and his negotiating team, led by our United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Our economy, and American agriculture, will be better off for it.

This article appeared in The Spokesman-Review on October 17, 2018. 

The new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement includes key victories for American manufacturers, agriculture, businesses, and workers.

BUSINESS INSIDER: Trump’s New Trade Deal with Canada and Mexico is Winning Early Praise

“Early reviews of President Donald Trump’s new trade pact with Mexico and Canada are positive … The refreshed version of NAFTA will include increased labor protections for workers, increased standards for duty-free auto shipments, increased access to the Canadian dairy market for US farmers, and a slight tweak to the deal’s dispute-resolution system.”

FOX BUSINESS: US Stocks Surge as US, Canada, Mexico Reach Trade Deal

“Stocks surged Monday as Canada and the U.S. reached a trade deal that also includes Mexico, and key changes at the top of major corporations boosted investor sentiment.”

THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Trump Trade Deal with Canada, Mexico Gets American Farmers’ Stamp of Approval

“The Trump administration’s new three-way trade deal to replace NAFTA got a thumbs-up from American farmers. Americans for Farmers & Families spokesman Casey Guernsey, a seventh-generation farmer, said the three-way deal showed Mr. Trump remembered his promise ‘to stand up for rural America. … After years of declining income and months of trade uncertainty, farmers desperately needed a win, and today the Trump administration delivered it,’ he said. ‘While eager to learn the details, I hope that Congress will use this positive momentum to bring this important agreement over the finish line.’”

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Canada Gave Ground on the Key Issue of Dairy in New Trade Agreement

“Canada gave ground to the U.S. in the North American Free Trade Agreement replacement deal agreed to Sunday by rolling back protections for its domestic dairy industry, providing a victory to American farmers on one of the key points of negotiation.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: New NAFTA Shows Trump’s Trade Strategy for Balancing Labor, Business Interests

“The Teamsters have nice things to say about the new North American Free Trade Agreement. Big banks can also claim a victory. … Many labor officials say they’ve been pleasantly surprised with strong language in the agreement pushing Mexico to bolster its unions, including protecting ‘the right to strike.’ American unions have argued that the lack of such provisions in the original NAFTA meant the pact encouraged factories to relocate south of the border in search of cheaper workers.”

NEW YORK POST EDITORIAL BOARD: NAFTA 2.0: Trump Delivers on Another Big Promise

“[I]t’s hard to argue with the result: Trump has once again delivered on a campaign promise that his rivals called a fantasy. A politician who does what he says he’ll do: Imagine that.”


“Apparently those hard-line tactics worked, and the president appears well within his right to chalk this up as a victory. Though details were still being finalized for release, it appears that American farmers will secure greater access to Canadian dairy markets…”


“Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or an independent, you should welcome President Trump’s announcement of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, on Monday. A replacement for NAFTA, the USMCA will increase U.S. access to Canadian markets and ensure greater centering of the car industry in North America.”


“The USMCA framework showcases the practical genius of our negotiator and entrepreneur-in-chief, President Trump.  Unlike the lawyers and bureaucrats who dominate most high political offices, as a global businessman Trump implicitly understands the predicament that American workers and firms face competing against a commercially abusive China.”

CHRISTIAN WHITON ON FOX NEWS: Trump Has Just Revolutionized Global Trade by Replacing NAFTA with USMCA

“Trump administration negotiators reached a major agreement with Canada on trade over the weekend.  The breakthrough, which came on the heels of an earlier deal with Mexico, vindicates President Trump’s tough approach to reforming trade and will mark a fundamental turning point for American jobs and global power.”

LIZ PEEK IN THE HILL: Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Scores a Big Win with New NAFTA Deal

“The new NAFTA, which will be called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), secured some advantages for the U.S. while also giving in to certain Canadian priorities. … More broadly, the new NAFTA shows the world that the Trump White House may succeed in bringing home better trade pacts.”

President Trump Announces Trade Understanding with Mexico that could lead to overhaul of NAFTA – The White House – 8/28/2018

President Donald Trump announcing a trade “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  PRESIDENT Trump made the announcement Monday in the Oval Office, with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto joining by speakerphone. 



Oval Office

11:09 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Hello everybody.  It’s a big day for trade, a big day for our country.  A lot of people thought we’d never get here because we all negotiate tough.  We do, and so does Mexico.  And this is a tremendous thing.

This has to do — they used to call it NAFTA.  We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement, and we’ll get rid of the name NAFTA.  It has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA for many years.  And now it’s a really good deal for both countries, and we look very much forward to it.

And I believe the President is on the phone.  Enrique?  You can hook him up.  Tell me when.

How are you?  It’s a big thing.  A lot of people waiting.  Hello?  Do you want to put that on this phone, please?  Hello?  Be helpful.

PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO:  (As interpreted.)  President Trump, how are you?  Good morning.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you, Enrique.  And congratulations.  That’s really a fantastic thing.  We’ve all worked very hard, and your brilliant representatives are sitting right in front of me.  And I thought we would congratulate each other before it got out.  And I know we’ll have a formal news conference in the not-too-distant future.

PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you very much, President Trump.  I think this is something very positive for the United States and Mexico.  And the first reason for this call, Mr. President, is, first of all, to celebrate the understanding we have had between both negotiating peace on NAFTA, in the interest we have had for quite a few months now to renew it, to modernize it, to update it, and to generate a framework that will boost and potentiate productivity in North America.

It is our wish, Mr. President, that now Canada will also be able to be incorporated in all this.  And I assume that they going to carry out negotiations of the sensitive bilateral issues between Mexico — rather, between Canada and the United States.

And I’m really grateful, Mr. President.  I want to say that you — I greatly recognize and acknowledge your political will and your participation in this.  And on this paved path, I want to bear my testimony, Mr. President, and my acknowledgement to both negotiating teams, especially the team that is headed and led by Mr. Robert Lighthizer, and also the accompaniment and the support we have had from the White House through Jared Kushner.

And I also extend this recognition to the Mexican team.  They are listening to you.  They are close to you right now — Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and the Secretary of the Economy, Mr. Guajardo.

Yes, in terms of (inaudible) the negotiations that have taken months, it’s been difficult, complex, and a very hard negotiation altogether with difficult moments, of course.  But I truly acknowledge now the fact that we’ve been able to reach an agreement that we are about to make public.  And this is the result of good understanding and good work.  And I — of course, I am quite hopeful that now Canada would start discussing with the United States the sensitive bilateral issue.

Congratulations, President Trump.  I am very grateful and I am attentive to your comments.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, Mr. President, thank you very much.  It’s an honor.  You’ve been my friend.  It’s been a long time since I traveled to Mexico, where we got to know each other quite well and we actually had a good meeting.  Some people weren’t sure if it was a good meeting, but I was.

I have a lot of good meetings that a lot of people aren’t sure if they were good or not.

But it’s been a long time, and this is something that’s very special for our manufacturers and for our farmers from both countries, for all of the people that work for jobs.  It’s also great trade and it makes it a much more fair bill.  And we are very, very excited about it.

We have worked long and hard.  Your representatives have been terrific.  My representatives have been fantastic too.  They’ve gotten along very well, and they’ve worked late into the night for months.  It’s an extremely complex bill and it’s something that I think will be talked about for many years to come.  It’s just good for both countries.

As far Canada is concerned, we haven’t started with Canada yet.  We wanted to do Mexico and see if that was possible to do.  And it wasn’t — I think, it wasn’t from any standpoint something that most people thought was even doable when we started.

If you look at it, you remember, at the beginning, many people thought that this was something that just couldn’t happen because of all of the different factions, all of the different sides, and the complexity.  And we made it much simpler, much better.  Much better for both countries.

Canada will start negotiations shortly.  I’ll be calling the Prime Minister very soon.  And we’ll start negotiation, and if they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that.  You know, they have tariffs of almost 300 percent on some of our dairy products, and we can’t have that.  We’re not going to stand for that.

I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in.  It’s a tremendous amount of money and it’s a very simple negotiation.  It could end in one day and we take in a lot of money the following day.

But I think we’ll give them a chance to probably have a separate deal.  We can have a separate deal or we can put it into this deal.  I like to call this deal the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.  I think it’s an elegant name.  I think NAFTA has a lot of bad connotations for the United States because it was a rip-off.  It was a deal that was a horrible deal for our country, and I think it’s got a lot of bad connotations to a lot of people.  And so we will probably — you and I will agree to the name.

We will see whether or not we decide to put up Canada or just do a separate deal with Canada, if they want to make the deal.  The simplest deal is more or less already made.  It would be very easy to do and execute.

But I will — I will tell you that working with you has been a pleasure.  Speaking with and working President-elect López Obrador has been absolutely a very, very special time.

You both came together for your country.  You worked together.  I think that’s important for the media to know.  We have a little — a small amount of media in our presence, like everybody.  And the media should know that the President and the President-elect worked very closely together because the President felt it was important that the President-elect liked what he was seeing.

And our teams worked together.  Our teams were really well unified, and your team was very well unified.  I was very impressed with the fact that the two Presidents came together and worked out something mutually agreeable.

So it’s an incredible deal.  It’s an incredible deal for both parties.  Most importantly, it’s an incredible deal for the workers and for the citizens of both countries.  Our farmers are going to be so happy.  You know, my farmers — the farmers have stuck with me; I said we were going to do this.  And Mexico has promised to immediately start purchasing as much farm product as they can.  They’re going to work on that very hard.

And as you know, we’re working — unrelated to this, we’re working very much with other countries.  China is one; they want to talk.  And it’s just not right time to talk right now, to be honest, with China.  It’s been — it’s too one-sided for too many years, for too many decades.  And so it’s not the right time to talk.  But eventually, I’m sure, that we’ll be able to work out a deal with China.  In the meantime, we’re doing very well with China.

Our economy is up.  It’s never been this good before, and I think it’s only going to get better.

But, Mr. President, you’ve been my friend and you have been somebody that’s been very special in a lot of ways.  We talk a lot.  We talked a lot about this deal.  And I’d like to congratulate you and the Mexican people.

PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

I finally recognize this, especially because of the point of understanding we are now reaching on this deal.  And I really hope and I desire — I wish — that the part with Canada will be materializing in a very concrete fashion; that we can have an agreement the way we proposed it from the initiation of this renegotiating process, a tripartite.

But today I celebrate the (inaudible) between the United States and Mexico because we’re reaching a final point of understanding.  And I hope that in the following days we can materialize (inaudible) in the formalization of the agreement.

Something additional, Mr. President — and you have already mentioned it — it has to do with an involved and committed participation of the administration and the President-elect of Mexico.  As you know, we are now going through a period of transition, and it has been possible to create a highly unified front between the negotiating team of this administration and the people appointed by the President-elect of Mexico to be observers and participate in this agreement, in this understanding, to reach the point we are now reaching.

The President-elect has been aware of everything that has been happening, and I have also had the opportunity of talking to him directly and personally on the progress being made.

You have also had direct conversations with President-elect.  Things that we have to do and I hope we have the space to do it would be to find — to toast a good toast with tequila, of course — (laughter) — to celebrate this understanding.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Enrique, I think that’s exactly right.  And you know the good relationship that I’ve already established with the President-elect.  I was very impressed with him, I must tell you.  He was terrific in every way.  And he wants — you know, he loves your country like you love your country.  You want to do the right thing.  And we’re really doing the right thing for all of us.  So I really enjoy that.  Please send him my regards, and I will speak to him very shortly.

But this was great that you were able to do it together.  I think doing it mutually as opposed to just you doing it — or even just him doing it — I think a mutual agreement between your two administrations was a fantastic thing.  I suggested that early on, and I think it was immediately embraced and I think it was a really fantastic thing that you were able to do it — and with great spirit.  I mean, it was great coordination and spirit.  So I think that is really just great.

And, you know, one of the things that I’m excited about is you’re going to be helping us at the border.  You’re going to be working together with us on agriculture.  You’re going to be working in many different ways, and we’re going to be working with you in many different ways.  This is a very comprehensive agreement.

So, Enrique, I will see you soon.  I think we’re going to have a very formal ceremony.  This is one of the largest trade deals ever made.  Maybe the largest trade deal ever made.  And it’s really something very special that two countries were able to come together and get it done.

And I just want to thank all of my people — Bob and Jared.  And, gentlemen, you have been really great, the way you’ve worked so long.  And I know you’ve been going up until three o’clock, four o’clock in the morning, and then getting in at eight.

So I just want to — on behalf of the United States, I want to thank you very much.  And I can say that Mexico is very proud of you.  They’re very proud of you.  Thank you all very much.

Enrique, I’ll see you soon.  I’ll talk to you soon.  And congratulations, and job well done.

PRESIDENT PEÑA NIETO:  (As interpreted).  Thank you, Mr. President, and congratulations as well to you, to the negotiating team, to the (inaudible) of both countries.  We’ll be waiting for Canada to be integrated into this process.

I send you an affectionate hug.  And all my greetings to you and my regards.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  A hug from you would be very nice.  (Laughter).  Thank you.  So long.  Thanks.  Goodbye, Enrique.

Okay, so we’ve made the deal with Canada.  It’s a very —

Q    With Canada?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They’re starting.  We made the deal with Mexico.  And I think it’s a very — deal.  We’re starting negotiations with Canada, pretty much immediately.  I can’t tell you where those negotiations are gone.  It’s going to be a — it’s a smaller segment, as you know.  Mexico is a very large trading partner.  But we’ve now concluded our deal and it’s being finalized.

And, Bob, when would you say it will be signed — actually, formally, signed?

AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER:  Well, it will likely be signed at the end of November because there’s a 90-day layover period because of our statute.  But we expect to submit our letter to Congress, beginning that process on Friday.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Okay, so that starts the process.

AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER:  And then 90 days later, it will be signed.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  We have an agreement where — both with Canada and with Mexico — I will terminate the existing deal.  When that happens, I can’t quite tell you; it depends on what the timetable is with Congress.  But I’ll be terminating the existing deal and going into this deal.  We’ll start negotiating with Canada relatively soon.  They want to start — they want to negotiate very badly.

But one way or the other, we have a deal with Canada.  It will either be a tariff on cars, or it will be a negotiated deal.  And, frankly, a tariff on cars is a much easier way to go.  But perhaps the other would be much better for Canada.

And we’re looking to help — you know, we’re looking to help our neighbors, too.  If we can help our neighbors, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  So we’re going to start that negotiation imminently.  I’ll be speaking with Prime Minister Trudeau in a little while.

So I want to thank everybody.  I want to thank you.  What a great job you’ve all done.  And it’s been — it’s been a long one, but a lot of people thought this was not a doable transaction.  It’s going to be great for our people.  And again, I want to thank you folks.  And we’ll see you at the signing, and we’ll see you many times before that, I’m sure.

So, congratulations to the people of Mexico.  Great job.

Thank you very much everybody.


11:29 A.M. EDT

President Trump Participates in the Made In America Product Showcase – The White House – 7/23/2018


The single best tribute to our workers can be found in the unmatched quality and craftsmanship of the amazing products they bring from the blueprint to the storefront. ‘Made in the USA’ is a global symbol of unrivaled excellence.  President Donald J. Trump


AMERICA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS: President Donald J. Trump’s economic policies have made it the perfect time for businesses to grow and thrive right here in the United States. 

  • American business is booming due to President Trump’s pro-growth agenda, headlined by historic tax cuts, deregulation, and trade actions defending American workers and businesses.

  • Businesses are creating more and more jobs right here in the United States, with more than 3.2 million new jobs created since President Trump took office.

  • The number of job openings surpassed the number of job seekers for the first time on record, which is great news for Americans who are unemployed and unable to find good, stable jobs.

    • 65 percent of Americans say now is a good time to find a quality job, according to Gallup.

  • Gross domestic product grew by more than 3 percent in 2 quarters during 2017, and some forecasts expect growth to exceed 4 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

  • Businesses are finally bringing money held overseas back to the United States as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump.

  • Steel and aluminum producers are pouring in new investment and creating new jobs in the United States following the tariffs placed on those industries to protect our national security.

AMERICAN MANUFACTURING IS BACK: President Trump’s pro-growth agenda has rejuvenated American manufacturing.

  • American manufacturers are more optimistic than ever and expect their winning streak to continue, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

    • Optimism among manufacturers hit an all-time high in NAM’s most recent survey.

    • Expectations for employment growth and capital investment over the next year also hit all-time highs in NAM’s most recent survey.

  • Approximately 344,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since the President took office.

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a win for American workers, cutting the top corporate tax rate and enabling businesses to fully write off capital investments for the next 5 years.

FREE, FAIR, AND RECIPROCAL TRADE: President Trump has stood up for American workers and businesses that have paid the price for years of bad trade deals and unfair trade practices. 

  • Since taking office, President Trump has advocated for free, fair, and reciprocal trade that will benefit American workers and businesses and reduce our trade deficit.

  • President Trump is taking tough actions to defend American businesses from China’s unfair practices such as intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

  • President Trump is renegotiating past deals to make sure they benefit American workers.

    • The Trump Administration secured key amendments to the trade agreement with South Korea, including provisions to increase American automobile exports.

  • The Trump Administration placed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security and defend our domestic industries.

  • President Trump’s Administration imposed tariffs to safeguard American manufacturers of washing machines and solar energy products from a flood of overseas imports.

DEEP 6 – The Deep State with Dick Morris – Mexico’s New President