Koch And Mexico Step In Line

Grind for June 11th
“Canada is a lot like an apartment over a really great party.”

– Robin Williams

Trying Something New

The Headline

GOP Koch Network might support Democrats in 2020

The Grind

The Koch family’s massive political donation network “Stand Together” is launching four new PACs to support candidates in the upcoming elections:

— Uniting for Immigration Reform

— Uniting for Free Expression

— Uniting for Free Trade

— Economic Opportunity

Each PAC is named after the initiative it supports; for example, “Uniting Free Trade” will support candidates who want to undo Trump’s tariffs on China and “Economic Opportunity” will fight to remove business regulations and decrease federal spending.

Stand Together also announced it was ready to support candidates from any political party (a big shift from its Republicans-only past).

“[Americans for Prosperity] will support the primary election of lawmakers, regardless of political party, who stick their necks out to lead diverse policy coalitions,” wrote Emily Seidel, head of the network’s policy and political arm.

“The threat of being primaried prevents policymakers from leading on difficult issues and driving principled policy reforms. Americans for Prosperity…will be ready to engage contested US Senate, US House, and state-level primary races including Republican, Democrat, Independent or otherwise, to support sitting legislators who lead by uniting with others to pass principled policy and get good things done.”

The Details

The Koch brothers are Libertarian-leaning small government advocates who support free market principles. The duo did not endorse Trump in 2016 and will not campaign for his reelection.

Stand Together has celebrated numerous political victories during Trump’s presidency, but is frustrated with the Administration over its inaction on immigration, its failure to repeal Obamacare, and Trump’s use of tariffs as a negotiating tactic.

The network also opposes Trump’s combative rhetoric and the increasing partisanship in Congress.

“We expect policymakers to unite people and build coalitions. We’re committed to forging a new way forward with political discourse,” said Seidel during an interview. “We’re excited for how this new approach will help policymakers work together.”


The Headline

US and Mexico reach immigration agreement; Trump drops tariff threat

The Grind

President Trump dropped his threat to impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports Friday after negotiators in Washington reached a deal to reduce the flow of migrants into the United States.

The tariff had been set to go into effect on Monday.

The joint declaration released by the US and Mexico describes Mexico’s plans to send up to 6,000 National Guard troops to patrol its southern border with Guatemala.

In return, the United States has agreed to accelerate existing projects in Central America and Southern Mexico. The plan also enables the US to send more asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are being processed. During their stay in Mexico, the migrants will find expanded opportunities for employment, education, and healthcare.

“Bottom line is Mexico has to keep asylum seekers temporarily but not permanently,” says Latin America expert Shannon O’Neil. “The rest are vague generalities to be rehashed at the end of the summer.”

Trump on Twitter said the deal includes plans for Mexico to immediately start buying more agricultural products from “our patriot farmers,” but the full text has not been released.

The Details

Despite Trump’s complaints, Mexico has already demonstrated its commitment to reducing the flow of migration into the United States.

During the past six months, Mexican authorities arrested 80,000 people on immigration violations (an increase of more than 30%). Mexico has also ordered public transportation operators to stop ferrying migrants and is on track to accept 60,000 asylum requests in 2019.

“They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” says Frank Mora, a Latin America expert at Florida International University. “They’re not, as the president says, ‘sitting on their hands.’ In fact, they have ramped up their efforts to stopping or deporting migrants.”

All told, Mexico expects to block 250,000 people from reaching the US border in 2019.

“If we have success with the measures we’re taking, there’s no reason to think that the numbers [of migrants] will continue as they have been,” said Mexican Foreign Sec. Marcelo Ebrard.

CPB agents set a new record in April when they detained more than 58,000 members of family units. Last week, agents set another record when they detained a group of more than 1,000 migrants near El Paso.

Friday’s deal includes a warning that threatens ‘additional measures’ if Mexico fails to curb the flow of migrants. Officials have 90 days to discuss and implement changes to the agreement.

Did you know… If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.