Trump’s border visit comes as shutdown talks fall apart
By CATHERINE LUCEY, LISA MASCARO and LAURIE KELLMAN
Thursday, January 10
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is taking the shutdown battle to the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking to bolster his case for the border wall after negotiations with Democrats blew up over his funding demands.
Trump stalked out of his meeting with congressional leaders — “I said bye-bye,” he tweeted soon after — as efforts to end the partial government shutdown fell into deeper disarray. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers now face lost paychecks on Friday.
“The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don’t want to give ‘Trump’ another one of many wins!” Trump tweeted on Thursday before departing for Texas.
During his stop Thursday in McAllen, Texas, Trump will visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security and will get a security briefing on the border. But Trump has expressed his own doubts that his appearance and remarks will change any minds, as he seeks $5.7 billion for the wall that has been his signature promise since his presidential campaign.
McAllen is located in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest part of the border for illegal border crossings.
The unraveling talks prompted further speculation about whether Trump would declare a national emergency and try to authorize the wall on his own if Congress won’t approve the money he’s seeking.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t I might go that route,” he said.
The White House meeting in the Situation Room ended after just 14 minutes. Democrats said they asked Trump to re-open the government but that he told them if he did they wouldn’t give him money for the wall. Republicans said Trump posed a direct question to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: If he opened the government, would she fund the wall? She said no.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump slammed his hand on the table. However, Republicans said Trump, who handed out candy at the start of the meeting, did not raise his voice and there was no table pounding.
One result was certain: The shutdown plunged into new territory with no endgame in sight. The Democrats see the idea of the long, impenetrable wall as ineffective and even immoral. Trump sees it as an absolute necessity to stop what he calls a crisis of illegal immigration, drug-smuggling and human trafficking at the border.
Trump headed to Capitol Hill earlier Wednesday, seeking to soothe jittery Republican lawmakers. He left a Republican lunch boasting of “a very, very unified party,” but GOP senators have been publicly uneasy as the standoff ripples across the lives of Americans and interrupts the economy.
During the lunch, Trump discussed the possibility of a sweeping immigration compromise with Democrats to protect some immigrants from deportation but provided no clear strategy or timeline for resolving the standoff, according to senators in the private session.
GOP unity was tested further when the House passed a bipartisan spending bill, 240-188, to reopen one shuttered department, Treasury, to ensure that tax refunds and other financial services continue. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting, defying the plea to stick with the White House.
There was growing concern about the toll the shutdown is taking on everyday Americans, including disruptions in payments to farmers and trouble for home buyers who are seeking government-backed mortgage loans — “serious stuff,” according to Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican.
Some Republicans were concerned about the administration’s talk of possibly declaring a national emergency at the border, seeing that as an unprecedented claim on the right of Congress to allocate funding except in the most dire circumstances.
“I prefer that we get this resolved the old-fashioned way,” Thune said.
Democrats said before the White House meeting that they would ask Trump to accept an earlier bipartisan bill that had money for border security but not the wall. Pelosi warned that the effects of hundreds of thousands of lost paychecks would begin to have an impact across the economy.
“The president could end the Trump shutdown and re-open the government today, and he should,” Pelosi said.
Tuesday night, speaking to the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Trump argued that the wall was needed to resolve a security and humanitarian “crisis.” He blamed illegal immigration for what he said was a scourge of drugs and violence in the U.S. and asked: “How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?”
Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain.
In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors ahead of his speech, Trump suggested his aides had pushed him to give the address and travel to the border and that he personally did not believe either would make a difference, according to two people familiar with the meeting. But one person said it was unclear whether Trump was serious or joking. The people familiar with the meeting insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly.
Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Alan Fram and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.
For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. government shutdown: https://apnews.com/GovernmentShutdown
As Trump visits border, Texas landowners prepare wall fight
By NOMAAN MERCHANT
Thursday, January 10
HIDALGO, Texas (AP) — As President Donald Trump travels to the border in Texas to make the case for his $5.7 billion wall, landowner Eloisa Cavazos says she knows firsthand how the project will play out if the White House gets its way.
The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.
“You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”
Trump is scheduled to visit the border Thursday in McAllen, a city of 143,000 on the river.
Congress in March funded 33 miles (53 kilometers) of walls and fencing in Texas. The government has laid out plans that would cut across private land in the Rio Grande Valley. Those in the way include landowners who have lived in the valley for generations, environmental groups and a 19th century chapel.
Many have hired lawyers who are preparing to fight the government if, as expected, it moves to seize their land through eminent domain.
The opposition will intensify if Democrats accede to the Trump administration’s demand to build more than 215 new miles of wall, including 104 miles in the Rio Grande Valley and 55 miles near Laredo. Even a compromise solution to build “steel slats,” as Trump has suggested, or more fencing of the kind that Democrats have previously supported would likely trigger more court cases and pushback in Texas.
Legal experts say Trump likely cannot waive eminent domain — which requires the government to demonstrate a public use for the land and provide landowners with compensation — by declaring a national emergency.
While this is Trump’s first visit to the border in Texas as president, his administration’s immigration crackdown has been felt here for months.
Hundreds of the more than 2,400 children separated from their parents last summer were detained in cages at a Border Patrol facility in McAllen. Three “tender-age” facilities for the youngest children were opened in this region.
The president also ordered soldiers to the border in response to a wave of migrant caravans before the November election. Those troops had a heavy presence in the Rio Grande Valley, though they have since quietly left. A spokeswoman for the border security mission said they closed their base camp along the border on Dec. 22.
But Trump’s border wall will last beyond his administration. Building in the region is a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security because it’s the busiest area for illegal border crossings. More than 23,000 parents and children were caught illegally crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley in November — more than triple the number from a year earlier.
Homeland Security officials argue that a wall would stop many crossings and deter Central American families from trying to migrate north. Many of those families are seeking asylum because of violence in their home countries and often turn themselves in to border agents when they arrive here.
The number of families has surged. DHS said Wednesday that it detained 27,518 adults and children traveling together on the southern border in December, a new monthly high.
With part of the $1.6 billion Congress approved in March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it would build 25 miles (40 kilometers) of wall along the flood-control levee in Hidalgo County, which runs well north of the Rio Grande.
Congress did not allow construction of any of Trump’s wall prototypes. But the administration’s plans call for a concrete wall to the height of the existing levee, with 18-foot (5.5 meters) steel posts on top. CBP wants to clear 150 feet (45 meters) in front of any new construction for an “enforcement zone” of access roads, cameras, and lighting.
The government sued the local Roman Catholic diocese late last year to gain access for its surveyors at the site of La Lomita chapel, which opened in 1865 and was an important site for missionaries who traveled the Rio Grande Valley by horseback.
It remains an epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley’s Catholic community, hosting weddings and funerals, as well as an annual Palm Sunday procession that draws 2,000 people.
The chapel is a short distance from the Rio Grande. It falls directly into the area where CBP wants to build its “enforcement zone.”
The diocese said it opposes a border wall because the barrier violates Catholic teachings and the church’s responsibility to protect migrants, as well as the church’s First Amendment right of religious freedom. A legal group from Georgetown University has joined the diocese in its lawsuit.
Father Roy Snipes leads prayers each Friday for his chapel to be spared. Wearing a cowboy hat with his white robe and metal cross, he’s known locally as the “cowboy priest” and sometimes takes a boat on the Rio Grande to go from his home to the chapel.
“It would poison the water,” Snipes said. “It would still be a sacred place, but it would be a sacred place that was desecrated.”
The Cavazos family’s roughly 64 acres (0.25 square kilometers) were first purchased by their grandmother 60 years ago.
They rent some of the property to tenants who have built small houses or brought in trailers, charging some as little as $1,000 a year. They live off the earnings from the land and worry that a fence would deter renters and turn their property into a “no man’s land.”
On the rest of the property are plywood barns, enclosures for cattle and goats, and a wooden deck that extends into the river, which flows serenely east toward the Gulf of Mexico. Eloisa’s brother, Fred, can sit on the deck in his wheelchair and fish with a rod fashioned from a long carrizo reed plucked from the riverbank.
Surveyors examined their property in December under federal court order. The family hasn’t yet received an offer for their land, but their lawyers at the Texas Civil Rights Project expect a letter with an offer will arrive in the coming weeks.
“Everybody tells us to sell and go to a better place,” Eloisa Cavazos said. “This is heaven to us.”
The science of the deal: A negotiation expert explains how Trump and the Democrats could both end the shutdown with a win
January 9, 2019
Author: Parker Ellen, Assistant Professor of Management, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University
Disclosure statement: Parker Ellen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are stuck in a negotiation stalemate that is preventing an end to the government shutdown.
Trump wants a wall, but Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer refuse to support funding for a physical barrier – positions they recently reiterated while addressing the nation in primetime. Currently, both sides are operating in a manner that often prevents deals from getting made.
Understanding how people influence each other is central to my research and teaching as a management professor at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. In essence, I study the science, rather than the art, of the deal.
This work shows why the shutdown continues and how both sides could walk away with a win.
Positions versus interests
Research on negotiation highlights the importance of distinguishing between positions and interests.
Positions are the initial demands or starting points from which both sides typically need to move for an agreement to be reached. Interests, on the other hand, are the underlying motives for positions – the reasons people make demands in the first place.
When parties to a negotiation focus on positions, they often reach an impasse. Why? Because there really is only one way to satisfy a position – you either get what you asked for or you don’t.
Putting positions first
A focus on positions is evident in the negotiation to end the partial government shutdown – and why it may soon become the longest in American history.
Each side’s position is clear: wall or no wall. President Trump has demanded that a bill to reopen the government include more than US$5 billion for a physical barrier along the southern border of the United States. Conversely, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer insist that although they would consider providing money for increased border security they will not provide funding for a wall.
In negotiations research, this is referred to as a competitive approach to bargaining in which the two sides “take firm, opposing stances, cling tightly to them and stubbornly refuse to concede.”
This is a “win-lose” or “zero-sum” approach in which any gains for one party come at a direct cost to the other party.
Negotiating based on interests
A focus on interests, however, is at the core of what is referred to as integrative bargaining, which aligns with a collaborative approach to negotiations.
The language used in their recent prime-time addresses hints at the interests of both sides. Trump seemed to focus on preventing drugs and criminals from crossing the border. The Democrats’ response suggested they are primarily interested in the humane treatment and safe passage for people who want, and perhaps even need, to enter the United States.
When people negotiate over interests, they look beneath positions and seek to satisfy needs, which is the real reason we should negotiate.
This approach can produce more creative alternatives for an agreement. It also places importance on the relationship, in addition to the outcome, which typically paves the way for more productive negotiations between the parties in the future.
So why don’t Trump, Pelosi and Schumer simply negotiate based on interests instead of positions and end the shutdown?
Unfortunately, this often is easier said than done. People often incorrectly assume that, like positions, their and the other party’s interests are in direct conflict.
Interests, on the other hand, tend to be more compatible. In fact, because interests ultimately define the problem, focusing on them can provide far more options for an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties.
Finding a win-win solution
Although the current political climate clearly amplifies both sides’ competitive approach and hinders a shift from positions to interests, that is the most productive path to an agreement. Unfortunately, we have seen only hints of a discussion of interests to date.
To end the shutdown, both sides should find a way to make that shift. For example, Trump could do more to acknowledge the Democrats’ interest in fair treatment of those who want to enter the United States. Schumer and Pelosi could put more emphasis on the importance of Trump’s desire for increased border security.
And most importantly, both sides should present proposals to end the crisis that satisfy the other party’s legitimate interests. It’s a difficult task, but it’s the only way both sides, and the country, can win.
Do we really want a nationalistic future in space?
January 10, 2019
Author: Scott Shackelford, Associate Professor of Business Law and Ethics; Director, Ostrom Workshop Program on Cybersecurity and Internet Governance; Cybersecurity Program Chair, IU-Bloomington, Indiana University
Disclosure statement: Scott Shackelford does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Partners: Indiana University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
The annals of science fiction are full of visions of the future. Some are techno-utopian like “Star Trek” in which humanity has joined together in peace to explore the cosmos. Others are dystopian, like the World State in “Brave New World.” But many of these stories share one thing in common – they envision a time in which humanity has moved past narrow ideas of tribe and nationalism. That assumption might be wrong.
This can be seen in Trump’s calls for a unified U.S. Space Command. Or, in China’s expansive view of sovereignty and increasingly active space program as seen in its recent lunar landing. These examples suggest that the notion of outer space as a final frontier free from national appropriation is questionable. Active debate is ongoing as of this writing as to the consistency of the 2015 Space Act with international space law, which permitted private firms to own natural resources mined from asteroids. Some factions in Congress would like to go further still with one bill, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act. This states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, outer space shall not be considered a global commons.” This trend, especially among the space powers, is important since it not only will create precedents that could resonate for decades to come, but also because it hinders our ability to address common challenges – like removing the debris orbiting the planet.
End of the golden age
In 1959, then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson stated, “Men who have worked together to reach the stars are not likely to descend together into the depths of war and desolation.” In this spirit, between 1962 and 1979 the United States and the former Soviet Union worked together and through the U.N. Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to enact five major international treaties and numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements concerning outer space.
These accords covered everything from the return of rescued astronauts and liability for damage from space objects to the peaceful use of outer space. They did not, though, address space weaponization outside of the weapons of mass destruction context, or put into place mechanisms for managing an increasingly crowded final frontier.
Progress ground to a halt when it came time to decide on the legal status of the moon. The Reagan administration objected to the Moon Treaty, which stated that the moon was the “common heritage of mankind” like the deep seabed, in part because of lobbying from groups opposed to the treaty’s provisions. Because no organized effort arose in support of the treaty, it died in the U.S. Senate, and with it the golden age of space law. Today, nearly 30 years after it was first proposed, only 18 nations have ratified the accord.
Rise of collective action problems
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union space governance has only gotten more complicated due to an increasing number of space powers, both public and private. National and commercial interests are increasingly tied to space in political, economic and military arenas. Beyond fanciful notions of solar energy satellites, fusion energy and orbiting hotels, contemporary political issues such as nuclear nonproliferation, economic development, cybersecurity and human rights are also intimately tied to outer space.
The list of leading space powers has expanded beyond the U.S. and Russia to include China, India, Japan and members of the European Space Agency – especially France, Germany and Italy. Each regularly spends over US$1 billion on their space programs, with estimates of China’s space spending surpassing $8 billion in 2017, though the U.S. continues to spend more than all other nations combined on space related efforts. But space has become important to every nation that relies on everything from weather forecasting to satellite telecommunications. By 2015, the global space industry was worth more than $320 billion, a figure that is expected to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2040.
Private companies, such as SpaceX, are working to dramatically lower the cost of launching payloads into low Earth orbit, which has long stood at approximately $10,000 per pound. Such innovation holds the promise of opening up space to new development. It also raises concerns over the sustainability of space operations.
At the same time, the Trump administration’s public desire to launch a Space Force has fueled concerns over a new arms race, which, if created, could exacerbate both the issues of space weapons and debris. The two issues are related since the use of weapons in space can increase the amount of debris through fragments from destroyed satellites. For example, China performed a successful anti-satellite test in 2007 that destroyed an aging weather satellite at an altitude of some 500 miles. This single event contributed more than 35,000 pieces of orbital debris boosting the amount of space junk by approximately 25 percent.
Without concerted action, Marshall Kaplan, an orbital debris expert within the Space Policy Department at Johns Hopkins University, argues, “There is a good chance that we may have to eventually abandon all active satellites in currently used orbits” due to the growing problem of space junk.
Avoiding a tragedy of the space commons
The tragedy of the commons scenario refers to the “unconstrained consumption of a shared resource — a pasture, a highway, a server — by individuals acting in rational pursuit of their self-interest,” according to commons governance expert Brett Frischmann. This can and often does lead to destruction of the resource. Given that space is largely an open-access system, the predictions of the tragedy of the commons are self-evident. Space law expert Robert Bird, has argued that nations treat orbital space as a kind of communal pasture that may be over-exploited and polluted through debris. It’s a scenario captured in the movie “Wall-E.”
But luckily, there is a way out of this scenario besides either nationalization or privatization. Scholars led by the political economist and Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom modified the tragedy of the commons by showing that, in some cases, groups can and do self-organize and cooperate to avoid tragic over exploitation.
I explore this literature on “polycentric” governance – complex governance systems made up of multiple scales, sectors and stakeholders – in my forthcoming book, “Governing New Frontiers in the Information Age: Toward Cyber Peace.” Already, we are seeing some evidence of the benefits of such a polycentric approach in an increasingly multi-polar era in which there are more and more power centers emerging around the world. One example is a code of conduct for space-faring nations. That code includes the need to reduce orbital debris. Further progress could be made by building on the success of the international coalition that built the International Space Station such as by deepening partnerships with firms like SpaceX and Blue Origin.
This is not a “keep it simple, stupid” response to the challenges in space governance. But it does recognize the reality of continued national control over space operations for the foreseeable future, and indeed there are some benefits to such an outcome, including accountability. But we should think long and hard before moving away from a tried and tested model like the International Space Station and toward a future of vying national research stations and even military outposts in space.
Coordination between sovereign nations is possible, as was shown in the golden age of space law. By finding common ground, including the importance of sustainable development, we earthlings can ensure that humanity’s development of space is less a race than a peaceful march – not a flags and footprints mission for one nation, but a destination serving the development of science, the economy and the betterment of international relations.