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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J"

A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

ELY, Minn. — In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota.

The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for the project.

Beginning in the early weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration worked at a high level to remove roadblocks to the proposed mine, government emails and calendars show, overruling concerns that it could harm the Boundary Waters, a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along the border with Canada.

Executives with the mining company, Antofagasta, discussed the project with senior administration officials, including the White House’s top energy adviser, the emails show. Even before an interior secretary was appointed to the new administration, the department moved to re-examine leases critical to the mine, eventually restoring those that the Obama administration had declined to renew. And the Forest Service called off an environmental review that could have restricted mining, even though the agriculture secretary had told Congress that the review would proceed.

An Interior Department spokesman said it simply worked to rectify “a flawed decision rushed out the door” before Mr. Trump took office. Several senior department officials with previous administrations, however, said they were surprised by the swift change of course for the little-known Minnesota project, which was not a focal point of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

For the family of the billionaire Andrónico Luksic, which controls the Chilean conglomerate, the policy reversals could provide a big boost to its mining business. Since the change in administration, the Antofagasta subsidiary Twin Metals Minnesota has significantly ramped up its lobbying in Washington, according to federal disclosures, spending $900,000.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00CLI-HOUSE-luksic-articleLarge A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President. Zinke, Ryan (1961- ) Wilderness Areas Wetlands washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald J Tidwell, Thomas L Renting and Leasing (Real Estate) Minnesota Mines and Mining Lobbying and Lobbyists Kushner, Jared Kushner, Charles Interior Department Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming Forests and Forestry Forest Service environment Chile Carbon Dioxide Banco de Chile Bachelet, Michelle Appointments and Executive Changes

Andrónico Luksic’s plan for a copper mine in Minnesota was blocked by President Barack Obama. His fortunes have since shifted.CreditMartin Bernetti/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ivanka Trump, left, and Jared Kushner, second from left, two of the president’s closest advisers.CreditAlex Wong/Getty Images

But the mining project’s breakthrough, already unpopular with environmentalists, has drawn additional scrutiny and criticism because of an unusual connection between Mr. Luksic and two of Mr. Trump’s family members.

Just before Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Luksic added a personal investment to his portfolio: a $5.5 million house in Washington. Mr. Luksic bought the house with the intention of renting it to a wealthy new arrival to Mr. Trump’s Washington, according to Rodrigo Terré, chairman of Mr. Luksic’s family investment office, which handled the purchase.

The idea worked. Even before the purchase was final, real estate agents had lined up renters: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

The rental arrangement has been a point of concern for ethics experts and groups opposed to mining near the Boundary Waters, and has focused national attention, particularly among some Democrats in Congress, on an otherwise local debate.

The Wall Street Journal first reported about the house in March 2017. At that time, Twin Metals was suing the federal government over the mining leases, but the Trump administration’s direction on the mine since then had only begun to take shape.

In recent months, the scrutiny has grown. In March, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, the Arizona Democrat who is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, wrote a letter with other lawmakers to the interior and agriculture secretaries raising significant concerns about the proposed mine.

The letter said the two departments’ actions “blatantly ignored scientific and economic evidence.” It also mentioned the “interesting coincidence” surrounding the rental of the Luksic house to Mr. Trump’s relatives. Separately, a group in Minnesota opposed to the mining, Save the Boundary Waters, has called the rental arrangement “deeply troubling” and has seized on it to cast doubt on the administration’s actions.

The White House and representatives for the couple declined to answer questions about whether the rental deal had been reviewed by ethics officials. “Both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump follow the ethics advice they received when they entered government service,” said Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell.

Mr. Terré called the lease a simple real estate transaction that happened to involve the incoming president’s family. “I do not believe there was anything unethical or inappropriate about this business transaction,” he said.

Both Mr. Mirijanian and Mr. Terré said the rental was not related to the Minnesota mine. “There is no correlation in any way,” Mr. Mirijanian said. They were “two entirely unrelated matters” and tying them together was “based on unfounded rumors and speculation,” Mr. Terré said.

An Interior Department spokeswoman said that neither Mr. Kushner nor Ms. Trump been involved in discussions about the mine.

Nonetheless, several ethics experts said they would have cautioned Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump against renting the home, given the Luksic family’s business before the administration.

“There may be nothing wrong,” said Arthur Andrew Lopez, a federal government ethics official for two decades who is now a professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “But it doesn’t look good.”

Antofagasta hopes to mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters, which encompasses more than a million acres of lakes and forest.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

The Boundary Waters hold a special place in American geography: More than a million acres of lakes and forests provide a rich habitat for thousands of species, including the gray wolf and Canada lynx. But below the surface and beyond lies richness of another sort, an estimated four billion tons of copper and nickel ore — believed to be one of the world’s largest undeveloped mineral deposits.

The mining giant controlled by the Luksic family, Antofagasta, took full control of the project in 2015, and its executives have called it the company’s “most advanced international opportunity.” Antofagasta, which is publicly traded in London, is poised to benefit from the growing use of copper in renewable-energy technologies like wind and solar. It lists Mr. Luksic as a board member, and his younger brother, Jean-Paul Luksic, as chairman.

The company has spent more than $450 million so far on the project, run by the subsidiary, Twin Metals Minnesota. It says the project will generate hundreds of mining jobs.

The promise of employment resonates in Minnesota’s Iron Range, which has lost a quarter of its mining jobs since 2000. “The mining industry brings a tsunami effect for the community with regard to jobs, schools, everything,” said Andrea Zupancich, the mayor of Babbitt, a town of 1,500 near the proposed mine.

Antofagasta’s environmental record, however, has raised concerns. In Chile, the company’s Los Pelambres copper mine has suffered toxic spills, according to environmental groups. The company said the mine had experienced only “minor incidents involving limited spills” which were not toxic, and said it was proud of its environmental record.

In a 2016 analysis, Thomas Tidwell, who was then chief of the United States Forest Service, warned of risks to the Boundary Waters from the proposed Twin Metals mine, including the leaching of harmful metals. Mining, he concluded, risked “serious and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic, and irreplaceable wilderness.”

Twin Metals called the analysis “riddled with errors” and said “environmental risks will be properly managed.”

Still, the fears have divided nearby residents. “In the summer, we drink out of this water,” said Susan Schurke, who runs Wintergreen Northern Wear, an outdoor clothing company. “Once that’s tainted, it’s over. How can we risk that?”

When the Obama administration moved to block the project in 2016, Twin Metals sued. The company said in a statement then that the administration’s move threatened jobs and would “hinder access to one of the world’s largest sources of copper, nickel and platinum — resources of strategic importance to the U.S. economy and national defense.”

Just as the mining company’s hopes appeared to be on the ropes, it got a welcome surprise: Mr. Trump’s election, and the promise of a pro-industry agenda.

“In 100 years, this water is going to be far more valuable a resource here than copper,” Sullen Sack, a wilderness educator, said.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times
A map of the Boundary Waters at Ely Outfitting Company in Ely, Minn.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times The region has lost a quarter of its mining jobs since 2000.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

With a new administration on its way to Washington, Mr. Luksic contacted a real estate broker he knew for help with an investment idea: buying residential properties in Washington, including a luxury home, to rent out.

With the help of the broker, Rodrigo Valderrama, Mr. Luksic’s family investment office, which through corporate entities owns a portfolio of real estate in the United States, bought two condominiums in the capital. One was never rented and the other was later sold at a loss.

As for the luxury home, Mr. Valderrama spent weeks touring homes and alerting brokers that he had an interested client. One house he saw was on Tracy Place, in the Kalorama neighborhood, being handled by the real estate firm Washington Fine Properties.

Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner were using the same firm for their hunt for a house to rent. With Mr. Kushner’s parents tagging along, they saw the six-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot Kalorama home as well.

In the space of a week, Mr. Luksic’s representatives agreed to buy the house and closed on the all-cash transaction, while their would-be tenants waited for the purchase to be complete.

The two sides, working through brokers, agreed on rent of $15,000 per month. Mr. Terré described it as being in the “high range” for the area, which some real estate agents confirmed. Still, that rent was significantly lower than what the couple had discussed paying for another more expensive house, according to interviews.

The home rented by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

Mr. Terré said both sides were aware of each others’ identities before the rental deal was finalized. “We disclosed our name and the name of my boss,” he said in a telephone interview. Mr. Mirijanian said the couple had decided to lease the home before knowing the landlord’s identity. He did not directly respond to questions about whether they learned of that identity before signing the lease.

Mr. Luksic has written on Twitter that he does not know Mr. Trump or any member of his family, and only met Mr. Trump briefly at a New England Patriots football game years ago. Mr. Terré said Mr. Luksic “has not had any interactions with the Trump White House.”

Critics of the Luksic family say they were suspicious of the Washington investments because of Mr. Luksic’s past in Chile, where he has faced claims of attempts to win favor with the family of a former Chilean president. The Luksic family, one of the world’s wealthiest, has interests spanning banking, manufacturing, energy, shipping and beer.

Mr. Luksic came under fire for meeting with the son and daughter-in-law of Michelle Bachelet, who was running to be president of Chile at the time, as they sought a $10 million loan for their company from Banco de Chile, which is controlled by the Luksic family conglomerate. After Ms. Bachelet’s 2013 election, the bank approved the loan.

A spokesman for Ms. Bachelet said an investigation into the meeting didn’t lead to any charges. Representatives for Mr. Luksic said that he never discussed the loan with Ms. Bachelet, and that regulators found “there was absolutely nothing irregular about the bank’s approval of the loan.”

The Trump administration’s efforts to smooth the way for Antofagasta’s mining ambitions began less than two weeks after the inauguration, when Interior Department officials began re-examining the leases, the government emails show.

The message from an early meeting, according to an attendee who spoke on condition of anonymity, was that officials should prepare for a change in direction.

Officials also made sure the incoming interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, not yet in the job, was briefed. In an email, one Interior Department official described that effort as a “fire drill.”

The administration’s efforts are documented in part in thousands of pages of government emails and calendars, many obtained through records requests by Louis V. Galdieri, a documentary filmmaker, and the Sierra Club, an environmental organization.

A key meeting occurred in early May, when Antofagasta’s chief executive, along with other executives and lobbyists, discussed the issue with the White House’s top adviser on domestic energy and the environment, Michael Catanzaro. The company said it wanted to reverse the Obama-era decisions, which it said were illegal and inflicted “undue damage.”

Rock core samples taken by Twin Metals as part of preparations for mining.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times
Near the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge outside Ely. Dogsledding in the Boundary Waters wilderness is popular in winter.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times A slab of taconite iron ore, a major local industry in decades past, on display in Babbitt, Minn.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

The next month, Interior Department officials learned that the White House had “expressed interest in the Twin Metals matter,” according to an email sent by a department lawyer marked “TIME SENSITIVE.” Soon after, top interior appointees traveled to the Minnesota site.

That December, the department reversed course on denying the company’s leases, and Twin Metals withdrew its lawsuit. The Interior Department formally renewed the leases last month, with some restrictions.

Twin Metals scored another victory in September when the Forest Service cut short its mining-ban review. An agency spokesman said it had determined that neither the study nor a ban was needed.

A Twin Metals spokesman, David Ulrich, said the company’s outreach was part of a long-running effort to share its views with the federal government. Obama administration officials had also visited the mining site, he said.

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“We are confident that this world-class mineral resource can be developed safely and with a minimal impact to the environment,” he said in a statement.

The mine still faces a yearslong permitting and approval process. Engineers have been drilling boreholes and wells to study the region’s geology and water, and the company is preparing an operating plan.

“The last administration created some challenges,” Mr. Ulrich said during a tour of the site on the Boundary Waters’ edge. “But it was never not moving forward.”

On a trip to Minnesota in April, Mr. Trump was jubilant about the restoration of mining.

“Under the previous administration,” he said at a truck factory, “America’s rich natural resources were put under lock and key.” The changes since then, he said, were “really pretty amazing.”

Moonrise over Garden Lake, on the edge of the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.CreditTim Gruber for The New York Times

Reporting was contributed by Lisa Friedman in Washington, Jesse Drucker and Kate Kelly in New York, and Pascale Bonnefoy in Santiago, Chile. Kitty Bennett and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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‘She’s Not My Type’: Accused Again of Sexual Assault, Trump Resorts to Old Insult

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday again denied assaulting a columnist for Elle magazine in the dressing room of a high-end clothing store more than 20 years ago, countering her explosive accusation by asserting that he would not have assaulted her because “she’s not my type.”

Mr. Trump said that E. Jean Carroll, who wrote for years for Elle magazine, was “lying” when she said that he threw her up against a wall and forced himself on her in the mid-1990s, and he insisted that he did not know her.

“I’ll say it with great respect,” he said in an interview with The Hill, a Capitol Hill news organization. “No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, O.K.?”

Earlier Monday, Ms. Carroll spoke about an excerpt from her new book — “What Do We Need Men For?” — that was published in New York magazine. She said in an interview on CNN that Mr. Trump threw her up against a wall so hard that “I hit my head really hard: boom.” She said that she tried to fight back against Mr. Trump’s violent advances in a fitting room of Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan.

In the Hill interview, Mr. Trump said Ms. Carroll was making up the story. “Totally lying. I don’t know anything about her,” he said. “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”

Mr. Trump in the past has rejected other sexual assault accusations by asserting that the women who accused him of taking advantage of them were not attractive enough to engage in such behavior.

“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” Trump told supporters at a campaign event in 2016 after a woman accused him of putting his hand up her skirt while on an airplane. “You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.” As the crowd laughed, he said, “Check out her Facebook, you’ll understand.”

The fitting room episode took place in late 1995 or early 1996, according to Ms. Carroll, who said Monday that Mr. Trump asked her to model lingerie that he was looking to purchase. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to Marla Maples.

“The minute he closed that door, I was banged up against the wall,” Ms. Carroll said during an appearance on “New Day” with Alisyn Camerota. “I want women to know that I did not stand there. I did not freeze. I was not paralyzed, which is a reaction I could have had because it was so shocking. No, I fought.”

Ms. Carroll said the release in October 2016 of the “Access Hollywood” video in which Mr. Trump boasted of sexual assault to the television host Billy Bush was validation for her. CNN played the 2005 clip during Ms. Carroll’s appearance on Monday.

“It knocked me back; I felt relief,” Ms. Carroll said. “We have to change this culture of sexual violence.”

More than a dozen women have accused Mr. Trump of sexual misconduct that they said took place before he was elected president.

“It’s the same,” Ms. Carroll said. “He denies it. He turns it around. He attacks and then he threatens. I am sick of it. Think how many women have come forward. Nothing happens.”

Ms. Carroll, 75, stopped short of using the word “rape” on Monday to characterize the episode, which she said in the New York magazine excerpt that she disclosed to two friends at the time. One urged her to report it to the police, while a journalist friend warned her to keep quiet because Mr. Trump would “bury you.” The New York Times spoke to the two friends, who confirmed that Ms. Carroll had spoken about it with them but said they did not want to be identified.

“I have difficulty with the word,” Ms. Carroll, the author of “Ask E. Jean” in Elle, said Monday. “I see it as a fight. He pulled down my tights. It was over very quickly. It was against my will 100 percent.”

Ms. Carroll rejected the president’s contention that she was motivated by publicity for her book.

“Male authors never get this question,” Ms. Carroll said. “It was not about selling a book about Donald Trump.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156791481_19e78a40-d9e1-4cc5-aecb-fe286cd2bde7-articleLarge ‘She’s Not My Type’: Accused Again of Sexual Assault, Trump Resorts to Old Insult What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal (Book) Trump, Donald J Sex Crimes Carroll, E Jean Books and Literature #MeToo Movement

“What Do We Need Men For?” By E. Jean CarrollCreditMacmillan

In a statement on Friday, the president said he had never met Ms. Carroll, but the two were photographed together at a party in 1987 with Ms. Carroll’s former husband, John Johnson. Mr. Trump said on Saturday that the image was misleading.

“Standing with my coat on in a line?” Mr. Trump said. “Give me a break — with my back to the camera? I have no idea who she is.”

Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Neil Vigdor from New York.

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Iran Disparages U.S. Over Sanctions

Westlake Legal Group 25rouhani-facebookJumbo Iran Disparages U.S. Over Sanctions United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Rouhani, Hassan Nuclear Weapons Iran Embargoes and Sanctions

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded,” dismissing the Trump administration’s latest round of economic sanctions as pointless and declaring that Iran would not be intimidated.

The remarks, which Mr. Rouhani made in a televised address, made it more clear than ever that Washington and Tehran remain locked in a standoff despite President Trump’s last-minute decision to call off a missile strike against Iran in retaliation for its shooting down of an American surveillance drone.

“Today, the Americans have become desperate and confused,” he added. “This has made them take unusual measures and talk nonsense.”

Mr. Rouhani’s personal attacks on Mr. Trump are especially significant. In the context of the Iranian political system, Mr. Rouhani is regarded as a moderate who is relatively open to negotiations with Washington, and the insults from Mr. Rouhani further diminish the already-remote prospects of talks between the two sides.

The Trump administration is continuing to punish Iran with crippling economic sanctions that American officials say are intended to force Tehran to agree to new limits on any efforts to develop nuclear weapons, on its arsenal of ballistic missiles, and on its support for allied militias around the region.

Iran, in response, has said it will take steps that would bring it closer to building a nuclear weapon after four-year lull. It had suspended that work in exchange for sanctions relief under a 2015 agreement with the United States and other international powers, but Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the deal last year in order to start his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, which is intended to force Iran into a more restrictive pact.

Tensions have risen sharply over the past six weeks, ever since the Trump administration tightened its sanctions enforcement in an effort to cut off all international sales of Iran’s oil, the lifeblood of its economy. Iranian officials have denounced those sanctions as “economic warfare.”

The United States has accused Iran of lashing back by using naval mines to damage six tankers in the waters of the Persian Gulf, allegations Mr. Rouhani has denied.

Iran, however, boasted last week of shooting down an American surveillance drone. The United States has said the drone was in international air space, while Iran maintains that the aircraft was over Iranian territory.

The Trump administration on Monday added new sanctions targeting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and some senior military figures. The sanctions block them from entering the United States or using its financial institutions.

Mr. Rouhani ridiculed the effort, noting that the supreme leader never visits the United States or does business with it.

“Tehran’s strategic patience does not mean that we are afraid,” Mr. Rouhani said, according to the Mehr news agency. “We do not fear America, and have shown restraint so far.”

Trump administration officials have insisted that the United States is prepared to reopen negotiations with Iran as soon as Tehran is willing, and Mr. Trump has often sounded notably more flexible about such talks than the hawkish officials he has appointed to advise him, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the national security adviser.

Mr. Rouhani and other Iranians have said the mixed messages and coercive tactics from the Trump administration belie its professed desire to negotiate. Although such language is new for Mr. Rouhani, Tuesday was not the first time senior Iranian officials have referred to the White House as “mentally retarded.”

Mr. Trump, however, has at times shown a remarkable willingness to move past an exchange of insults. It was only a short time after the North Korean leader called Mr. Trump a “dotard” that the president plunged eagerly into one-on-one talks with that leader, Kim Jong Un.

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Emergency Aid for Migrants Badly Divides Democrats

WASHINGTON — Congress is trying to rush $4.5 billion in emergency humanitarian aid to the southwestern border while placing new restrictions on President Trump’s immigration crackdown, spurred on by disturbing images of suffering migrant families and of children living in squalor in overcrowded detention facilities.

But with a House vote on the package planned for Tuesday, some Democrats fear that the aid will be used to carry out Mr. Trump’s aggressive tactics, including deportation raids that he has promised will begin within two weeks. Republicans are objecting to restrictions in the measure that are meant to dictate better standards for facilities that hold migrant children and to bar the money from being used for enforcing immigration law.

Those twin challenges have left the fate of the measure up in the air, even as evidence of deplorable conditions at the border underscores both the urgent need for the money and the bitter rift over Mr. Trump’s policies.

“Democrats distrust this president because we have seen his cruel immigration policies and lawless behavior terrorize our constituents,” Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said on Monday evening as she pleaded with fellow Democrats to support the package. “That is why we have language to stop transfers of money for immigration raids and detention beds. But we cannot allow our anger at this president to blind us to the horrific conditions at facilities along the border as the agencies run out of money.”

The aid package poses a difficult dilemma for Democrats, who are torn between their desire to champion humanitarian help for migrants and their concern that any money they approve will be used by the Trump administration to advance what they consider to be a fundamentally inhumane set of policies. They are also loath to be seen as the ones holding up soap, diapers and food for babies, keenly aware that Mr. Trump and his team are eager to blame Democrats for the dire conditions.

“The administration chooses to direct the vast majority of funding toward enforcement, and then cries poverty when it comes to diapers and food,” said Heidi Altman, the policy director at the liberal National Immigrant Justice Center. “It’s a hostage-taking way of engaging in policy.”

Hispanic-American lawmakers are particularly split; some are arguing that it is crucial to get the aid to agencies and outside groups assisting migrants at the border, while others say they will not be complicit in sending any money to agencies that have carried out Mr. Trump’s harsh initiatives against immigrants.

Several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are pushing to attach stricter conditions to the money, including higher humanitarian standards for facilities that hold migrant children, according to a senior Democratic official familiar with the talks.

The behind-the-scenes dispute comes as the Trump administration on Monday transferred hundreds of migrant children who were being detained in filthy conditions at a border station in Texas into a shelter system maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156797106_f55312e5-3016-449e-9bcc-443a70a63337-articleLarge Emergency Aid for Migrants Badly Divides Democrats United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Humanitarian Aid Human Rights and Human Rights Violations Deportation Democratic Party

A Border Patrol station in Clint, Tex., where hundreds of children were held for weeks without access to soap, clean clothes or adequate food.CreditCedar Attanasio/Associated Press

Concern about the funding bill swelled over the weekend, after Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday that he was suspending the raids for two weeks to provide time for a bipartisan compromise on changing asylum laws and closing immigration “loopholes.” His abrupt reversal came after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, telephoned Mr. Trump to ask for a delay.

Ms. Pelosi praised the postponement, and in a strongly worded statement later on Sunday she called for passage of the emergency aid package, saying that it protects families and “does not fund the administration’s failed mass detention policy.” It would also do nothing to change asylum laws to meet Mr. Trump’s demands.

“As members of Congress and as Americans, we have a sacred moral responsibility to protect the human rights and the lives of vulnerable children and families,” she said. “To do anything less would be an outrageous and unacceptable violation of our oath and our morality.”

But even as the speaker was pressing to advance the bill, dozens of House Democrats were in revolt over it. In an emergency conference call on Sunday, more than 30 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus aired their concerns, many of them arguing that the legislation did not set high enough standards for migrant shelters or do enough to block money from going toward enforcement.

“We all want to address the problems at the border, but we don’t know that there are enough sticks in this bill to make sure that the Trump administration actually spends the money the way they’re supposed to,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington and the co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus. “He’s creating these crises and then trying to point a finger at Democrats to give him more money, which he then uses for his own purposes.”

Ms. Jayapal said there was no reason to believe that the Trump administration would abide by any restrictions included in the legislation or standards dictated by the measure, given its “lawless” behavior when it came to immigrants.

Ms. Pelosi was to huddle on Monday night with Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, the chairwoman of the panel in charge of the aid package, and members of the Hispanic and progressive caucuses, according to an aide.

The conflict in the House stands in contrast to the Senate, where Republicans and Democrats on a key committee came together last week to approve a $4.6 billion border aid package that contained some limitations to bar the administration from using the resources for enforcement. It would, for instance, prohibit the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the division of the Department of Health and Human Services that houses unaccompanied migrant children, from sharing information with immigration officials about people who take custody of the children.

The House bill goes further than the Senate legislation in placing restrictions on the money. Facilities that house unaccompanied children would have a slightly shorter time frame — 12 months instead of 14 months — to meet existing legal standards for healthy, sanitary and humane conditions; they would have to allow oversight visits from members of Congress without warning; and the Department of Health and Human Services would have to report a child’s death in its custody to Congress within 24 hours.

Representative Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, the senior Republican on the panel overseeing the bill, said he opposed the measure as written by House Democrats. “You will see just about every Republican in the House vote against the Democratic supplemental bill,” Mr. Fleischmann said, citing the added restrictions and the lack of funding for back pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Representative Pramila Jayapal said there was no reason to believe that the Trump administration would abide by any restrictions included in the legislation or standards dictated by it.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

And even if they are able to muscle it through, he added, doing so sets up a negotiation to resolve differences with the Senate that will only delay the aid. “The enemy right now is time,” said Mr. Fleischmann, who supports the Senate bill.

“It is agreeable to the White House,” he said, “so we have two-thirds of the puzzle complete there.”

The White House on Monday issued a statement threatening that Mr. Trump would veto the House measure because it “does not provide adequate funding to meet the current crisis” and “contains partisan provisions designed to hamstring the administration’s border enforcement efforts.”

Ms. Pelosi has told colleagues that while she understands their concerns about the aid measure, its demise in the House would essentially cede the issue to the Senate and its weaker bill, according to people familiar with the conversations who described them on the condition of anonymity.

Among some Democrats, the argument is starting to stick. “It’s either the status quo, the Senate bill or the House bill,” said Representative Veronica Escobar, a Texas Democrat whose El Paso district abuts the border. “If the House bill could be improved, that would be wonderful. But this is an emergency supplemental.”

“In my view, if we don’t get the money right away,” she added, “my fear is we’re going to see more children die.”

But many Democrats are pressing for more. They want to give the administration less time to comply with existing standards for facilities that house children, and to include higher health, nutritional, hygiene and sanitation standards for Customs and Border Protection facilities.

They would ban for-profit companies from running migrant shelters and would scrap funding for the United States Marshals that is specifically geared toward referring people who entered or re-entered the country illegally for criminal prosecution. And they want stronger prohibitions against sharing the immigration records of people who come forward to take custody of unaccompanied migrant children.

The measure has also exposed a rift among immigrant advocacy groups, with some of the most liberal organizations actively calling on lawmakers to oppose it and others privately saying the aid, however imperfect, is desperately needed. The grass-roots group Indivisible began a social media campaign to urge members of Congress to vote against the legislation as a way of starving “Trump’s deportation machine,” in a tweet with the hashtag #notonedollar.

For some lawmakers, no amount of restrictions could make the measure acceptable.

In a statement on Friday before Mr. Trump called off the raids, a group of progressive congresswomen announced their opposition to the funding bill, saying they could not “in good conscience” back legislation that sent money to Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “support a fundamentally cruel and broken immigration system.”

“These radicalized, criminal agencies are destroying families and killing innocent children,” said a statement by four freshman representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. “It is absolutely unconscionable to even consider giving one more dollar to support this president’s deportation force that openly commits human rights abuses and refuses to be held accountable to the American people.”

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Trump Imposes New Sanctions on Iran, Adding to Tensions

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Monday that he was imposing new sanctions on Iran, stepping up a policy of pressuring the nation’s leaders and further squeezing the Iranian economy in retaliation for what the United States says are recent aggressive acts by Tehran.

The move came on top of actions taken by the administration this spring to cut off all revenues from Iranian oil exports, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy.

The new sanctions are aimed at preventing some top Iranian officials from using the international banking system or any financial vehicles set up by European nations or other countries. But the Iranian officials most likely do not keep substantial assets in international banks, if any at all, or use those institutions for transactions, and any additional pressure from the new sanctions is likely to be minimal.

The largely symbolic nature of this round of sanctions indicates that the Trump administration is running low on arrows in its economic quiver. It now finds itself in a waiting game, as it watches for whether the latest clampdown on oil exports, which was announced in late April, will force the Iranian leaders to surrender to American demands in exchange for economic relief.

Speaking in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said the new sanctions order would bar Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the international financial system. The Treasury Department said it was also imposing sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders, including the head of a unit that the Americans say was responsible for shooting down an American drone last Thursday.

Mr. Trump acted at a time of rising concerns over Iran. Those have been prompted in part by declarations from Tehran that it is amassing more nuclear fuel, the latest evidence that Mr. Trump’s withdrawal last year from a nuclear containment deal is pushing Iranian leaders to violate terms they had been abiding by until now.

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Mr. Trump said as he sat at his desk in the Oval Office preparing to sign an executive order. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

While he warned on Monday that his restraint has limits, Mr. Trump has signaled that he prefers tightening sanctions to launching an immediate military strike to try to alter Iran’s behavior and force political change in Tehran.

But critics said the new sanctions would have little substantive effect and could further inflame tensions.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156948135_f3045d89-f378-4add-8295-a7a51cd9d9ee-articleLarge Trump Imposes New Sanctions on Iran, Adding to Tensions Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Persian Gulf Khamenei, Ali Iran Gulf of Oman Embargoes and Sanctions Cyberwarfare and Defense Bolton, John R

Iranians at the old grand bazaar on Monday. The inflation rate in Iran has risen to about 50 percent.CreditAbedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock

“Symbolic politics at its worst,” said Robert Malley, the president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group and a former senior Obama administration official on the Middle East. “At every level it is illogical, counterproductive or useless.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would add Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and its top negotiator on the nuclear deal, to the sanctions list this week. (In his announcement about the sanctions on the supreme leader, Mr. Trump misspoke and said “Ayatollah Khomeini,” who died in 1989, rather than “Khamenei.”)

The inflation rate in Iran has risen to about 50 percent and many Iranians are dissatisfied with the economy, but authoritarian leaders have historically shown they can withstand stress from sanctions for many years. Some Iranian citizens also blame the United States government for the devastation of their economy, and they point to the shortage of critical medicine, even though Trump administration officials say they do not intend to limit humanitarian aid.

Iranian officials could choose to carry out nonfatal attacks on United States or international interests, as they did with the downing of the drone, to try to get the Trump administration to ease sanctions. Iran’s naval commander, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, said on Monday that the military was capable of shooting down other drones that violate Iranian airspace.

Mr. Trump said on Monday that he was willing to negotiate with Iran — “I think Iran, potentially, has a phenomenal future” — but insisted Iranian leaders would have to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons, as well as halt uranium enrichment, “fueling of foreign conflicts” and “belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.”

Mr. Trump always emphasizes the need to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, while his hawkish top foreign policy aides, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, say Iran must also make wholesale changes to its policies in the Middle East.

International nuclear experts say Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program and has been adhering to the terms of a landmark nuclear agreement that it reached in 2015 with world powers.

Mr. Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions. Iran said last week it would soon breach some limits on low-grade uranium in the deal, a type of fissile material used in civilian reactors. Iran would still be far from being able to make a nuclear weapon; its announcement appeared intended to pressure European nations to find ways to resume trade with Iran in order to alleviate the impact of American sanctions.

Mr. Trump’s rollout of sanctions and the effort to end all oil exports, along with an insistence by Mr. Pompeo that Tehran meet 12 expansive demands mostly unrelated to the nuclear program, “set a spark to the escalatory cycle we’re seeing today,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, a Middle East expert at RAND Corporation, a research group in California.

“The administration argued maximum pressure would bring Iran to the negotiating table, but instead it brought provocative Iranian actions that are not likely to end without Iran getting something concrete on sanctions relief,” she said. “Talk about wanting to talk is not likely to be enough.”

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ aerospace division, speaking to the news media next to debris from a downed American drone on Friday.CreditMeghdad Madadi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China and Russia, who also signed the nuclear deal, have joined European nations in opposing the sanctions. European officials are trying to persuade Iran to stay in the agreement and are expected to speak with Mr. Trump about his Iran policy at the Group of 20 summit meeting this week in Japan.

Mr. Trump and his top foreign policy aides say further squeezing Iran will compel its leaders to buckle to demands to limit their nuclear program in ways that go beyond the terms of the 2015 deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and opposed by many Republicans, Israel and Arab nations in the Persian Gulf.

Hesameddin Ashena, an adviser to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, said on Twitter that the “U.S.’s claim that it wants negotiations without preconditions while it increases sanctions and pressure is not acceptable.”

If the United States wants more than the 2015 nuclear deal, he said, “it must offer us more than the deal with international guarantees.”

On Monday afternoon, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, told reporters that he had been barred from a closed-door meeting of the Security Council called by the United States. He also said there was no way Iran and the United States could have a dialogue right now.

The imposition of more sanctions could provoke further actions by Iran to add to the crisis that has unfolded since early May in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, analysts say.

American officials have blamed Iran for two separate sets of explosions on six oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, saying Iran is trying to increase global oil prices in retaliation for the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Iranian officials have denied responsibility.

The downing of the drone prompted Mr. Trump to order a missile strike on Iranian military sites last Thursday, but he pulled back at the last minute after hours of debate, and instead opted for a cyberattack.

On Monday, Mr. Pompeo met at a palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with King Salman, then had lunch with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the administration has supported despite his suspected role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, and in overseeing an air war that has killed thousands of civilians in Yemen. The State Department said Mr. Pompeo talked with the king and the prince about “heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security to promote freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Mr. Pompeo then flew to Abu Dhabi to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed over dinner. Mr. Pompeo told the prince that his nation should contribute money and military resources to a maritime security program for ships around the Strait of Hormuz. The Americans are calling it the Sentinel program, and Mr. Pompeo said it was supposed to involve 20 nations in addition to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

“The president is keen that the United States doesn’t bear the cost of this,” Mr. Pompeo told the prince.

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Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran, Adding to Tensions

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Monday that he was imposing new sanctions on Iran, stepping up a policy of pressuring the nation’s leaders and further squeezing the Iranian economy in retaliation for what the United States says are recent aggressive acts by Tehran.

The move came on top of sanctions imposed by the administration this spring to cut off all revenues from Iranian oil exports, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy.

The new sanctions are aimed at preventing some top Iranian officials from using the international banking system or any financial vehicles set up by European nations or other countries. But the Iranian officials most likely do not keep substantial assets in international banks, if any at all, or use those institutions for transactions, and any additional pressure from the new sanctions is likely to be minimal.

The largely symbolic nature of this round of sanctions indicates that the Trump administration is running low on arrows in its economic quiver. It now finds itself in a waiting game, as it watches for whether the latest clampdown on oil exports, which was announced in late April, will force the Iranian leaders to surrender to American demands in exchange for economic relief.

Speaking in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said the new sanctions order would bar Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from access to the international financial system. The Treasury Department said it was also imposing sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders, including the head of a unit that the Americans say was responsible for shooting down an American drone last Thursday.

Mr. Trump acted at a time of rising concerns over Iran. Those have been prompted in part by declarations from Tehran that it is amassing more nuclear fuel, the latest evidence that Mr. Trump’s withdrawal last year from a nuclear containment deal is pushing Iranian leaders to violate terms they had been abiding by until now.

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Mr. Trump said as he sat at his desk in the Oval Office preparing to sign an executive order. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

While he warned on Monday that his restraint has limits, Mr. Trump has signaled that he prefers tightening sanctions to launching an immediate military strike to try to alter Iran’s behavior and force political change in Tehran.

But critics said the new sanctions would have little substantive effect and could further inflame tensions.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156948135_f3045d89-f378-4add-8295-a7a51cd9d9ee-articleLarge Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran, Adding to Tensions Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Persian Gulf Khamenei, Ali Iran Gulf of Oman Embargoes and Sanctions Cyberwarfare and Defense Bolton, John R

Iranians at the old grand bazaar on Monday. The inflation rate in Iran has risen to about 50 percent.CreditAbedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock

“Symbolic politics at its worst,” said Robert Malley, the president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group and a former senior Obama administration official on the Middle East. “At every level it is illogical, counterproductive or useless.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would add Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and its top negotiator on the nuclear deal, to the sanctions list this week.

The inflation rate in Iran has risen to about 50 percent and many Iranians are dissatisfied with the economy, but authoritarian leaders have historically shown they can withstand stress from sanctions for many years. Some Iranian citizens also blame the United States government for the devastation of their economy, and they point to the shortage of critical medicine, even though Trump administration officials say they do not intend to limit humanitarian aid.

Iranian officials could choose to carry out nonfatal attacks on United States or international interests, as they did with the downing of the drone, to try to get the Trump administration to ease sanctions. Iran’s naval commander, Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi, said on Monday that the military was capable of shooting down other drones that violate Iranian airspace.

Mr. Trump said on Monday that he was willing to negotiate with Iran — “I think Iran, potentially, has a phenomenal future” — but insisted Iranian leaders would have to end their pursuit of nuclear weapons, as well as halt uranium enrichment, “fueling of foreign conflicts” and “belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.”

Mr. Trump always emphasizes the need to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, while his hawkish top foreign policy aides, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, say Iran must also make wholesale changes to its policies in the Middle East.

International nuclear experts say Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program and has been adhering to the terms of a landmark nuclear agreement that it reached in 2015 with world powers.

Mr. Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions. Iran said last week it would soon breach some limits on low-grade uranium in the deal, a type of fissile material used in civilian reactors. Iran would still be far from being able to make a nuclear weapon; its announcement appeared intended to pressure European nations to find ways to resume trade with Iran in order to alleviate the impact of American sanctions.

Mr. Trump’s rollout of sanctions and the effort to end all oil exports, along with an insistence by Mr. Pompeo that Tehran meet 12 expansive demands mostly unrelated to the nuclear program, “set a spark to the escalatory cycle we’re seeing today,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, a Middle East expert at RAND Corporation, a research group in California.

“The administration argued maximum pressure would bring Iran to the negotiating table, but instead it brought provocative Iranian actions that are not likely to end without Iran getting something concrete on sanctions relief,” she said. “Talk about wanting to talk is not likely to be enough.”

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ aerospace division, speaking to the news media next to debris from a downed American drone on Friday.CreditMeghdad Madadi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China and Russia, who also signed the nuclear deal, have joined European nations in opposing the sanctions. European officials are trying to persuade Iran to stay in the agreement and are expected to speak with Mr. Trump about his Iran policy at the Group of 20 summit meeting this week in Japan.

Mr. Trump and his top foreign policy aides say further squeezing Iran will compel its leaders to buckle to demands to limit their nuclear program in ways that go beyond the terms of the 2015 deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and opposed by many Republicans, Israel and Arab nations in the Persian Gulf.

Hesameddin Ashena, an adviser to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, said on Twitter that the “U.S.’s claim that it wants negotiations without preconditions while it increases sanctions and pressure is not acceptable.”

If the United States wants more than the 2015 nuclear deal, he said, “it must offer us more than the deal with international guarantees.”

On Monday afternoon, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, told reporters that he had been barred from a closed-door meeting of the Security Council called by the United States. He also said there was no way Iran and the United States could have a dialogue right now.

The imposition of more sanctions could provoke further actions by Iran to add to the crisis that has unfolded since early May in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, analysts say.

American officials have blamed Iran for two separate sets of explosions on six oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, saying Iran is trying to increase global oil prices in retaliation for the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Iranian officials have denied responsibility.

The downing of the drone prompted Mr. Trump to order a missile strike on Iranian military sites last Thursday, but he pulled back at the last minute after hours of debate, and instead opted for a cyberattack.

On Monday, Mr. Pompeo met at a palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with King Salman, then had lunch with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the administration has supported despite his suspected role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, and in overseeing an air war that has killed thousands of civilians in Yemen. The State Department said Mr. Pompeo talked with the king and the prince about “heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security to promote freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Mr. Pompeo then flew to Abu Dhabi to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed over dinner. Mr. Pompeo told the prince that his nation should contribute money and military resources to a maritime security program for ships around the Strait of Hormuz. The Americans are calling it the Sentinel program, and Mr. Pompeo said it was supposed to involve 20 nations in addition to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

“The president is keen that the United States doesn’t bear the cost of this,” Mr. Pompeo told the prince.

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Mexico’s Crackdown at Its Southern Border, Prompted by Trump, Scares Migrants From Crossing

NENTÓN, Guatemala — The Aguilar family had been preparing since February to migrate north. They borrowed $2,600, made a down payment to a smuggler and set off from their home in northern Guatemala last week.

But at Guatemala’s border with Mexico, their smuggler had some bad news: Crossing into Mexico was too risky. A June 7 deal between the Mexican authorities and the United States to reduce migration had brought extra security forces to the border.

Mexico’s mobilization of its security forces has been halting, and for most of the past two weeks it seemed to fall short of the dramatic show of force that the government had promised.

Still, the deployment has already disrupted the usual flow of people and commerce passing over this historically porous border, and sown fear among migrants and their smugglers alike.

“We don’t know anything, whether this is a definitive change, or just for some time,” said Juan Alberto Aguilar, 27, who was traveling with his wife and their 3-year-old daughter. The family sat dejectedly in the central square of Nentón, a village near the Guatemala-Mexico border, waiting for the van that would take them home.

The deployment plan is part of a deal between the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico and the American government to thwart President Trump’s threats of potentially crippling tariffs.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156687870_a3960cc1-7663-4347-a2f6-bf00ffc109f1-articleLarge Mexico’s Crackdown at Its Southern Border, Prompted by Trump, Scares Migrants From Crossing United States International Relations Trump, Donald J smuggling Politics and Government Nicaragua Mexico Lopez Obrador, Andres Manuel Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Guatemala Defense and Military Forces Central America

Soldiers working with Mexico’s National Guard standing at an immigration checkpoint in the state of Chiapas this month.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

On Thursday, President Trump praised the Mexican president for his early efforts.

“The flow has very substantially slowed down,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s already had a big impact.”

In Ciudad Hidalgo, a bustling market town in Mexico near the southwestern end of the border, vendors say they have seen a significant falloff in business in the past two weeks. Most of their clients are Guatemalans who avoid paying duty on their purchases by returning illegally to Guatemala on rafts that ply the Suchiate River, which demarcates that section of the border.

“The people are scared to come because they fear that the government will come and take their merchandise,” said Mary, a vendor in Ciudad Hidalgo who asked that her last name be withheld for fear of government persecution. “We live from that commerce, eat from that commerce.”

Across the border, in Nentón, Guatemala, Silvia Avaja, 30, the owner of a general store, said she usually traveled to Mexico once every three months to buy products such as soap, deodorant and toothpaste. But the new security measures in Mexico had spooked her.

She, too, had heard that the Mexican authorities were seizing shoppers’ black market goods.

“I’m thinking of not going over there anymore,” she said.

But the effect of the deployment has been felt most significantly among undocumented migrants, who now see a more impenetrable Mexico.

Merchants crossing the Guatemala-Mexico border at La Mesilla, Guatemala.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

Jonathan, 28, a Nicaraguan seminary student, said he fled his home after being subjected to government persecution and death threats following his participation in antigovernment protests last year. He first tried to settle in Costa Rica but, facing more death threats there, he flew to Guatemala and traveled by land to the border with Mexico.

He made it to Frontera Comalapa, 25 miles into Mexico, before the new migration-control measures brought his trip to a grinding halt.

“I never thought it would be like this,” he said, sitting in a soup kitchen one afternoon last week and considering the possibility that this was as far north as he was going to get.

Three Nicaraguan friends who had also made it to Frontera Comalapa had already returned to Central America to wait for a better moment to try to reach the United States.

But returning to Nicaragua, Jonathan said, was not an option for him. His goal was still to reach the United States, which promised a far better livelihood.

“I’m going to fight,” he continued, requesting partial anonymity because of his legal status in Mexico. “I’m going to do everything possible to get there.”

Guatemalan merchants resting by a border marker in Guatemala.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

For now, however, he is weighing the possibility of applying for asylum in Mexico. Migrants’ advocates say many more Central Americans and others are opting to do this, as it is one of the few options left amid the crackdown.

Elsewhere along the border, entrepreneurs who make their living offering services to migrants have seen a drop in demand.

“Before there were even entire families crossing,” said Israel López Ordoñez, 52, a veteran raftsman on the Suchiate River in Ciudad Hidalgo. “Now, no.”

In the Guatemalan border town of La Mesilla, near Frontera Comalapa, Carmelo, 50, a money changer, said that several people he knows — including friends and family — have aborted plans to migrate north in the past two weeks.

“It’s not good,” he said of the new measures. “If a Guatemalan travels to the States, a lot of people here can live from that Guatemalan.”

Even migrant smugglers — responsible for ferrying many, if not most, migrants to the southwest border of the United States — are delaying or canceling trips north.

Soldiers working with Mexico’s National Guard waiting at an immigration checkpoint in southern Mexico this month.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

Like the Aguilar family, Ottoniel López, 19, a Guatemalan migrant, found himself just shy of the Mexican border when his smuggler told him to turn around and go home.

He said he had set off on his trip, bound for the United States, knowing he might face a range of potential hazards, like fatigue, hunger and possible violence. But the Mexican government’s crackdown had not been part of his calculus.

“You always know that it’s going to be difficult,” he said here in Nentón, leaning out of the van that would take him part of the way to his home in southwestern Guatemala. “But now they said we could not pass because of all the blockades.”

The agreement with the Trump administration gave President López Obrador 45 days to prove that Mexico could reduce the number of migrants crossing into the United States. Mexican officials initially said they would send 6,000 members of a newly created National Guard force to southern Mexico to impede the northbound flow of undocumented migrants.

But the deployment has been uneven.

First, it kept getting pushed back. Then, Mexican officials backed off their initial promise to mobilize 6,000 National Guard members to the south, and instead said that the force would also include members of the armed forces.

Maximiliano Reyes Zúñiga, an assistant foreign secretary, said last week that only 40 percent of the total deployment would occur in the southern border states of Mexico.

Migrants climbing up the embankment stairs toward Ciudad Hidalgo, in Chiapas, Mexico, after arriving by raft from Guatemala.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

But on Monday, Gen. Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, Mexico’s defense minister, said that the government had mobilized some 6,500 security forces in the southern states, including about 2,000 National Guard members. More than 14,000 additional security forces were deployed in Mexico’s north to help control migration, he said.

Officials in Chiapas also acknowledged that curbing illegal migration through the state, which shares a long border with Guatemala, would be extremely hard, if not impossible.

The mountainous region is crisscrossed by back roads and footpaths. And residents and others speculated that entrenched corruption among government officials who have abetted smugglers and migrants would not be eliminated anytime soon.

But the number of government roadblocks along some main highways in southern Mexico has increased, local residents say, and the migration authorities and security forces working with them seem to be more thorough in checking passing vehicles for undocumented migrants.

The authorities have also started the more ambitious work of combating the smuggling operations that are responsible for escorting many, if not most, migrants north.

Migrants’ advocates have warned that the crackdown could invite human rights violations, concerns that were underscored by the recent shooting death of a 19-year-old Salvadoran migrant who was riding in a truck bound for the United States border. Witnesses told investigators that men dressed in police uniforms and driving a police vehicle opened fire on the truck after it passed through a migration checkpoint in the state of Veracruz and sped away.

While National Guard members are still scarce in the southern border region, military forces, some of them outfitted with National Guard arm bands, have been newly mandated to conduct night patrols, and to question the occupants of passing vehicles and inspect their cargo.

Immigrants’ advocates anticipated that the increasing presence of security forces would continue to drive down the number of people trying to migrate north, but they expected that in time, the flows would rebound, perhaps through more remote and dangerous migratory pathways.

“It’s going to be like when Trump became president, and the rate of migration went down for several months, but then went back up again,” said David Tobasura, a Chiapas-based immigration consultant for the American Friends Service Committee. “This is not going to stop migration. Surely in a few weeks or months, it will go back up. It’ll be the same as it was before.”

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Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran

Westlake Legal Group 24dc-sanctions-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Imposes New Economic Sanctions on Iran Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Persian Gulf Khamenei, Ali Iran Gulf of Oman Embargoes and Sanctions Cyberwarfare and Defense Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Monday that he is imposing new sanctions on Iran, after saying for days that he preferred tightening the pressure on a crippled Iranian economy to launching an immediate military strike in retaliation for what American officials have said are recent aggressive acts by Tehran.

“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Mr. Trump said as he sat at his desk in the Oval Office preparing to sign an executive order. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”

He added that the order will bar Iranian leaders from access to financial instruments. The administration did not immediately elaborate.

The Trump administration already moved this spring to cut off all revenues from Iranian oil exports, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, and the new sanctions are expected to be aimed at shutting down additional sources of income with the goal of forcing political change in Tehran.

Mr. Trump and his top foreign policy aides are gambling that continuing the squeeze on Iran will compel its leaders to buckle to demands to limit their nuclear program in ways that go beyond the landmark agreement that major world powers forged with Iran in 2015 — and that Mr. Trump withdrew from last year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with the rulers of Saudi Arabia on a last-minute trip on Monday, also insists Iran must curb its regional military activity and end support for partner Arab militias.

The imposition of more sanctions could provoke further actions by Iran to add to the crisis that has unfolded since early May in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, analysts say.

American officials have blamed Iran for two separate sets of explosions on six oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, saying Iran is trying to show its capabilities and increase global oil prices in retaliation for the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Iranian officials have denied responsibility. Last week, the Iranian military shot down an American drone, though the two nations debate whether the drone was in Iranian territory or over international waters.

The downing of the drone prompted Mr. Trump to order a missile strike on Iranian military sites last Thursday, but he pulled back at the last minute after hours of debate, and instead opted to launch a cyber attack. The most prominent Iran hawks in the administration, Mr. Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, had pushed for the missile strikes.

Mr. Pompeo also advocated in the White House Situation Room on Thursday for continuing sanctions and seeing whether Iran would capitulate to demands as the policy of cutting off all oil revenues, announced in late April, takes full effect.

Iranian leaders say the Trump administration is waging economic warfare on their nation, and analysts say the sanctions campaign, which has been done with no substantial diplomatic outreach, strengthens the standing of hard-line officials in Tehran who argue for taking retaliatory measures. The Trump administration has imposed more than 1,000 specific sanctions on Iran since the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in May 2018, according to the State Department.

The rollout of sanctions and attempt to end all oil exports, along with an insistence by Mr. Pompeo that Tehran meet 12 expansive demands mostly unrelated to the nuclear program, “set a spark to the escalatory cycle we’re seeing today,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, a Middle East expert at RAND Corporation, a research group in California.

“The administration argued maximum pressure would bring Iran to the negotiating table, but instead it brought provocative Iranian actions that are not likely to end without Iran getting something concrete on sanctions relief,” she said. “Talk about wanting to talk is not likely to be enough.”

Some advocates of a hard-line approach to Iran have said Mr. Trump should double down on sanctions and not be baited into doing a military strike, which could backfire by generating support among ordinary Iranians for the anti-American policies of officials in Tehran, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

“Now is not the time for military action,” Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on Twitter on Saturday. “Intensify the economic and political pressure. Make clear supreme leader is supreme obstacle to a better future for Iranians.”

On Monday, Mr. Pompeo met at a palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with King Salman, then had lunch with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the administration has supported despite his suspected role in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and in overseeing an air war that has killed civilians in Yemen. Mr. Pompeo said on Twitter that he had talked with the king about “heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz.”

Saudi officials said an attack by a drone operated by the Houthi rebels of Yemen killed at least one person and injured seven others on Sunday.

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Trump Expected to Announce New Economic Sanctions on Iran

Westlake Legal Group 24DC-SANCTIONS-facebookJumbo Trump Expected to Announce New Economic Sanctions on Iran Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Persian Gulf Khamenei, Ali Iran Gulf of Oman Embargoes and Sanctions Cyberwarfare and Defense Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — President Trump is expected to announce on Monday that he is imposing new sanctions on Iran, after saying for days that he preferred tightening the pressure on a crippled Iranian economy to launching an immediate military strike in retaliation for what American officials have said are recent aggressive acts by Tehran.

The Trump administration already moved this spring to cut off all revenues from Iranian oil exports, the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, and the new sanctions are expected to be aimed at shutting down additional sources of income with the goal of forcing political change in Tehran.

Mr. Trump and his top foreign policy aides are gambling that continuing the squeeze on Iran will compel its leaders to buckle to demands to limit their nuclear program in ways that go beyond the landmark agreement that major world powers forged with Iran in 2015 — and that Mr. Trump withdrew from last year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with the rulers of Saudi Arabia on a last-minute trip on Monday, also insists Iran must curb its regional military activity and end support for partner Arab militias.

The imposition of more sanctions could provoke further actions by Iran to add to the crisis that has unfolded since early May in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, analysts say.

American officials have blamed Iran for two separate sets of explosions on six oil tankers around the Strait of Hormuz, saying Iran is trying to show its capabilities and increase global oil prices in retaliation for the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Iranian officials have denied responsibility. Last week, the Iranian military shot down an American drone, though the two nations debate whether the drone was in Iranian territory or over international waters.

The downing of the drone prompted Mr. Trump to order a missile strike on Iranian military sites last Thursday, but he pulled back at the last minute after hours of debate, and instead opted to launch a cyber attack. The most prominent Iran hawks in the administration, Mr. Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, had pushed for the missile strikes.

Mr. Pompeo also advocated in the White House Situation Room on Thursday for continuing sanctions and seeing whether Iran would capitulate to demands as the policy of cutting off all oil revenues, announced in late April, takes full effect.

Iranian leaders say the Trump administration is waging economic warfare on their nation, and analysts say the sanctions campaign, which has been done with no substantial diplomatic outreach, strengthens the standing of hard-line officials in Tehran who argue for taking retaliatory measures. The Trump administration has imposed more than 1,000 specific sanctions on Iran since the withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in May 2018, according to the State Department.

The rollout of sanctions and attempt to end all oil exports, along with an insistence by Mr. Pompeo that Tehran meet 12 expansive demands mostly unrelated to the nuclear program, “set a spark to the escalatory cycle we’re seeing today,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, a Middle East expert at RAND Corporation, a research group in California.

“The administration argued maximum pressure would bring Iran to the negotiating table, but instead it brought provocative Iranian actions that are not likely to end without Iran getting something concrete on sanctions relief,” she said. “Talk about wanting to talk is not likely to be enough.”

Some advocates of a hard-line approach to Iran have said Mr. Trump should double down on sanctions and not be baited into doing a military strike, which could backfire by generating support among ordinary Iranians for the anti-American policies of officials in Tehran, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

“Now is not the time for military action,” Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said on Twitter on Saturday. “Intensify the economic and political pressure. Make clear supreme leader is supreme obstacle to a better future for Iranians.”

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White House Is Pressing for Additional Options, Including Cyberattacks, to Deter Iran

Westlake Legal Group 23DC-shadow-facebookJumbo White House Is Pressing for Additional Options, Including Cyberattacks, to Deter Iran United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Ships and Shipping Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Drones (Pilotless Planes) Cyberwarfare and Defense central intelligence agency

WASHINGTON — American intelligence and military officers are working on additional clandestine plans to counter Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf, pushed by the White House to develop new options that could help deter Tehran without escalating tensions into a full-out conventional war, according to current and former officials.

The goal is to develop operations similar to the cyberattacks conducted on Thursday and that echo the shadow war the United States has accused Tehran of carrying out with attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East, according to American officials briefed on the effort. Iran maintains that it was not responsible for the attacks on the tankers.

The cyberattacks were aimed at an Iranian intelligence group that American officials believe was behind a series of attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf region. The American operation was intended to take down the computers and networks used by the intelligence group, at least temporarily. A separate online operation was aimed at taking out computers that control Iranian missile launches.

The White House has told military and intelligence officials it also now wants options in line with the kind of operations conducted by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the officials said.

President Trump has made clear he believes that, at this point, a direct strike would be escalatory, although he has repeatedly warned Iran against further aggression.

Intelligence and military officials have told White House policymakers, including Mr. Trump, that without an additional American response, Iran will continue to destabilize the region.

Some divisions of opinion in the administration remain. A number of senior national security officials agree that further action against Iran is needed, but they are divided about how public that action needs to be.

Officials did not provide specifics about the secret operations under consideration by the White House. But they could include a wide range of activities such as additional cyberattacks, clandestine operations aimed at disabling boats used by Iranians to conduct shipping attacks, and covert operations inside Iran aimed at fomenting more unrest. The United States might also look for ways to divide or undermine the effectiveness of Iranian proxy groups, officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive, confidential administration planning.

The C.I.A. has longstanding secret plans for responding to Iranian provocations. Senior officials have discussed with the White House options for expanded covert operations by the agency, as well as plans to step up existing efforts to counter Iran’s efforts, according to current and former officials.

One former American military commander said there was a range of options that the Pentagon and the C.I.A. could pursue that could keep Iran off balance but that would not have “crystal-clear attribution” to the United States. An American operation that was not publicly announced could still deter further action by Tehran, if Iran understood what United States operatives had done, the former officer said.

The types of responses the United States could undertake are broad if the United States was willing to use the same tactics that Iran has mastered, said Sean McFate, a professor at the National Defense University and the author of “The New Rules of War.”

“If we want to fight back, do it in the shadows,” he said.

Mr. McFate said the United States could put a bounty on Iran’s paramilitary and proxy forces. That would create an incentive for mercenary forces to take on Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies. American intelligence forces also could find new ways to assist existing protests against the Iranian government. Such efforts could include spreading information, either embarrassing truths or deliberate false rumors, aimed at undermining the support that Tehran’s elites have for Iran’s leaders, he said. The United States could also look at ways to make protests by Iran’s labor movement more effective at weakening the government.

Current and former officials say that Iran’s covert attacks against shipping and its downing of an American drone are an attempt to try to raise pressure on the United States. Iran, they say, hopes that by sowing chaos in the Persian Gulf it can drive up oil prices, which will put pressure on Mr. Trump and American allies dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Iran maintains that the drone it shot down had violated its airspace; American officials insist it had been over international waters.

“From the Iranian perspective, unconventional attacks, threats against Gulf shipping and air routes and bellicose rhetoric represent the best ways to pressure the international community to compel the U.S. to relieve sanctions without igniting a conventional conflict,” said Norman T. Roule, a former national intelligence manager for Iran and a C.I.A. Middle East expert.

Some officials believe the United States needs be willing to master the kind of deniable, shadowy techniques Tehran has perfected in order to halt Iran’s aggressions. Others think that, while helpful, such clandestine attacks will not be enough to reassure American allies or deter Iran.

Iran will probably pause its activities for a time, senior American officials said. But, with sanctions biting, they say Iran will once again resume attacks on shipping. That will once more force the White House to consider a direct military strike.

While so-called gray zone operations are meant to stay below the threshold of inciting open conflict, the moves always run the risk of touching off exactly what both sides are trying to avoid: a shooting war.

Moreover, some online operations are far easier than others. Knocking an intelligence agency’s computers offline, as the United States did with Russia last year during the midterm American elections, is fairly basic. But getting inside a missile launch operation is much harder; although the United States succeeded in doing so in North Korea, it took a long time and prompted the North Koreans to build an entirely different missile system.

The Iranians also now have much greater capability to strike back in the cyber realm than they did a decade ago. Their foray into American banks in 2012 and 2013 was, in retrospect, a training exercise. When the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning on Saturday about Iranian cyberthreats, it described much greater capabilities. Iran’s “cyber corps” has now had years of training in causing damaging attacks, like the one it conducted on a Las Vegas casino and other targets in the United States.

Mr. Roule also agreed the United States response needed to be public and clear. “The best U.S. options will not be covert,” he said. “Overt options send the strongest message of deterrence. Iran needs to know that the U.S. — supported by the international community — will not tolerate its behavior.”

Mr. Trump has been stung by criticism about his decision to call off the strikes after the Iranian drone attack. But the president believes a combination of covert operations by the C.I.A. and clandestine operations by the military’s Cyber Command and other military forces will demonstrate his resolve as commander in chief, a senior administration official said.

The president is eager to avoid a messy shooting war with Iran, which he believes would violate his campaign promise to keep America out of protracted conflicts in the Middle East. A shadow war would reduce the exposure of American troops and, if Iran was unsure of whether the United States or its allies were responsible, its response could be muted.

Authoritarian powers, like Iran, have an easier time with hybrid conflicts built on deceptions and falsehoods.

For example, Russian tactics in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014 demonstrated the effectiveness of hybrid warfare in a post-Cold War era. Russia was able to leverage confusion, obfuscation and violence to achieve geopolitical gains.

Russian special forces without insignia, the so-called little green men, helped Moscow seize Crimea. And Russian-backed separatists, commanded by Russian military officers, have effectively cut off eastern Ukraine from the rest of the country, despite international outcry.

Iran has its own track record of using hybrid tactics, mostly through the use of its proxy forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iran became adept at striking the United States without provoking a direct response. Tehran’s militia proxy forces regularly fired rockets at American bases in Iraq, and Iran flooded the battlefield with a particularly deadly form of roadside bomb that penetrated some of the best American military armor.

In past decades, though, the United States was much better at thinly veiled, shadow operations. During the Cold War, the United States regularly used unconventional tactics, proxy forces and its intelligence agency to keep adversaries off balance.

The C.I.A. began mining Nicaraguan harbors in 1984: The nominally covert, but well publicized, operations were not aimed at sinking ships. Instead, the agency’s real target was the international insurance markets.

The Reagan administration, which was backing the Contra rebels, hoped raising insurance rates would reduce shipping, raising prices on critical goods and increasing public pressure on the leftist Nicaraguan government.

Iran’s strikes on tankers in recent weeks echo that old C.I.A. operation, current and former officials said. After initial strikes on tankers last month, Lloyd’s of London, the international insurance company, announced it would effectively raise insurance rates for the entire Persian Gulf.

Reviving America’s old tactics and finding a way to copy Iran’s new ones could be the best way to try to halt Tehran’s current campaign, Mr. McFate said. The defensive measure the United States has taken, including deploying an aircraft carrier and Patriot missile batteries to the region, have not halted Iran’s activities.

“Iran is playing by the new rules, he said, “while we are using the obsolete ones, and wonder why Iran’s behavior is not changing.”

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