They're Coming To America
You've seen the videos of migrants riding trains in Mexico to the U.S. border.
Tomorrow’s Silicon Valley founders, Bryan Caplan’s pupuseria proprietors, Jeb Bush’s family values conservatives, Hanania’s girlfriends for short white guys: they’re coming to America.— David Pinsen (@dpinsen) September 19, 2023
And you've seen the videos of illegal aliens milling about on the streets of America's sanctuary cities, thanks to Biden's open borders policies.
Welcome to Joe Biden’s America.— Steve 🇺🇸 (@SteveLovesAmmo) August 2, 2023
This is the Roosevelt hotel New York, filled with illegal aliens, many sleeping on the street outside as the "sanctuary city" is now overloaded and even Mayor Adams is calling for closed borders.pic.twitter.com/Ty00JkYfWa
So have tens of millions of other voters, and the Biden Administration worries these unprecedented flows of illegal migrants could sink them at the polls in November.
Biden's Cynical Plan To Temporarily Slow Down Illegal Migration
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the Biden Administration has arranged for Mexico to temporarily crackdown on illegal migration from its side of the border, to make the migration issue less salient as we get closer to the election. As the CIS's Todd Bensman reported last week [emphasis ours):
Nothing in the American experience has ever compared to the 10,000-14,000 illegal crossings every day the last several months that afflicted major American cities or those poor federal government souls who must manage the U.S. southern border.
But November’s and December’s latest “newest” record-smashing crossings, which exacerbated an already significant political liability to President Biden’s November reelection bid, were falling fast by New Year’s Day. And they’re still dropping.
Daily Border Patrol encounters of illegally crossing foreign nationals in the first weeks of January, in fact, were down by up to 70 percent from the 12,000 and 14,000 per day of recent weeks, to a still managerially catastrophic 4,000 and 5,000, according to government data shared confidentially with me.
What led to those numbers dropping from ionospheric heights the national media had no choice but to cover in a presidential election year? Will it last? Is this one real?
It helps to know that the falling numbers neatly coincide with recent shuttle diplomacy to Mexico City about the (political) crisis by Biden personally and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken on December 22 and then DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Blinken on December 27. The second meeting produced a joint communique lacking any useful details about the horse-trading, as my colleague Andrew R. Arthur has still managed to expertly analyze.
“I don’t believe in coincidences,” Arthur told me. “There’s a deal. We just don’t know what the deal is.” [...]
In a nutshell summary of Mexico’s doings, according to my own content analysis of Mexican media, forces under control of Mexico’s central government are rounding up immigrants in the country’s north and shipping them by bus and airplane to southern cities like Tapachula in Chiapas State (on the border with Guatemala) and Villahermosa in Tabasco State. They are all expected to go home or stay put alongside those continuing to enter from Guatemala.
Meanwhile, federal forces are installing new road checks to hem them in, a la the Gaza Strip, and in the northern provinces to catch, return, and deter runners still getting through.
Bensman goes on to note that Mexico's is something they've implemented before in the past, and is easily undone. Presumably, the plan to undo it again if Biden wins in November. Let's hope he doesn't.
In Case You Missed It
Over the weekend, The Market Ear reported that beat rates for companies reporting earnings this quarter have been the worst since 2016:
Beat rates 2nd worst since 2016
With only 10% of the SPX having reported, results are pretty poor. So far, the beat rate is an anemic 65.4%. That’s the 2nd worst since 2016, with the lowest coinciding with 1Q20 lockdowns.
Facing a high bar
JPM's Dubravko: "...we see stocks facing a high bar — during this earnings season, anything short of strong corporate guidance re-affirming current high growth expectations is likely to be penalized."
As it happens, we have bearish bets teed up on two stocks reporting earnings after the close today or before the open tomorrow. If you'd like a heads up when we place them, feel free to subscribe to our trading Substack/occasional email list below, if you aren't subscribed already.
If You Want To Stay In Touch
You can scan for optimal hedges for individual securities, find our current top ten names, and create hedged portfolios on our website. You can also follow Portfolio Armor on Twitter here, or become a free subscriber to our trading Substack using the link below (we're using that for our occasional emails now).