Mexico president joins political foes to blast Trump border plan

Hugh Fox
April 6, 2018

Pena Nieto added, addressing Trump, "if your recent statements are derived from your frustration with (U.S.) domestic politics, with your laws or your congress, deal with them, not with us Mexicans".

Pena Nieto and Trump have had a strained relationship ever since the New Yorker launched his campaign in 2015 with the claim that some Mexican migrants are criminals and rapists.

Pena Nieto has faced criticism for failing to take a tough line against Trump in the past.

He has vowed to lead a human chain to protest at the border if Trump follows through on his plan to send National Guard troops to secure it.

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"We have never withheld our cooperation because we are aware of the shared responsibility that this important task applies", he added, demanding that Trump protect the rights of ethnic Mexicans in the United States.

"This anti-Mexican policy has worked politically because unfortunately there are conservative sectors in the United States with little information and he knows how to awaken an anti-Mexican sentiment, what's called xenophobia, which can be like racism, hatred of foreigners", Lopez Obrador said. "This great threat on the southern border of the United States that he says is there, does not exist".

Ruling party candidate Jose Antonio Meade said that "independently of our political differences, it is time for all the presidential candidates to unite in defense of the sovereignty and dignity of the reject and repudiate thus kind of measure".

In a sign of the Pentagon's unpreparedness for Trump's initial border directive, which came Tuesday, just hours before the commander-in-chief announced the size of the troop deployment, military officials said they had no idea how many Guardsmen would go to the border, whether they will be armed, when they will deploy and how long they will be there.

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"The presidential candidates, independently of their natural differences, all of them coincided in rejecting these measures that run counter to good relations between neighbors", Pena Nieto said in a broadcast message.

The announcement capped a day of developments in Mexico, where the caravan of Central American migrants whose trek toward the United States had infuriated Trump began breaking up.

"As president of all Mexicans, I agree with (their) remarks", he said.

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