Immigration

Outraged Mexico preparing for legal, trade war with US

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Photo source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain, https://pixabay.com/en/mexico-flag-coat-of-arms-1736752/

Photo source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain, https://pixabay.com/en/mexico-flag-coat-of-arms-1736752/

By Alexandra Alper and Anahi Rama

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico reacted with anger on Wednesday to what one official called “hostile” new U.S. immigration guidelines hours before senior Trump administration envoys began arriving in Mexico City for talks on the volatile issue.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.

The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when President Donald Trump said on Twitter Mexico should pay for his planned border wall shortly before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.

However, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in Washington U.S.-Mexico ties were “phenomenal right now” and that he expected a “great discussion.” Other senior officials also put on a brave face, telling reporters the trip was aimed at building a close working relationship.

Trump, who took office last month, campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, playing on fears of violent crime while promising to build the wall and stop potential terrorists from entering the country.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon. He was joined by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly later for talks the White House said would “walk through” the implementation of Trump’s immigration orders.

Kelly signed the guidelines issued by his department on Monday.

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

“I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” Videgaray told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.

He said the issue would dominate the talks on Wednesday and Thursday. Mexico will insist that the United States proves the nationality of any person it wants to deport to Mexico, he said.

“We also have control of our borders and we will exercise it fully,” he said, adding that Mexico was prepared to go the United Nations to defend the freedoms and rights of Mexicans under international law.

“HOSTILE, UNACCEPTABLE”

Roberto Campa, who heads the human rights department of the Interior Ministry, said the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico was “hostile” and “unacceptable.”

Senators for the leading leftist opposition party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, said Tillerson and Kelly were not welcome in Mexico and they urged Pena Nieto not to meet them.

Another potential point of friction is a review ordered by Trump of the U.S. aid Mexico receives, dominated by $2.6 billion allocated largely for security under the Merida Initiative. Some believe the order carries a threat of cutting off such support.

Homeland Security’s guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Trump signed on Jan. 25.

In Guatemala on Wednesday, Kelly denied the administration was embarking on mass deportations.

Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Latin America Economic Growth Initiative, said the Republican president appeared to have timed the unveiling of deportation measures as a negotiating tactic aimed at unsettling Mexico.

Trump was “carving out more extreme positions to be able to then negotiate a compromise solution,” Marczak said.

Mexico’s agenda at the talks on Thursday includes border infrastructure, deportation strategies, Central American migration, narcotics, arms trafficking and terrorism, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement, a senior official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Two senior Trump administration officials said the agenda included ways to tackle heroin production and strengthening Mexico’s southern border.

(Additional reporting by Gabriel Stargardter, Natalie Schachar, Adriana Barrera and Christine Murray; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Peter Cooney and Paul Tait)

  • We as Americans can stop buying from Mexico if we want to do so, hell we can tour America and never go to Mexico and that we harm them big time also .. we can keep our money here at home in grand USA .

    • Karll

      The one question is, how much oil do we import from the taco benders?

  • ONLYJB1

    There is no global nothing! Not one person, not one country can tell the USA what they may do on their own soil! Better back off!

  • They acted like they were doing us a favor during the press conference with Kelly and Tillerson. No sale baby!

  • WILL CASEY PURVIS

    Everyone has to go home and fix their own country.
    Think about it as if it were your house. Do you want somebody in your downstairs and your upstairs and you have to take care of them and feed them. I want them to go to their own houses and take care of themselves.
    We can offer advice if they ask for it.

  • BonLovesFreedom

    “…Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose…” however, the United States does not have to accept illegal immigrants from any country, including Mexico. Obviously, Mexico is opposed to having their own people returned…which indicates the type of illegal immigrants entering America. We must protect Americans first…that is a primary function of the federal government.

    • Karll

      So put the captured wet backs on barges and let them float in to the
      Mexican coast.
      Why are we putting up with garbage from the third world neighbor
      that has consistently shat on us for decades?
      mexico is just a corruptly run **** hole.

      • BonLovesFreedom

        Agree with you. True, Karll…can’t think of anything positive Mexico has done for America.We have driven our industry to Mexico with regulations and taxes, so they should be thankful and be more than willing to work with us on immigrant criminals.

        • ARJAY

          Any sane person would think that they would want to be a GOOD neighbor!

    • ARJAY

      mexico wants to impose THEIR rules on US, but doesn’t accept the opposite?!?!?!

  • I remember

    Mexico allowed millions of non-Mexicans to cross Mexico to illegally enter the US. If we shove them back across the border, they can shove them back across their southern border. They don’t have to keep them.

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