The front-runner in Mexico’s July 1 election has declared that the Mexican people have a “human right” to enter the United States.
Candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known on the campaign trail as AMLO, the acronym of his initials, is likely to take office in an election in which he has focused upon the discontent of Mexicans with the current regime, according to The Washington Post.
But in a new report from the Spanish-language Eluniversal, Obrador on Tuesday claimed Mexican migrants have the right to enter the U.S., one which he urged them to exercise.
“And soon, very soon — after the victory of our movement — we will defend all the migrants in the American continent and all the migrants in the world,” Obrador said Tuesday as he urged Mexicans to “leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”
Crossing the border is “a human right we will defend.”
In response to the comment, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Mexico wants its poorest citizens to be cared for by Americans rather than pay for their support, Fox News reported.
Immigration is “a very good deal for the Mexican ruling class,” Carlson said.
This is not the first time Obrador has taken on the nation that is one of his country’s major trading partner.
In April, he said Mexico “would not be the pinata” of any foreign government, Global News reported.
In 2017, Obrador criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration policies directly while visiting Los Angeles.
“I think the wall and the demagoguery of patriotism are no match for the dignity and humanity of the American people,” he said, according to Reuters.
At that time, he called California “a refuge and blessing for immigrants.”
“When they want to build a wall to segregate populations, or when the word ‘foreigner’ is used to insult, denigrate and discriminate against our fellow human beings, it goes against humanity, it goes against intelligence and against history,” he said.
Obrador also supports scrapping the North American Free Trade Agreement to create higher wages for Mexico’s workers, and also limiting trade with the U.S., The Washington Post said in an editorial that predicted, if he wins as expected, “more trouble on both sides of the border.”
One expert said that Trump’s hard-line policies toward Mexico mean that all candidates seeking election promise a tough tone toward the U.S. in return.
“Curiously, the arrival of Trump has turned the United States into a nonissue in the campaign,” Vidal Fernando Romero León, of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City told The New York Times. “It’s not easy for them to differentiate themselves in terms of what they are going to do with Trump — they are all against Trump. It’s something you’re required to say you’re against.”
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