The president of Mexico responded Thursday to President Donald Trump’s accusation that he was “doing nothing” to stop illegal immigration across the United States’ southern border.
“We respect president Trump’s position, and we are going to help,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the new leftist leader of Mexico, said to reporters.
However, he stipulated that “this is a problem of the United States, or it’s a problem of the Central American countries. It’s not up to us Mexicans, no.”
Lopez Obrador rejected the notion that his government is responsible for the situation at the U.S. southern border because a majority of the illegal immigrants currently hail from the Central American countries El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — despite the fact that all of them travel across Mexico in order to reach the U.S. border.
“I just emphasize that migration flows of Mexicans to the United States are very low, a lot lower,” he said. “The Mexican is no longer seeking work in the United States. The majority are inhabitants of our fellow Central American countries.”
Lopez Obrador’s comments were in response to Trump’s tweet Thursday morning in which he threatened to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border entirely.
Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
Trump — who was elected on a pledge to curb illegal immigration — has pressured Mexico City help stave off the number of migrants reaching the border.
Since entering office, Lopez Obrador has implemented some reforms aimed at alleviating the situation, such as lowering taxes, raising the minimum wage and embarking on infrastructure projects along his country’s northern border.
On the other side of the border, Trump has implemented a new policy, known as “Remain in Mexico,” that calls on asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases run through the court system. The policy does not apply to children or Mexican nationals and is meant to target the extraordinarily high volume of Central Americans who have tried to request asylum.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 4,000 apprehensions and encounters Monday, the highest volume in over 10 years.
That total was surpassed the following day with 4,117 apprehensions and encounters taking place Tuesday.
The numbers are not expected to drop soon, with the Department of Homeland Security expecting March to see the highest level of migrant apprehensions in over a decade.
Meanwhile, another migrant caravan, which formed in southern Mexico over the weekend, is making its way toward the U.S.
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