The president of Mexico responded to President Donald Trump’s accusation that he was “doing nothing” to stop illegal immigration into the U.S. 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 on Thursday, but 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 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 continued. “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 Thursday morning tweet, in which he threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border down entirely.
Trump — who entered office on a pledge to curb illegal immigration — has pressured Mexico City help stave off the number of migrants reaching the border. Since entering offie, 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 case runs 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.
The month of March has experienced back-to-back days of record-setting immigration.
The Customs and Border Patrol reported 4,000 apprehensions and encounters on Monday, the highest volume in over ten years. However, Monday’s record was broken the following day, with 4,117 apprehensions and encounters taking place on 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.
There is also another migrant caravan, which formed in southern Mexico over the weekend, making its way toward the U.S.
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