Mexico has now responded to President Trump’s tweet threatening to hold NAFTA negotiations over their heads if they do not do Trump’s bidding on immigration. Trump tweeted that he wanted to make Mexico agree to “stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S.” as a condition for a renegotiated NAFTA agreement. Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray has just made it clear that Trump’s attempt to attach immigration considerations to what is solely a trade agreement is wildly inappropriate and completely unacceptable. According to The Hill:
Mexico’s top diplomat on Monday rebuffed President Trump‘s suggestion to make immigration enforcement a precondition for a trade deal. “Mexico decides its migratory policy in a sovereign way, and migratory cooperation with the United States happens because it’s in Mexico’s interest,” tweeted Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray…In response, Videgaray said, “It would be unacceptable to condition the renegotiation of NAFTA to migratory actions outside this frame of cooperation,” he said.
Trump had tweeted, “Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast.”
Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2018
Of course, who does or does not gain entry to the United States is up to the United States – it isn’t Mexico’s responsibility, although Trump appears to want to try to strong arm them into taking on such a responsibility. Also, as Videgaray indicated, immigration into Mexico and the movement of migrants within Mexico is up to Mexico – Trump has no business weighing in to tell Mexico what to do. And Trump certainly has no business trying to force immigration considerations into the NAFTA trade agreement.
This was Videgaray’s original tweet, which was translated into English in the citation above.
México decide su política migratoria de manera soberana, y la cooperación migratoria con EUA ocurre por así convenir a México. Sería inaceptable condicionar la renegociación del TLCAN a acciones migratorias fuera de este marco de cooperación.
— Luis Videgaray Caso (@LVidegaray) April 23, 2018
Trump continues to try to bully Mexico into doing his bidding on immigration, and he is alienating this ally more and more with every step. Trump has made racist statements calling Mexicans rapists and has said over and over again that he thinks undocumented immigrants from Mexico are violent criminals, using the logical fallacy that a few instances of undocumented immigrants being violent criminals proves the group as a whole is that way. Trump has used threats and intimidation to try to get Mexico to pay for his folly of a wall, but Mexico has stood up to him and said there is absolutely no way that they will foot that bill. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto twice cancelled planned visits to the White House over this issue with Trump’s wall. Then Trump decided to send National Guard troops to the border, much to the displeasure of Mexico. According to The Hill:
Mexican leaders have intensified their response to Trump over the past month, after the U.S. president ordered National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border. After Trump signed that order, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto delivered a televised address rebuffing the move and ordering a full review of all cooperation agreements with the United States.
Here is that televised address from earlier this month by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, which has English subtitles. The address was a response to Trump’s National Guard troop deployment as well as to the undignified rhetoric Trump employs. Accompanying the video, Peña Nieto wrote in English, “Something that brings together and unites absolutely all Mexicans is our certainty that nothing and no one stands above the dignity of Mexico.”
Something that brings together and unites absolutely all Mexicans is our certainty that nothing and no one stands above the dignity of Mexico. pic.twitter.com/4eZIIUjM9a
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) April 5, 2018
Trump keeps trying to bully Mexico, yet at every step Mexico is standing up to Trump and making it clear that they will not be threatened into abiding Trump’s unreasonable demands. Threats and intimidation are a far cry from the diplomacy and negotiating skills a president needs to have. More and more countries are just ignoring Trump and going around him to make trade agreements among themselves that don’t include the United States.