Mexico has expressed its “worry and irritation” at the noises coming out the White House and Donald Trump’s insulting remarks about America’s southern neighbour.
The Mexicans made their feelings plain to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security chief John Kelly on a visit to the country.
Trump’s recent comments about US border operations added further bile to a relationship growing sourer by the day: “You see what’s happening at the border. All of a sudden for the first time we’re getting gang members out, were getting drug lords out. We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country and at a rate that nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation,” said Trump.
Both Tillerson and Kelly met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and were measured in tone and content.
WITF news (@witfnews) February 24, 2017
Kelly denied any use of military force in immigration issues:
“Let me be very, very clear. There will be no, repeat, no mass deportations. And again listen to this no, repeat, no use of military force in immigration operations.”
Mexico relies heavily on exports to its neighbour. But stakes are also high for the United States, not least because a breakdown in relations with Mexico could affect extensive cooperation in the fight against narcotics and illegal immigration from Central America.
The number of immigrants without papers in the US numbered 11.1m in 2014, 3.5 percent of the population.
Around 5.8m hail from Mexico with numbers on the decline.
The amount of money sent back from Mexicans in the US amounts to €23bn.
It appears that the Mexican government has decided to stand up to Trump and his hardline statements on immigration, trade and security.
Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said Mexico would hit the US “where it hurts” if the US taxes imports from Mexico.
He was recorded behind closed doors at a meeting with Mexican MPs.