Trump to Meet with Mexican President During Last Minute Trip

Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

NEW YORK — Donald Trump is traveling to Mexico Wednesday to meet with the country’s president just hours before he is set to deliver a speech focused on immigration policy.

“I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow,” the Republican presidential nominee tweeted Tuesday. The office of the Mexican President confirmed in a tweet late Tuesday night that Trump had accepted Peña Nieto’s invitation and that the two will meet privately.

“In the past days, the President @EPN invited both U.S. presidential candidates to a dialogue on the bilateral relations between Mexico and the United States. Mr. @realDonaldTrump has accepted the invitation and will meet tomorrow in private with the President @EPN.”

An expected meeting between Trump and Peña Nieto is extraordinary, given Trump’s continued pledges to build a wall on the border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. Trump has also stoked fierce criticism in Mexico and in the Hispanic community at large for his inflammatory rhetoric in discussing illegal immigration.

At a Tuesday night rally, Trump stuck to his tough-talking rhetoric.

“We are also going to secure our border and stop the drugs from pouring in and destroying our country. And I’ll be talking about that tomorrow night in Arizona, big speech on immigration,” he said in Everett, Washington.

The Washington Post first reported plans of Trump’s expected meeting.

The visit follows months of warring words between Trump and Mexico’s leaders, including when Peña Nieto compared Trump to brutal dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Trump in the early months of his campaign also leveled unfounded accusations that the Mexican government was intentionally sending its unwanted citizens across the border and into the United States.

But both Trump and Peña Nieto have publicly expressed a willingness in recent weeks to meet with one another.

“Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump, I would like to express to both of them my greatest respect, my deepest respect. And from right now, I propose going into a frank, open dialogue with whomever is elected,” Peña Nieto said in July during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Criminals and ‘rapists’

The two have plenty of differences to discuss.

Trump launched his presidential campaign last summer in controversy by characterizing undocumented Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists” and accused the Mexican government of “sending people that have lots of problems” into the US.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” he said.

The wall

Peña Nieto has repeatedly asserted that his country will not pay for the border wall Trump plans to build on the border between their two countries.

In a wide-ranging July interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Peña Nieto shot down Donald Trump’s campaign promise that he’s going to build a wall and Mexico will foot the bill.

“We also have to bear in mind that the security of the United States is linked with the security of its neighboring countries,” he said. “And this is what we have built. And I’ll say it again, this is what we have been doing with the US government. We have a relationship of coordination, of collaboration and of cooperation in the area of security, precisely in order to have security in Mexico, to have security in the US and … we are journey companions. We are strategic partners working for security in North America.”

“There is no way that Mexico can pay (for) a wall like that,” he said.

In a March interview with a Mexican newspaper, Peña Nieto compared Trump’s “strident rhetoric” to Hitler and Mussolini’s.

“That’s how Mussolini got in, that’s how Hitler got in. They took advantage of a situation, a problem perhaps,” the Mexican president said, according to an English translation by Reuters.

Peña Nieto explained those comments during a news conference in June.

“Hitler, Mussolini, we all know the result,” he said, according to Reuters. “It was only a call for reflection and for recognition, so that we bear in mind what we have achieved and the great deal still to achieve.”

Peña Nieto added that the world is at times “presented with political actors and political leaders who assume populist and demagogic positions.”

While Trump has wavered in the last week on whether he will seek to deport all the undocumented immigrants living in the US back to their countries, he has stuck by his pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico and make the country pay for it.

Trump has previously said he would pay for the wall by leveraging Mexico’s economic gains through its trade with the US. He has also threatened to withhold remittance payments immigrants in the US send to relatives in Mexico and increasing fees for Mexican visa applicants.

Clinton response

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s campaign communications director, issued a statement following the announcement outlining Trump’s previous negative comments about Mexico.

“From the first days of his campaign, Donald Trump has painted Mexicans as ‘rapists’ and criminals and has promised to deport 16 million people, including children and US citizens,” she said. “He has said we should force Mexico to pay for his giant border wall. He has said we should ban remittances to families in Mexico if Mexico doesn’t pay up.”

She added: “What ultimately matters is what Donald Trump says to voters in Arizona, not Mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions.”

11 comments

  • CeeMe

    Hopefully, this is a turning point for the American people. The rest of the world has to know, that we are not their keepers and it is NOT our God-given obligation to provide them with a good life. If they want their countries to be more free and more like the U.S., let them start a revolution to get what they want, just like we did in 1776. Stop taking the easy way out. I would gladly pay for the Wall, if it means we have control of our immigration and country again and going forward. It’s time to realize this is no longer the 1800’s and we don’t need uncontrolled growth. They want to come here, let them come with money in their pockets, instead of us footing the bill for them and their pathetic children.
    Let their countries take care of them. I hope Donald will straighten things out and let Mexico and other countries know, there’s no more free rides at the expense of American taxpayers. He better do that, or he’s doomed and so is this country if deceitful Hillary gets in office. Wake up America!!!

  • Supporter of America

    My grandparents came here through Ellis Island back in the 40’s. If they could manage, why can’t all of the rest? My grandparent’s were not wealthy and did everything they legally could to scratch out a better life for them and their kids. It’s sad that thinking people should do the same now is too tough and we just let immigrants just walk on in, while everyone else works harder and harder to make ends meet and feed the hungry leeches. We have enough leeches here that we do not need more draining our system. Or those that wish to do more significant harm to Americans. Career politicians have allowed this activity to occur, which is why we have some (not all) of the problems we have in this country. It’s time to get rid of career politicians, and not just the lying Clintons. America needs to work for its people, not its people working for America.

    • CeeMe

      I hear you. My grandfather came over with a stranger from his town and never saw his parents again. Anyone who cries to me about the U.S. breaking up families, is in for a big surprise. He was 13. He had to work in the day and learn English at night. He obeyed all the rules. Never heard him complain or demand things for his American born children. That’s the difference between us and the rest of the world. Those in office try to tell us how great immigrants are and are needed, but it’s not so. They lack the fortitude to help themselves. They’ve become entitled, pompous jerks and that is why people can’t stand them.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Good for trump, he should meet with them……..Build that wall Bro……we as a nation do not have to round up 11 million people…1. stop sanctuary cities cut off their funding. 2 E verify 3. cut all illegals off from Gov’t assistance, be it welfare , unemployment, food stamps, whatever….once they have no money coming in, they will stampede the border to get across.

  • El Scrantonio

    Creo que el presidente Trump necesita para echar a todos los ilegales de inmediato! Él no puede construir esa pared lo suficientemente pronto la gente, si usted está leyendo esto ahora mismo, volver al tercer agujero infernal mundo que vino de América no quiere o necesita aquí tomando todos nuestros pagar altos trabajos de la unión. Alabado sea el presidente Trump larga puede que reine!

  • JD

    ” And some, I assume, are good people”. Yes, SOME ARE! Trump knows this. It’s the “criminals” he wants out. Immediately. The rest of the illegals, never should have come here “illegally”. Go back to your country of origin, and come in according to our laws. GO TRUMP!

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