Foreign Minister: Mexico will not take illegal immigrants from other countries

"I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other"

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English 22/02/2017 16:50 Mexico Newsroom and Reuters Actualizada 13:53
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The U.S. issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the Mexican government the day before bilateral talks are held in Mexico City between senior U.S. envoys and top diplomats of Mexico, including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of their nationality.

The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when Trump tweeted that Mexico should pay for his planned border wall shortly before President Enrique Peña Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were due to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday afternoon for talks the White House said would "walk through" the implementation of Trump's immigration orders.

Mexico's lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

"I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other," he told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.

He said the issue would dominate the talks, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, "We will not accept it, because there's no reason why we should, and because it is not in the interests of Mexico."

Roberto Campa, who heads the Human Rights department of the Interior Ministry, said Videgaray was referring to the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico, calling it "hostile" and "unacceptable."

White House spokesman Sean Spicer described U.S.-Mexico ties as healthy and robust and said he expected a "great discussion." He told reporters "I think the relationship with Mexico is phenomenal right now."

Homeland Security's guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that the Republican president signed on Jan. 25. In Guatemala on Wednesday, Kelly told reporters the immigration executive order was aimed at catching undocumented immigrants and returning them to their countries of origin.

If the U.S. government insists on deporting or sending illegal immigrants from nationalities other to the Mexican into Mexican territory, Mexico will not receive them and we would have to begin a process by which we will require proof of nationality from the U.S. government for each person being sent to Mexico… We also have control of our borders and we would enforce it as a sovereign right of Mexico”, Videgaray added.

He noted that there are no immediate plans for a meeting between president Peña Nieto and his U.S. counterpart, “ There is no such plan for a meeting of this nature, it is not a subject of discussion as there are no plans for it.”

Videgaray emphazised that the communication channel with the U.S. is open and there has not been a direct offense to Mexican diplomacy on behalf of the U.S., “I want to make it clear that we have not receive any insult or offense to the Mexican diplomacy; I want to be very clear, as this is instrumental for the dialogue between Mexico and the U.S. However, a statement was made (from the U.S. government) whihch was interpreted as a non-friendly measure towards Mexico and we will carry on with the work meetings”, he noted.

Mexico's agenda at the talks on Thursday between senior U.S. aides and Mexican authorities includes border infrastructure, deportation strategies, Central American migration, narcotics, arms trafficking and terrorism, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


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