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23 Feb 2017

Mexico reacts furiously to new US anti-immigration measures

Mexico reacted furiously against the new United States guidelines on immigration that were announced just before an important meeting between high ranking officials of the two countries in its capital. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to consider all illegal immigrants subjects to deportation. The Mexican government believes that Unites States will try to deport to Mexico, hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants which will not be only Mexicans but also people from the countries of Central America like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala etc.

The Mexican Foreign Minister, Luis Videragay, in an interview for the “Reforma” newspaper said that his government is not going to accept anything because it is not obligated to accept and added that Mexican citizens won’t accept any unilateral measures against them imposed by the USA. Videragay mentioned that in case the measures are not revoked, Mexico will take the matter to the United Nations assembly and try to protect the interests of its civilians under international law.

The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, joined by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, is on a 2-day visit to Mexico City to meet Videragay and the Mexican Defence Minister Salvador Zepeda. The U.S. delegation will try to emphasize the good cooperation between USA and Mexico in matters of counter narcotics and counter terrorism actions. A US diplomat, based in Washington, said to the Guardian that the strategy that is going to be followed doesn’t have the building of the infamous border wall as no 1 priority.  Another main issue that is going to be discussed is the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The NAFTA agreement was signed in 1994 by USA, Mexico and Canada thus creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.

Donald Trump, the new President of USA, has frequently attacked the trade deals that previous governments have signed. He believes that those agreements have damaged the US economy sending millions of citizens to unemployment and shutting down production plants while for the countries that are counterparts have been proven a real goldmine. It is still whether Trump really wants his country to pull out of NAFTA or if he is looking to have the treaty reevaluated and renegotiated. Before he was elected, he railed against Ford, Toyota and other companies that have manufacturing plants in Mexico threatening them with extra import taxes if they don’t create new plants and jobs in the USA.

Ildefonso Guajardo, the Mexican Economics Minister, in yesterday’s interview, noted that if the NAFTA treaty is terminated, he can’t see the purpose of continuing cooperation on immigration between the two countries. The stance of the Mexican minister didn’t seem to annoy the US government which, through its spokesman, Sean Spicer, stressed that the bilateral relationships are excellent at this point.

Donald Trump has ordered a review of the US economic aid that Mexico receives as an assistance for financing security under the Meriva initiative. The aid amounts to 2.6 billion dollars and many analysts believe that he will soon threaten to cut it. Experts note that the unveiling of the new anti-immigration measures,  only a day before the official visit of the Secretary of State and the Homeland Security Secretary in Mexico City, has as a target to  get the high ground on the negotiations that will be taking place in the future.