AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN/AP) — In a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out his 5-step plan to improve relations with Mexico, which includes a border wall.
The meeting, which appeared to be hastily put together, ended in a news conference with both men standing at podiums within a few feet of each other.
The five items Trump wants to focus on are:
- Ending illegal immigration, not just from Mexico but from Central American countries
- Having a secure border, which Trump says is a sovereign right and mutually beneficial
- Dismantling of the drug cartels and ending the movement of illegal drugs, weapons and funds across the border
- Improving NAFTA
- Keep manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere
Nieto said the US-Mexican border security must address illegal flow south of arms and cash, as well as immigration north. Trump said while he understands why some Mexicans have been offended by Trump’s comments, he believes he can work with Trump to achieve goals that will improve the situation in Mexico as well.
“We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs and weapons,” said Trump. Trump said while the two men discussed the border, he said they didn’t talk about who would pay for the wall. After the news conference, Pena Nieto said he told Trump that Mexico won’t pay for a border wall, contradicting Trump.
To wrap up his speech, Trump said his meeting with Nieto was “excellent” and it was a “tremendous honor.”
News of Trump visiting Mexico was not met with support from some Mexicans. The Associated Press reported at least two demonstrations were planned in Mexico City.
Former first lady Margarita Zavala wrote in a tweet aimed at Trump: “Even though you may have been invited, we want you to know you’re not welcome. We Mexicans have dignity, and we reject your hate speech.” She’s considered a potential presidential candidate for 2018.
Trump has gone beyond the party’s hardline stance on illegal immigration, calling immigrants who cross the border illegally “criminals” and “rapists” and accusing Mexico’s government of deliberately sending felons into the U.S.
Trump visited the border in July 2015. More recently, the presidential candidate was in Austin for a rally last week. Trump spoke about the economy, what he called law and order, immigration, border security, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, among other issues.