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Mexican President and Trump Trade Barbs Over Payment of Wall
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30 May 2018 09:13 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Enrique Peña Nieto (Image source: PresidenciaMX 2012-2018)



Donald Trump made the border wall a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign, and since then he's been promising that he was going to make Mexico pay for it, and unsuccessfully at that. Now after trying to finance it back in the states, he's back to reviving the argument. 

The president said yet again that our neighbor to the south will be paying for the wall that has already been started. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto is still not going to go along with that.


"In the end Mexico's going to pay for the wall," Trump said at a Nashville, Tennessee, rally. "They're going to pay for the wall, and they're going to enjoy it, okay?" 

Nieto tweeted, "President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us)." He sent an identical tweet in Spanish, assumably for his followers.


For three years now Trump has been promising that he was going to have Mexico play for his wall, despite them never giving him one inkling that they would go along with this plan. They have given him a firm no at every turn. 

There is $1.6 in funding for the wall so far, but it hasn't come from Mexico. This has come from the very people that Trump made promises to that Mexico would pay for it: the American taxpayers.


Trump added into his Tuesday rallying cry that Mexico is doing nothing to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the United States. This is again a favorite refrain of his and has been for three years.  

In June 2015 when he announced his candidacy, Trump said, "When do we beat Mexico at the border? They're laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they're beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they're killing us economically."


He then went into the part of his speech that has been repeated many times. "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." 

But that hasn't been what we've been hearing the past few months. We've been hearing that it's families that are crossing the border and trying to enter the country illegally. It's not necessarily drug dealers or rapists — it's families.


But instead of rewarding the families for being good people trying to find a better life, the administration announced that they were separating them. They separate the children from their parents, prosecute them, and send the children away, then report that they are unable to locate 1500 of those children. 

Yet Trump still thinks he can get Nieto to pay for that wall of his, even after treating his people so badly. Perhaps it's not really Mexico he's trying to convince but his own supporters, believing they will stay the course with him if he continues to stay tough on Mexico and demand they pay for his wall.


Regardless, it doesn't seem likely to happen. This means the wall will either remain unfinished after the initial funding runs out, or the American taxpayers will be soaked to pay for this wall they didn't ask for and that Trump promised Mexico would pay for years ago.

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