The Mexican government issued its most strident official response to Donald Trump’s incendiary comments about immigration and the border, with Mexico’s top diplomat calling his remarks “ignorant and racist” this weekend.
“When an apple’s red, it is red. When you say ignorant things, you’re ignorant,” Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu said Saturday, according to The Washington Post.
“It sounds ignorant and racist, because it is,” she added. “We are pretty sure that’s not the way most Americans feel.”
Ruiz Massieu is the latest government official to respond to Trump’s repeated assertions, first made last summer, that Mexico was sending “rapists” and other criminals across the US border, “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime.”
Trump has also insisted he would force Mexico to fund a border wall to halt flows of people and purported economic losses.
“I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall,” he said last June.
Mexico’s top diplomat singled out the proposed wall for criticism.
“It is not a proposition we would even consider,” Ruiz Massieu said. “It is impossible to think of a 2,000-mile border being walled off and trade between our two countries stopped … frankly, it is not an intelligent thing to do.”
‘I’m not going to pay for that f—— wall’
Though Ruiz Massieu’s comments are the strongest yet from the current Mexican government, former Mexican officials have condemned Trump more forcefully.
“I’m not going to pay for that f—— wall,” Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president from 2000-2006, said in a Fusion interview last week.
“But he is going to lead everybody into the desert to die of hunger and thirst. He is a false prophet,” Fox said.
“We won’t pay a single cent for that stupid wall,” Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s president from 2006 to 2012, told The Washington Post in an interview last week. “It’s pathetic … Trump is completely demagogical,” Calderon added.
Fox also compared Trump to Hitler, a sentiment Calderon echoed.
“I think his logic of exalting white supremacy isn’t even acting against immigration,” Calderon said last week. “It is acting and speaking against immigrants who have a different skin colour than him, which is frankly racist and is a bit like the exploitation of raw nerves that Hitler did in his day,” Calderon continued, according to El Daily Post.
Other leaders have been more measured.
During a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last week, Vice President Joe Biden said rhetoric about Mexico the US presidential campaign had been “dangerous, damaging and incredibly ill-advised,” without referring to anyone by name.
Peña Nieto’s administration has called Trump’s remarks “prejudiced and absurd.”
Though the Mexican president did not refer to Trump specifically last week, he did say that there “are those who have the vision to close themselves off … build walls.
“But this only means isolating oneself and ending up alone,” he said, according to AFP.
‘We love it’
Trump’s success has caused some in Mexico to believe that US border policy will become more severe — and that the best outcome of his candidacy now is a “more polite nativism” in the US.
None of these condemnations are likely to sway Trump’s supporters in the US, who have lifted him to victory in three of the four Republican primaries so far.
Nor does Trump himself seem chastened.
At a rally in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sunday, Trump delivered a response to Fox.
“”The wall just got 10 feet higher,” he boomed, a reply that was met with cheers by the thousands in attendance.
“We love it,” Trump added.
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