In a speech Thursday afternoon, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tore into President Donald Trump over his comments about immigration and the southern border.
Peña Nieto told Trump that if he is unhappy with immigration trends in the United States, he should take the issue up with Congress, and not lash out at Mexico.
“President Trump: If you wish to reach agreements with Mexico, we stand ready, as we have proved until now, always willing to engage in a dialogue, acting in earnestness, in good faith and in a constructive spirit,” Peña Nieto said, according to the Washington Post. “If your recent statements are the result of frustration due to domestic policy issues, [due] to your laws or to your Congress, it is to them that you should turn to, not to Mexicans.”
“We will not allow negative rhetoric to define our actions. We will act only in the best interest of Mexicans,” he added.
Trump paid particular attention to immigration and the southern border this week, obsessing over a caravan of Central American immigrants traveling north to the U.S. The caravan will end in Mexico, but some will head to the U.S. seeking asylum. The coverage of the caravan prompted Trump to fire off several angry tweets earlier in the week and order the National Guard to the southern border to support Border Patrol officers there.
On Thursday, Trump escalated his rhetoric and claimed that women in the caravan have been “raped at levels that nobody’s ever seen before.”