U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto talked for over an hour on the telephone on Friday, discussing the controversial border wall between the United States and Mexico, CNBC reports. The call was confirmed by White House officials although the contents of the call were not disclosed.
The two presidents were set to meet in Washington this week but the Mexican president had cancelled the plans following a statement by Donald Trump that he would make Mexico pay for the wall.
President Donald Trump moved forward with most of his campaign promises in the very first week after taking office. On Wednesday, just five days after his inauguration, Trump aggressively moved forward with one of the highlights of his campaign, the strict immigration policy, signing the executive order to jump-start the construction of the border “wall” with Mexico that he had promised to build throughout his campaign. Trump also signed an order to cut federal grants for immigrant-protecting “sanctuary cities.” Speaking during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, Trump justified his policy against Mexico with the following remarks.
“The secretary of homeland security, working with myself and my staff, will begin immediate construction of a border wall so badly needed. You folks know how badly needed it is as a help.
“A nation without borders is not a nation. Beginning today the United States of America gets back control of its borders. I just signed two executive orders that will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars.”
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had held a televised address less than an hour following Trump’s decision on Wednesday, vowing to protect all Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. while declaring once again that Mexico would not be paying for the wall.
“Where there is a Mexican migrant at risk that requires our support, your country should be there.
“Our communities are not alone. The Mexican Government will provide them with the legal advice, which guarantees the protection they require.
“The 50 Mexican consulates in the United States will become authentic advocates for the rights of migrants.”
Following President Trump’s decision to move forward with the wall on Wednesday, Mexican President Pena Nieto announced that he would be canceling his visit to Washington scheduled for the following week. President Pena Nieto was set to meet with President Donald Trump, but following Trump’s signing of the executive orders and following his comments that Mexico would be forced to pay for it, the Mexican president decided to forfeit the trip.
Esta mañana hemos informado a la Casa Blanca que no asistiré a la reunión de trabajo programada para el próximo martes con el @POTUS.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) January 26, 2017
President Pena Nieto’s tweet translates to, “This morning we informed the White House that I will not attend the scheduled work meeting for next Tuesday with @POTUS.”
Trump had promised to build a border wall since the very first day of his campaign in June 2015. He had on numerous occasions used the words “criminals” and “rapists” to describe illegal Mexican immigrants. Most of his rallies would hear the crowds chant “Build that wall! Build that wall!” Justifying his signing of the executive order on Wednesday, President Trump spoke of the Mexican gangs and drug cartels terrorizing the US-Mexico border and how this decision would deter them.
“The day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc. We are going to get them out and get them out fast.”
President Trump ended the fiery speech with a bit of a positive note.
“I will be, I promise you, a president for everyone. We will bridge our divisions, heal our wounds and unify our country, and if we do that, if we work together, then there is nothing we cannot achieve as Americans. The future is limitless.”
[Featured Image by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]