Donald Trump this week again vowed to build a border wall and have Mexico pay for it, and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto again vowed that no such thing would ever happen, Huffington Post is reporting.
Speaking at a rally in Nashville on Tuesday, Trump promised the crowd that the border wall is still happening. What’s more, he said, Mexico will pay for it, as he promised.
“In the end, Mexico’s going to pay for the wall,” Trump said. “They’re going to pay for the wall, and they’re going to enjoy it, OK?”
The president of Mexico, however, was having none of that. In two tweets, one in English and one in Spanish, Nieto said the same thing: Mexico will not pay for the wall.
“President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever.
“Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”
This is not the first time Nieto has promised not to pay for the border wall. As USA Today reported in January 2017, Nieto, in a series of tweets in Spanish, said that Mexico “offers and deserves” respect and that includes not paying for the proposed border wall.
The proposed border wall – and the proposal to have Mexico pay for it – has been a “rallying cry,” as Huffington Post describes it, for Trump and his supporters ever since he began his campaign for president. At campaign stops, Trump would shout “Who’s gonna pay for the wall?” To which the crowd would respond “Mexico!”
Well over a year into his presidency, however, the proposed border wall is no closer to being a reality than it was during the campaign.
Although Trump has proposed funding – by American taxpayers, not Mexico – for the border wall in his budget proposals, none of it has materialized. Estimated to cost upwards of $20 billion, the border wall got only $1.6 million in funding in the current operating budget, as The New York Daily News reports. What’s more, most of that money is earmarked for repairs and upgrades to existing sections of the border fence.
Stymied by his inability to get his border wall up and running, Trump has proposed sending the National Guard to police the southern border. And perhaps in an effort to help, Republican lawmaker Diane Black of Tennessee introduced the Border Wall Trust Fund Act, according to The Hill, in order to crowdfund the wall. Of course, that still involves Americans paying for the wall, not Mexico.