Despite softer tone, Trump offers tough talk on Mexico during SOTU

World Today

Mexicans watched U.S. President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address with particular interest. While Trump offered tough talk on Mexico, his language was less inflammatory than in the past.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City.

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, then candidate Donald Trump frequently attacked Mexico, calling Mexican migrants rapists and criminals, while also promising to build a border wall and make the Mexican government pay for it.

But in his 2018 State of the Union, President Trump said “Mexico” only once, when he said a Chrysler factory in Mexico would be moving to Michigan. Trump did not mention that Chrysler’s move was planned before he took office.

In his speech to the U.S. Congress, Trump also presented a four-point plan to attack undocumented immigration. He said it will include the construction of a “great wall” to protect that country’s southern border. On having Mexico pay for it, however, he was silent.

Filmmaker Mariana Monroy lives in the Mexican capital, and saidTrump’s border wall plan worries her.

“Trump’s border wall plan seems horrible to me,” she said. “But it’s also horrible how Mexico’s government is not taking a more forceful and clear stance against it.”

Mexico City has dozens of daily newspapers, many of which led with the State of the Union address, and Trump’s intention to continue the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigration.

Martin Diaz, a 33-year-old historian, watched Mexican news reports of Trump’s speech. He’s worried the U.S. president might end the North American Free Trade Agreement and harm Mexico’s economy. He’s also concerned about deportations.

“If there are mass deportations of Mexicans out of the United States, we will have a large social problem here, because neither our government nor the private sector has the proper infrastructure to provide them with health and education services,” he said.

Mexicans took note when the U.S. president promised to increase the number of U.S. border patrol agents along the border, but missing was the harsher tone many have come to expect from President Trump.