Mexico finds Trump’s border wall tour offensive

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Demonstrators hold a protest against US President Donald Trump’s migration policies on the Mexican side of the Mexico-US border in Tijuana, Baja California state, ahead of Trump’s arrival for the inspection of prototypes of the border wall, on the outskirts of San Diego, in the US, on March 13, 2018. Fresh off a cabinet reshuffle, President Donald Trump was headed for Democratic stronghold California on Tuesday to inspect prototypes of the controversial border wall with Mexico that was the centerpiece of his White House campaign. (AFP PHOTO / Guillermo Arias)

Mexico is not appreciating President Trump’s plan to build a wall on its border with the United States. A day after President Trump traveled to California to inspect prototypes of the wall, Mexicans are finding Trump’s latest gestures highly offensive.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports.

Donald Trump used his first trip as president to California to pose in front of prototypes of the border wall he has repeatedly promised to build to keep out illegal immigrants.

“Some work very well and some don’t work so well. When we build, we want to build the right thing,” said Trump.

Trump has insisted that Mexico will pay for it. Mexico’s government has strongly rejected that plan. It was no surprise that Mexican protesters turned out to voice their opposition.

“Mexico needs to say to Trump that a wall is not going to stop immigration,” said Sergio Tamayo, a migrant activist. “We remember that this will only create a division. There is (already) a wound that has not healed yet.”

At Mexico’s largest public university, experts discuss Trump’s border wall tour and his threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“I mean it was quite clear that he’s going be very antagonistic, said political analyst Ana Maria Salazar. “He was going to use Mexico and the Mexican people, Mexican migrants in the U.S. as a scapegoat, and it was a very successful scapegoat that helped him become the president of the United States.”

Analyst Carlos Bravo said Trump’s decision to fire U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is another concern.

“Tillerson was a moderating force in the Trump Administration’s international relations with Mexico and Latin America. We no longer have that counterweight to Trump’s extreme and disruptive tendencies,” said Bravo.

For its part, Mexico’s government has remained silent on Trump’s visit to the border.

Analyst Roberto Zepeda said Mexico is in the middle of a presidential election, and a left-leaning candidate has a strong lead in the polls. He said Washington will need the Mexican president’s cooperation on border security and immigration.

“The United States would have to put more agents on the border. That means more money and resources. Drugs do not enter in those places. They enter through Customs and legal commercial border crossings,” said Zepeda of the Center for North America Research at UNAM.