Trump and Mexican President to meet today

Cheryl Sanders
September 1, 2016

Donald Trump has arrived in Mexico, a surprise visit Wednesday to meet with the president of a nation he derided at the start of his White House campaign as a source of rapists and criminals coming to the U.S.

The buildup to the speech was abruptly interrupted Tuesday night by the news that Trump would visit Mexico, accepting on short notice an invitation offered last week by Pena Nieto.

A sudden worldwide trip by a USA presidential candidate would be a logistical and security nightmare on such short notice.

"After saying during his Republican primary campaign he would use a "deportation force" to expel all of the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally", Trump suggested last week he could soften that stance. Trump, who has called for Mexico to fund a wall closing off the borders between the two countries, accepted the invite.

"From the first days of his campaign, Donald Trump has painted Mexicans as "rapists" and criminals and has promised to deport 16 million people, including children and USA citizens", communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement.

The meeting will take place just hours before he is set to deliver a speech focused on immigration policy.

Trump will also make clear, Pence later told CBS, "that there will be no path to legalization, no path to citizenship".

Trump wrote on his Twitter account that he is looking forward to the meeting with the Mexican President. Several Republican foreign policy experts have also warned that Trump is unprepared for the numerous global issues that land on a president's desk.

Palmieri said the case the GOP presidential nominee makes to voters in this country is more important. The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Trump was considering making the trip to Mexico.

The Republican has faced a torrent of criticism from Clinton, a former secretary of state, about his preparedness to lead on the world stage.

Mr Trump has threatened to stop cash sent home by Mexicans based in the U.S. until the country pays for the wall.

Pena Nieto acknowledged he had invited both candidates, and said he did it because "I believe in dialogue to promote Mexico's interests and above all to protect Mexicans everywhere". In a March interview, Pena Nieto said that "there is no scenario" under which Mexico would do so and compared Trump's language to that of dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Trump's challenge will be to counter Clinton's rhetoric with messaging to stress compassion, helping him appeal to undecided voters - while still speaking to his campaign's broader "law and order" theme that energizes his core supporters. Christie made his own successful trip to Mexico City in September 2014 and has a warm relationship with the Mexican president. Trump says he still supports deportation. Yet, any still undecided, persuadable USA voters (are there any?), might view such scenes as foreshadowing the sort of unrest we might see around the world in reaction to a President Trump.

Some of Trump's high-profile backers have said his position remains consistent.

In his Arizona speech, Trump will detail where he stands on illegal immigration after worrying some conservative allies when he said last week he was "softening" his position on mass deportations.

In the days since, Trump and his staff have broadcast varied and conflicting messages - though on Wednesday Conway, appeared to make clear that Trump had decided against allowing immigrants in the US illegally to stay.

Other reports by iNewsToday