It is little wonder President Donald Trump predicts a "tough" meeting between his State Department and the Mexican government on Thursday after the Mexican foreign secretary threatened to to take legal action, potentially appealing to the United Nations, against the United States' "unilateral" deportation efforts.
"I want to make clear, in the most emphatic way, that the government of Mexico and the people of Mexico will not accept decisions that, in a unilateral way, are imposed by another government," Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told reporters in Mexico City late Wednesday.
"We are not going to accept that because we do not have to do it and it is not in Mexico's interests," he added, saying that the country would use "all legally possible means" to defend Mexican-nationals living abroad, including—if necessary—appealing to the United Nations.
Videgaray and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto are scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly on Thursday to discuss trade, aid, and the sweeping and controversial deportation guidelines issued by the Trump administration earlier this week.
One of the new directives stipulates that "immigrants entitled to a court appearance would no longer be released into the United States to await their hearing date. If they couldn't be deported to their home country, many would be sent to wait in Mexico," McClatchy explained. But Mexican officials say the expectation that their country "would take U.S. detainees without serious bilateral talks is step too far."
"That's gonna be a tough trip," Trump quipped Thursday. Indeed, the recently-inaugurated U.S. president has already shredded relations with his southern neighbor.
Trump's repeated insistence that Mexico would pay for his new border wall prompted Peña Nieto to cancel his planned meeting last month. Further, his classification of Mexicans as "bad hombres" and "criminals" sparked widespread protests across Mexico earlier this month.