US President-elect Donald Trump today said his administration will soon build a massive border wall with Mexico to keep out illegal migrants and claimed that the cost of constructing the controversial structure would be reimbursed by the southern neighbour.
“I don’t feel like waiting a year or a year and a half to start building. Mexico in some form, in their many different forms, will reimburse us,” Trump said during his first press conference in six months.
“They will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen. Whether it’s a tax or if it’s a payment. Probably less likely that it’s a payment. But it will happen,” Trump said. He continued, “I want to get the wall started.” Trump said he will not blame Mexican government for “taking advantage” of the US in the past. However, he said under his watch, things will change.
Trump had promised to deport millions of undocumented Mexican migrants from the United States if he elected.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s new foreign minister today said that there is “no way” that his country will pay for the wall.
Luis Videgaray, who was appointed by President Enrique Pena Nieto last week to seek “constructive” relations with the Trump administration, told the Televisa network that Mexico “will not cede” on issues related to “national sovereignty.”
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“The United States has the right to protect its borders. What is inadmissible, and which would deeply violate the dignity of all Mexicans, is to expect Mexico to pay for infrastructure of the United States,” Videgaray told Radio Formula. “There is no way that this will happen,” he said.
Trump had called Mexican migrants “rapists” and drug dealers during the presidential campaign and vowed to make their country pay for a massive wall across the border.
The Republican real estate billionaire, who assumes office on January 20, has threatened to fund the giant wall by tapping into the billions of dollars in remittances that Mexican migrants in the US send back home.