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Everything You Need To Know About Donald Trump’s Visit To Mexico Today

 

“Donald Trump to visit Mexico after more than a year of mocking it” was the spot-on headline from the New York Times Tuesday night, after news broke that the Republican Presidential nominee would be sitting down for a private meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The visit — scheduled before what the Trump campaign is calling a major immigration speech due to take place in Arizona later tonight —  “will take him to a nation he has repeatedly scorned,” notes the Times.

Why Are Enrique Peña Nieto And Donald Trump Even Meeting In The First Place?

According to journalist Jorge Ramos, tonight’s meeting is between two of the most unpopular figures in Mexico. According to a June poll, Trump hovers at a dismal 2% approval rating among Mexicans. Peña Nieto — mired in public corruption scandals and the deaths of Mexican citizens at the hands of public security forces — hovers at 23%.

“Why are Donald Trump and EPN meeting?” tweeted Ramos. “Because they both think there’s something to win. Trump wants Latino votes and to look presidential.”

“If Peña Nieto confronts Trump,” he continued, “he bets he could leave his scandals behind and give a new narrative to his presidency.”

What Donald Trump Has Said About Latinxs

We’ve been following the insulting and racist rhetoric from Donald Trump since the day he descended the escalators of Trump Tower. Donald Trump has not only attacked Mexicans as criminals and “rapists,” but US-born Latinxs as well, pledging to revoke birthright citizenship and even saying that a federal judge cannot perform his job fairly because of his Mexican heritage.

Throughout that time, Trump has also encouraged his fanatics to use violence and harassment against Latinxs and other people of color, which we have documented here. When two of his supporters brutally assaulted a homeless Latinx man in Boston in August 2015, Trump called them “passionate.”

How Spanish-Language Media Are Responding To Donald Trump’s Visit

While English-language media hesitated for months in calling out the racist nature of Donald Trump’s rhetoric, Spanish-language media was deeply forceful from the very start, made all the more clear from the reaction to Trump’s upcoming visit.

From the Associated Press:

Newspaper columnist Jorge Zepeda called the decision to meet with Trump “a monumental error,” saying that that Trump is a “loose cannon” who might give his own spin on the private, closed-door meeting.

“The Republican candidate will use this meeting for electoral purposes, to re-position himself with the Latino voters,” Zepeda said.

How Mexican Leaders And Public Are Responding To Donald Trump’s Visit

“Mexico rages against Trump” is the POLITICO headline this morning, and with good reason: Among the Mexican political officials and leaders slamming the visit are two former Presidents, a former First Lady and potential 2018 Presidential candidate, and the President of the Mexican Senate.

Former First Lady Margarita Zavala, in a message retweeted by former President Felipe Calderón, said:

Former President Vicente Fox called Trump’s visit a “political stunt”:

“We don’t like him. We don’t want him. We reject his message. I don’t understand why President Pena has offered this opportunity. I think it’s nothing more than a political stunt,” Fox said on CNN’s “New Day.” “Trump is using Mexico, is using President Pena to boost his sinking poll numbers. I think that President Pena is taking an enormous political risk by hosting Trump. If he’s perceived as going soft on Trump, it will hurt him greatly.”

Fox is not a big fan of Trump. He made headlines in February when he told Trump that Mexico is “not going to pay for that fucking wall,” and he later called Trump a “false prophet.”

Mexican Senate President Roberto Gil Zuarth said Trump’s invitation legitimizes his “proposal of demagogy and hate”:

“We are threatened with war and walls, but we open the National Palace,” he wrote, referring to the building housing the country’s executive branch.

Miguel Basáñez, who served as the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. from September 2015 until April, tweeted his condemnation. “Nobody in the last 50 years has put in such level of danger the relationship between Mexico and the US as #Trump. I deeply regret the invitation,” he wrote in Spanish.

Mexican historian Enrique Krauze called it a “historic error”:

“You confront tyrants, you don’t appease them. It isn’t brave to meet in private with somebody who has insulted and denigrated” Mexicans, Mr. Krauze said. “It isn’t dignified to simply have a dialogue.”

The Mexican public is already in a deep state of mourning following the recent death of beloved entertainment icon, Juan Gabriel. Now, the public is in a state of fury following Peña Nieto’s action.

“Newspapers, television stations, social media and all manner of national communication were awash in vitriol at the idea of a meeting between the two men,” notes the Times.

From the AP:

Immigrant rights activist Maria Garcia said she was already rushing out of her house Wednesday morning to buy cloth for a banner to carry at one of several protests called to coincide with Trump’s visit. The former Chicago resident said she plans to paint, “Trump, You’re not welcome here” on it.

How Leaders In The US Are Responding To Donald Trump’s Visit

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice, called Trump’s visit “a desperate attempt to repackage an unfit candidate running on overt nativism”:

Both the grandstanding trip to Mexico and tonight’s hyped immigration speech in Phoenix are key components in this rebranding effort. The Trump campaign’s new brain trust wants to maintain the candidate’s support from a base that loves Trump’s racism, while attempting to fool suburban voters that he is more reasonable.

Here’s the test for tonight: will Trump promise to work with Congress to change the law so that undocumented immigrants are given a chance to apply for legal status from within the U.S.? If not, then it’s deportation for all, with a happy face sticker slapped on the brand new packaging.”

Lorella Praeli, DREAMer and Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign aide, said this visit’s sole purpose is to “distract the American people from what has been at the core of his message and policy for 14 months”:

He launched his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. That’s been who he is. He has consistently talked about his policy to deport not only 11 million undocumented Americans in this country, but also go after kids who are born in the United States and are citizens by birth to also deport them. That has been his policy. This is another deliberate attempt to draw attention away from that.”

United We Dream, the largest immigrant-led youth organization in the United States, said Peña Nieto was neglecting the Mexican people by inviting Trump:

Chef José Andrés, who backed out of a restaurant deal last year following Trump’s claims that Mexicans are criminals and rapists, called the visit “nonsense”:

Others have been a bit more blunt and humorous: