MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declined to comment Friday on Donald Trump’s threat to close the border if the US Congress fails to provide funding for the boundary wall he wants.
“We have acted prudently and cautiously, and we have not discussed this issue because it is an internal matter of the United States government, and we prefer to abstain,” the leftist head of state said at his daily morning press conference.
Asked about Trump’s latest statements on Twitter, Lopez Obrador said that the Mexican government “seeks to always maintain a very good relationship with the United States government.”
“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump tweeted earlier Friday.
The White House battle with Congress over wall funding has led to a partial shutdown of the US government that entered its seventh day on Friday.
On the broader issue of immigration, Lopez Obrador said that Mexico’s position will always be one of “respect for the right of human beings to seek life, to emigrate.”
“We are always going to protect migrants and protect their human rights,” he said.
Mexican officials say that the northwestern border city of Tijuana is currently harboring 4,000 Central Americans who were part of the caravans that set out in October from Honduras and Guatemala with the aim of reaching the US.
The Lopez Obrador administration also says that it will issue temporary work permits for Central Americans who have been forced by US authorities to wait south of the border while their applications for asylum in the United States are being processed.