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Top Mexican Official Calls U.S. Border Wall a 'Hostile' Act

Mexico's Foreign Secretary said the border wall won't work, and that Mexico could rethink security cooperation if talks don't go well.
Image: A woman talks to a relative through the border fence
A woman speaks to a relative through the border fence during the Easter weekend near the U.S.-Mexico border in Playas de Tijuana, on April 16, in Tijuana, Mexico.Guillermo Arias / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's foreign relations secretary on Tuesday called U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to build a border wall not only a "bad idea" but an "unfriendly, hostile" act and said he didn't think a barrier would accomplish anything.

And while Trump has repeatedly asserted that he will get the U.S.'s neighbor to pay for building the wall, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray repeated in a meeting with legislators that Mexico's won't pay a cent for it.

Trump had requested that Congress provide U.S. funds to begin the wall, but he signaled Monday that he would not insist on it, saying he might be willing to wait until September for the funding.

Videgaray also said Mexico's government would consider reducing security cooperation with the United States if talks on immigration and trade issues don't go well.

"If the negotiation on other themes — immigration, the border, trade — isn't satisfactory to Mexico's interests, we will have to review our existing cooperation," Videgaray said. "This would be especially in the security areas ... and that involves the national immigration agency, the federal police and of course, the armed forces."

Mexico at present cooperates with the United States in fighting drug cartels and other forms of transnational crime.

Videgaray also said the Mexican government was considering charging a fee for Americans entering the country, though he didn't fully describe the idea or say to whom it might apply.

Asked by a legislator whether Mexico had considered imposing visa requirements for Americans, he answered: "We could explore — not necessarily a visa, that could impede a lot of people from coming to Mexico — but we could perhaps (have) a fee associated with entry. This is something that I'm sure will be part of our discussion, and I believe we can find points of agreement."