Mexico’s president said Tuesday the 15,000 troops his government has deployed to the US border do not have orders to stop migrants from crossing, and vowed to investigate a controversial detention last week.
“No such order has been issued, and we are going to review that case, so that it doesn’t happen again, because that’s not our job,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a press conference.
He made the comment after an AFP journalist’s images of heavily armed National Guardsmen forcibly detaining two women and a young girl at the edge of the Rio Grande river triggered backlash in Mexico, whose government faces pressure from US President Donald Trump to slow a surge of Central American migrants.
The statement contradicts what Lopez Obrador’s own defense minister said Monday in a joint press conference with the president.
Asked whether the National Guardsmen and army troops recently deployed to Mexico’s northern border were detaining migrants to prevent them from crossing, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval replied: “Yes.”
“Given that (undocumented) migration is not a crime but rather an administrative violation, we simply detain them and turn them over” to immigration authorities, Sandoval added.
However, Lopez Obrador insisted Mexican forces were not there to detain migrants who try to cross the border.
“Those are not the instructions they have. They are not there to do that job. That is the work of the migration authorities, not the army,” he said.
“We are going to deal with this matter so that no abuses are committed.”
However, he added: “We have to avoid a confrontation with the government of the United States.”
Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who came to office in December vowing to protect migrants’ rights, has been pushed into a more hardline stance by Trump, who threatened last month to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods if the government did not do more to slow migration.
After a week of tense negotiations in Washington, the two sides announced a deal on June 7 in which Mexico agreed to reinforce its southern border with 6,000 National Guardsmen and expand its policy of taking back migrants while the US processes their asylum claims.
Trump’s threat to ‘hereby’ force manufacturers to do his bidding stomped by legal analyst
President Donald Trump is claiming extraordinary powers in his escalating trade war with China.
On Friday, Trump demanded that American companies look for alternatives to China.
"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted.
Of course, the president has no power to order such a thing.
Trump then announced massive tariffs on China, citing the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.
Creationist Ark Encounter museum accused of stiffing local schools by underpaying property taxes
On Saturday, Friendly Atheist reported that the Grant County Board of Education is filing a lawsuit alleging the creationist "Ark Encounter" theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, received a property valuation way lower than it should have for the purposes of tax assessment.
The museum, which is shaped like a giant replica of Noah's Ark and is full of exhibits explaining supposed historical details of the Flood — including models of cavemen fighting dinosaurs — was assessed at $46 million in 2017. But the Board of Education, combining Ark Encounter's capital investment disclosures, land value, and ticket sales, that the property is actually worth $130 million.
‘He’s a child going to a playdate’: Trump’s inability to talk to world leaders mocked by MSNBC guest
On MSNBC Saturday, former professor and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed blasted President Donald Trump's inability to behave like a world leader at the G7 summit, or to have meaningful dialogues with the heads of allied countries.
"Abdul, do you think there is any chance that Donald Trump gets through this weekend without any drama?" asked anchor Alex Witt.
"Well, look, if you used the last week as any indication, I think it's no chance," said El-Sayed. "We're talking about the president of the United States as if he's a child going to a playdate."
"Honestly, we have to have a serious conversation about the fact that he's just headlong pitched our economy down the tubes," continued El-Sayed. "He's been doing it because of a spat that he has with a leader in China. And we're talking about whether or not he's going to have a good time at the G7. This is the president of the United States. We have to treat him as such and we have to be asking about whether or not we are willing to get serious about the conversation that we need to be having about what's going to happen in our future."