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.
GOP officials admit 2020 platform is basically whatever’s on Trump’s Twitter account
President Donald Trump has shaped the Republican Party into his own image in less than four years on the job, and that doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.
Nearly half of the House Republicans on the job when Trump took office in 2017 have either retired, resigned, been defeated or are retiring in 2020, and many of the GOP newcomers are devoted Trump loyalists, reported Politico.
“Whether the president wins or loses, his policy views and style have firmly taken over the Republican Party — nationalism and white grievance, those kinds of things,” said Matt Moore, former chairman of South Carolina's GOP. “I don’t think that Trumpy politics will be leaving the stage anytime soon.”
Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info
The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Driver hits 63-year-old man with his car after he asked him to wear a mask in a store: police
A Rhode Island driver is being accused of hitting a 63-year-old man with his car after the man had confronted him about not wearing a face mask into a local convenience store.
Local news station WJAR 10 reports that 63-year-old William Beauchene got into an argument this week with a 30-year-old man named Ralph Buontempo, who had gone into the convenience store in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island without wearing a mask.
Witnesses told police that the two men began yelling obscenities at one another, and that at one point Buontempo slapped a cup of coffee out of Beauchene's hand, which then splashed all over the store manager who had come outside to try to deescalate the confrontation.