Foreign Minister says Mexico could go to the United Nations over U.S. deportations

The Trump administration’s new memos on immigration, released Tuesday, were met with a blunt rejection Wednesday by Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Videgaray not only said Mexico would not accept some of the new plans but added that Mexico could appeal to the United Nations to defend the “freedoms and due process” of Mexicans abroad. From Reuters:

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

“I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” he told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.

Videgaray went on to say, “Mexico and the government of Mexico will not hesitate to go to multilateral organizations, starting with the United Nations, to defend, in accordance with international law, human rights, freedoms and due process in favor of Mexicans abroad.” It’s not clear how this would apply to Mexicans in the United States illegally.

One aspect of the new policy which seems to have most upset Mexico is the suggestion the U.S. could start deporting illegal immigrants back to Mexico even if they are not Mexican citizens. In recent years many of the tens of thousands of people attempting to cross the U.S. southern border each month have been from Central America. Returning these people to Mexico could create a significant problem for the Mexican government as it would then be responsible for sending people back to their home countries in Central America.

The Associated Press reports the White House was eager to downplay the divide:

At the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S.-Mexican relationship is “phenomenal.”

“I think there’s an unbelievable and robust dialogue between the two nations,” Spicer said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and his top officials in Mexico tomorrow.