Latino media figures are infuriated at the announcement that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is traveling to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Several Latinos in the media noted that Trump has built his campaign on aggressively attacking Mexico and Mexican immigrants in the United States, and called the move a Hail Mary pass between two “desperate men.”
Donald Trump Travels To Mexico To Meet With Mexican President Before Delivering Immigration Speech
Wash. Post: Donald Trump Traveling To Mexico To Meet With Mexican President Before Delivering Immigration Speech. The Washington Post reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto “just hours before he delivers a high-stakes speech in Arizona to clarify his views on immigration policy.” The Post noted that “the invitation is a stunning move by Peña Nieto, given the grief that Trump’s campaign has caused the Mexican government over the past year,” and explained that the visit “seems certain to cause a backlash in Mexico City, where Trump is widely disliked.” From the August 31 report:
Donald Trump will travel to Mexico City on Wednesday for a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, just hours before he delivers a high-stakes speech in Arizona to clarify his views on immigration policy.
Peña Nieto last Friday invited both Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico, his office said in a statement provided to The Washington Post on Tuesday night.
Trump, sensing an opportunity, decided over the weekend to accept the invitation and push for a visit this week, according to the people in the United States and Mexico familiar with the discussions.
The invitation is a stunning move by Peña Nieto, given the grief that Trump’s campaign has caused the Mexican government over the past year. From calling Mexican illegal immigrants rapists and criminals, to vowing to build a wall along the Southern border, to threatening to undo the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump has caused growing alarm in Mexico. Peña Nieto himself likened Trump’s rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, in a March interview with a Mexican newspaper.
The visit comes after Trump has wavered for weeks on whether he will continue to hold his hard-line positions on the central and incendiary issue of his campaign, in particular his call to deport an estimated 11 million immigrants who are living in the United States illegally.
The invitation — and particularly a visit — seems certain to cause a backlash in Mexico City, where Trump is widely disliked. Mexicans have bashed Trump piñatas, burned him in effigy during public street parties and staged plays about him as a comic villain.
When Trump declared his candidacy in 2015, he was seen by many in Mexico as insulting but not to be taken very seriously. Mexican diplomats back then scoffed at the notion that Trump was a serious candidate or that the government was worried about his ascent.
And while Trump’s associates have framed his speech and trip as presidential moves, the surprise gambit also fits his career-long tendency for theater and confrontation. [Washington Post, 8/31/16]
Hispanic Journalists Roundly Condemn The Meeting
Univision’s Enrique Acevedo: For “Mexicans In The United States,” Peña Nieto Meeting With Trump “Confirms The Notion That Their Government Abandoned Them.” Univision anchor Enrique Acevedo criticized the meeting on Twitter by writing in Spanish, “If from the beginning the message in Mexico is bad, for the Mexicans in the United States it’s worse! It confirms the notion that their government abandoned them.” He also called the meeting the act of “two desperate men:”
Univision’s Jorge Ramos: “In Simple Terms, Today’s Meeting Is Between 2 Of The Most Despised And Hated People By Millions Of Mexicans On Both Sides Of The Border.”
CNN’s Maria Cardona: “This Looks Like An Act Of Desperation On Behalf Of Donald Trump.” CNN political commentator Maria Cardona called Trump’s trip to Mexico “the political equivalent to an Ave Maria pass because his campaign is going off the rails” and noted that Peña Nieto needs to call out Trump for his attacks on Mexicans in the past, which wouldn’t “look good for Trump.” From the August 31 edition of CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:
CAROL COSTELLO (HOST): Because Mexico’s president extended an invitation to Hillary Clinton as well, should she have canceled her trip to Ohio and visited the Mexican president instead?
MARIA CARDONA: No. Absolutely not. This is a presidential election that is taking place in the United States of America. The most important thing that Hillary can be doing is having a conversation with American voters. Look, I actually see it completely the opposite as Mr. Pence does. I think that this looks like an act of desperation on behalf of Donald Trump. I call it the political equivalent of an Ave Maria [Hail Mary] pass because his campaign is going off the rails. And what I think he's trying to prove to Americans is that he can be presidential, that he can meet with world leaders, that his experience on the world stage isn't just the beauty pageants that he has leadered in the past. And so I think most Americans will see right through this because they also see a candidate who is rash, who doesn't think things through, and I think it will also be difficult for the Mexican president because, as you have noted on your show, he's got very low approval ratings, Donald Trump is incredibly unpopular. So if Mr. Peña Nieto doesn't come out afterward and say, “I stood up to Mr. Trump, I said there is no way in hell I'm paying for this wall, I said he has got to treat Mexicans with dignity and respect,” that's not going to look good for Trump. So it’s going to be interesting to see how he manages this. [CNN, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, 8/31/16]
Huff. Post’s Roque Planas: “Peña Nieto [Is] Seeking New Ways To Make Himself Unpopular” By Inviting Trump To Mexico.
La Opinión’s Pilar Marrero: “Meeting Serves As Welcomed Distraction For Both” Trump and Peña Nieto.
El País Contributor Denise Dresser: “What Trump Is Bringing To Mexico: Ignorance, Racism, Bigotry And The Worst Presidential Candidacy In US History.”
La Opinión Highlights Latinos’ Scathing Reactions To The Trump-Peña Nieto Meeting. La Opinión listed a litany of reactions from immigrant advocacy groups, Mexican politicians and economists, and others ranging from pure outrage about the meeting to mockery of the Republican candidate. Translated from the August 31 article:
After the surprising announcement that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump today will make a quick visit to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, pro-immigrant groups in the United States and Mexicans in both countries reacted negatively.
In Los Angeles, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) released a statement Tuesday night in which it labeled the presidential candidate as well as the Mexican president “tone deaf to the tragedy that faces millions of people who for lack of safety, poverty, and violence are forced to escape to the United States.”
Angelica Salas, president of the CHIRLA Action Fund board of directors, said that “the lives of immigrants are not a circus for the politicians on both sides of the border.”
Frank Sharry, president of America's Voice, a pro-immigrant lobbyist group in Washington, directed itself to the Mexican president on Twitter to request that he demand Trump apologize for the offenses and insults that he has launched against Mexicans from the first day of his campaign.
The group United We Dream, the largest organization of young immigrants in the United States, said that the meeting was “a shame” for the Mexican president.
[La Opinión, 8/31/16]