Mexico has a message for its citizens living in the United States who are fearful of what may come under President-elect Donald Trump: Don’t be afraid, the government is here.
“Fellow countrymen, these are times of uncertainty. Be calm, don’t fall into provocation and don’t be fooled. The government of (Enrique) Peña Nieto and the Mexican people are with you,” the government said on Wednesday in its 11-point plan meant to support the Mexican community living in the United States.
The plan does not appear to mention Trump by name.
The announcement comes after the US President-elect kicked off his campaign by promising to “build a great wall” and have Mexico pay for it. He also called some Mexicans “rapists,” and added, “Some, I assume, are good people.”
In an meeting earlier in his campaign, Peña Nieto and Trump disputed who would pay for the wall — Trump claimed payment was not discussed; Peña Nieto said he made it clear to Trump that Mexico would not be responsible.
“The Mexican people have felt hurt by the comments that have been made,” the President of Mexico said after their meeting in September. “But I am sure that his genuine interest is to build a relationship that will give both of our society’s better welfare.”
Mexico has said it was preparing a contingency plan to deal with Trump’s promise of mass deportations, a border wall and renegotiation of NAFTA.
On Thursday, the Mexican central bank took another measure to brace for life under Trump: Banxico announced it will increase a key interest rate as the peso continues to falls under Trump’s win. Mexico’s economy, which has already been slowing, prepares for an even deeper slump.
For its citizens abroad, the Foreign Ministry released a video titled “We are with you,” a slogan intended to calm deportation fears and protect citizen’s from becoming victims of possible abuse and fraud.
“We want to inform you on the possible immigration actions and in regards to your belongings that might be affected starting February,” Claudia Ruiz Massieu, secretary of external relations, says in the video. “We are going to get this information to you and deliver services to you wherever you might be. You can also go to the consulate or call us.”
A toll-free number has been created by the Center for Information and Assistance to Mexicans (CIAM), which is free for Mexican immigrants living abroad. The hotline will be available 24 hours a day in order to assist anyone with information, migration issues, and even to report any incidents that might occur.
Mexico announced that it has instructed its consulates to step up assistance for immigrants. Hours are expected to be extended to accommodate the high number of cases. Apps for mobile phones, more consulate presence and ‘intensifying’ birth certificates registrations for children born in the US are also in the plan.
“We will be more close to you than ever before,” the video goes on to say.
But while the fear is increasing with immigrants living in the United States, the number of those attempting to cross the border continues to increase. Among them are Central Americans from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador trying to flee violence and poverty.
Jim Darling, the mayor of McAllen, Texas, says the surge of border crossings is a result of Trump’s pledge to build a wall. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security said apprehensions along the southwest border were up nearly 17% in October. The agency sent 150 more agents to the border to handle the influx.
Trump’s calls for deporting all undocumented workers and plans to build a wall along the border earned him withering criticism from Peña Nieto, as well as many independents and moderate Republicans.
But the calls were central pillars of his campaign, galvanizing his white, working-class base.
At a postelection victory party in New York, however, Trump said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.”
There was no immediate comment on Mexico’s 11-point plan from Trump’s transition team.