EL PASO, Texas — Immigrants shouldn’t be blamed for the United States’ problems, populist Mexican presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador said this week in El Paso.
More than 100 people heard him speak against President Donald Trump’s policies and about his plans to transform Mexico and protect immigrants during an evening rally Monday March 6 at San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown El Paso.
López Obrador, widely known as AMLO, hasn’t officially declared that he is running in next year’s presidential election but he is already seen as one of the top contenders.
Those who voted for Trump in the U.S. fell for a campaign based on xenophobia and are “victims of manipulation, a perverse effort to blame their problems on foreigners, in particular Mexicans,” López Obrador said in Spanish.
“On this side of the border, we must tell the four winds that the slogan of ‘United States first’ or ‘America first’ is erroneous because in reality the first thing — in any place on the planet — should be justice and universal fraternity” he said.
López Obrador urged people to explain to Trump supporters that “the economic ills experienced by workers, farmers and entrepreneurs in the United States are not the fault of migrants or of Mexico but of bad government, privilege and the bad distribution of income that prevails in this country as in ours.”
The El Paso stop was part of a tour in defense of immigrant rights visiting several U.S. cities, including Phoenix on Tuesday and next week in New York where a complaint will be filed with the United Nations over Trump’s proposed border wall and “arbitrary pursuit” of immigrants, López Obrador said.
López Obrador said that the U.S.-Mexico relationship should be based on mutual respect and cooperation. “We can’t discard the possibility of convincing Donald Trump of his wrongful foreign policy and, in particular, his derogatory attitude toward Mexicans and our nation,” he said.
The fiery leftist candidate is a fixture in Mexico politics and has run twice before for the presidency. The third time is the charm, he said on stage to loud cheers.
“We are going to end the principal problem of Mexico, which is corruption,” López Obrador said.
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