US President Barack Obama confirmed that he offered help to the Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto to determine the fate of the 43 missing students from the teachers school in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.
President Barack Obama said on Tuesday December 9th, that the U.S. has offered to help Mexico figure out what happened to 43 college students who have been missing since September, but he stopped short of saying that aid to the U.S. ally and neighbor should be reconsidered on the basis of the country’s human rights record.
“We’ve offered assistance in tracking down exactly what happened, our forensic capabilities, our capacity to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” Obama told Telemundo, the US based Spanish-language television network, in an interview conducted by José Díaz-Balart.
“We’ve got to make sure that we strengthen the criminal justice system, the investigative capacities,” he said. “Mexico is our friend and our neighbor. We want them to thrive.”
Obama said the crime against the missing students has “no place in civilized society.”
Obama said he spoke with Peña Nieto last month when both leaders attended an international economic summit in Australia and that the Mexican president “recognizes the outrageous tragedy this represents”.
Also on Tuesday, Obama asked undocumented immigrants to apply for his relief program, even if Republicans are threatening to dismantle it.
Obama said future presidents could, of course, try to end the programs. But stripping protections and deporting those who applied is “not politically likely,” he said at a town hall meeting at the Casa Azafrán community center in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think would not have the support of the American people,” he said.
Obama’s visit to Nashville was part of a broad effort to sell and defend his new administrative actions on immigration, the largest of which will allow some undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to stay in the U.S. and work legally.
He also will expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA), which gives similar relief to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, along with other policy changes. In total, the executive actions may give relief to up to 5 million people.
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