Andres Manuel López Obrador is urging Mexicans in the United States not to vote for “anti-immigrant” candidates, after slamming Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for issuing an order this week allowing state troopers and National Guard members to arrest and return migrants attempting to cross the border.
“If there’s a candidate from a party that mistreats immigrants and Mexicans, we’re going to ask our countrymen there that they don’t vote for that candidate or party,” Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters Friday.
“Even though we are respectful of the sovereignty of other countries, we see that there are anti-immigrant campaigns for electoral purposes. I consider it immoral.”
The remarks came just a day after Abbott issued an executive order that directs the Texas National Guard and state police to “apprehend” migrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border and return them to Mexico. Migrant advocates say the order violates Supreme Court rulings holding that only the federal government may carry out immigration enforcement.
“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” Abbott said in a statement announcing the order.
Abbott is running for reelection against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, a former House member who has also made unsuccessful runs for Senate and the White House. Recent polls have shown Abbott in the lead months ahead of the November election.
Abbott’s campaign didn’t respond to The Hill’s request for comment on López Obrador’s comments.
The White House also has condemned Abbott’s immigration order.
“Immigration enforcement is a federal authority and states should not be meddling in it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Friday. “That is especially for Texas Gov. Abbott, who has a track record of causing chaos and confusion at the border.”