A Mexican presidential candidate suggested Sunday that illegal immigration into the U.S. is a right of all Mexicans – one that must be defended by the United Nations.
According to Reuters, left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that he would use the global body to “defend the rights of Mexicans” if U.S. President Donald Trump carried through with erecting a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“If he insists on building the wall, we’re going to turn to the United Nations to defend the rights of Mexicans,” Obrador told his supporters. “I‘m conscious of my historic responsibility.”
Recent polls indicate the 64-year-old presidential hopeful, who previously served as Mexico City’s mayor, is the most popular candidate in the country.
Obrador’s rival, right-left coalition leader Ricardo Anaya, similarly attacked the U.S. for wanting to protect its border.
“Mexico will never again be treated like a doormat for the United States, as it’s been in this government,” Anaya said.
Mexico’s presidential election is set for July 1.
Trump has promised not only that a wall will be built on the Southern U.S. border but that Mexico will pay for it as well.
The U.S. president’s pledge has outraged numerous figures in Mexico including the country’s former president Vincente Fox, who has repeatedly pledge not to pay “for that fucking wall.”
In August, Mexico’s foreign ministry also claimed such a wall would impede its national sovereignty.
“As the government of Mexico has always maintained, our country will not pay, in any way or under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.”
The U.S. government has spent the last several months testing the durability of eight border wall prototypes in San Diego, California.