Mexico Says No Wall, No Way

While President Donald Trump continues to assure his supporters that his proposed wall on the Southern border is on the way, Mexico is sounding a much different tone.  Last week, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray railed against the wall, calling it a "hostile" and "deeply unfriendly" act, and threatening legal action against any border actions that "violate the rights of Mexicans."  Videgaray also vowed that Mexico will not pay for the wall and that any attempt by the U.S. to tax remittances going back to Mexico would be a "break point in dialogue on other issues."

The rhetoric on both sides of the border has been heated at times, but so far there's no set plan for what a border wall will look like, when construction will start, or whether it will actually be a physical wall.  "It's no longer being described as a physical barrier that runs from the Pacific to the Gulf," says Cal Jillson, political science professor at Southern Methodist University.  "It's now being defined as physical barriers where needed, and other kinds of electronic barriers and surveillance in places where there are natural barriers."

Jillson tells KTRH he believes the Mexican government is posturing to put pressure on the Trump administration.  "The wall is very much in flux, and that is part of what emboldens Mexico to say we don't think this is a good idea to do it, but if you do it you're paying for it," he says.

Regardless of what ultimately happens with the wall or any new barrier on the Southern border, Jillson warns the Trump administration needs to tread carefully because of the delicate issue of trade, which is especially important to Texas.  "The idea that you're going to make that border thicker and more difficult for people and goods to get across is a non-starter from a Texas trade perspective," says Jillson.

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