WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – As the White House releases a few more details about sending National Guard troops south to help secure the border, Mexico’s president is taking issue with the plan.
Thursday, while onboard Air Force One, President Donald Trump spoke to reporters about the plan, including how many will be deployed.
“We’re looking from 2,000 to 4,000. And we’ll probably keep them, or a large portion of them, until such time as we get the wall,” he said.
Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, fired back in a nationally televised message. He said his nation is willing to work with the US on security, as long as those talks are earnest and constructive.
Speaking directly to Trump, he added, “If your recent statements are the result of frustration due to domestic policy issues, to your laws or to your Congress, it is to them that you should turn to, not to Mexicans. We will not allow negative rhetoric to define our actions.”
Earlier in the day Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White insisted the National Guard will be deployed purely to support border patrol agents performing law enforcement duties.
“The National Guard’s efforts will include aviation, engineering, surveillance, communications, vehicle maintenance, and logistical support,” said White.
The Pentagon and Homeland Security both maintain that exactly how troops will be used will primarily be up to the governors of the states in which they’re stationed.
Border arrests this year are down nearly 13-percent compared to last year. But, but according to the Department of Homeland Security, the month of March saw a big spike with more than 37-thousand arrests.