Donald Trump gave a speech on immigration Wednesday in Phoenix and while he’s flip-flopped of late, there were no major revelations or about-turns. But Trump did starkly contradicted something Mexico’s president said earlier in the day.
Big day for Trump
The speech capped a hectic day for the Republican Party’s nominee. He began in California then flew to Mexico City, where he met for more than an hour with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (afterwards they took turns speaking at a press conference). He finished up his day in Phoenix, Arizona with the much ballyhooed immigration speech.
But wait. That’s not the word from the Mexican president. After Trump left Mexico Pena Nieto said the topic did come up, and early in their talk, and that he, Pena Nieto, brought it up and was firm about his country’s position.
“At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” Pena Nieto tweeted. It is rare to get such starkly different versions of events from world leaders after they’ve met.
U.S. – Mexico wall: costly
So after his first foreign visit as leader of the GOP, Trump is at an impasse with the leader he visited. Coupled with remarks he made that angered people and politicians in the U.K. and Israel during the primaries it makes for an rocky foreign affairs beginning for Trump, whose never held any political office.
And were Trump to win the election and actually build the wall, it’s hard to see any kind of sanctions being imposed to force Mexico to pay for it. Estimates vary as to its cost (and effectiveness), ranging from $25 billion to tens of billions.
And here’s this: the Berlin Wall was 96 miles long, the un-fenced part of the border between the U.S. and Mexico is 2,000 miles. And upkeep could cost in the hundreds of millions annually. Further, there would be those who would still find their way under or over it. Might some even attack the wall?