02:23 GMT +324 January 2020
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    After Donald Trump spoke with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday, many thought that the Republican presidential hopeful would soften his harsh immigration stance.

    Those hopes were shattered the next day, when the billionaire real-estate speculator declared in Arizona that Mexico would pay the entire cost of constructing a border wall between the two countries, and vowed mass deportations of undocumented Mexican-American workers.

    To discuss Trump’s from-the-gut political thinking, Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear host Brian Becker was joined by Juan Jose Gutierrez of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, and Gloria La Riva, 2016 presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

    Remarking on Trump’s speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Becker said it was anticipated that the increasingly unlikely candidate would take a more mainstream path regarding Mexican-born workers in the United States. Instead, Trump declared that he would “cut off any path to citizenship and insisted that those seeking legal status must return to their country.”

    “For 40 years he’s been insulting and humiliating Mexican workers,” Gutierrez stated, pointing out that Trump is threatening the Latino community in the US with mass arrests, incarcerations and deportations.

    But “what happened yesterday was worse than anything Donald Trump [has done] since he announced his quest for nomination to be the Republican Presidential candidate,” he said.

    La Riva observed that Trump, in his speech, aimed to create lines of separation in the US between poor workers and the white middle class.

    “The Latino community in the US is extremely angry. People are outraged at what’s taking place. This polarization is very dangerous.”

    At the same time, she noted, the move was typical of Trump. Citing New York Times’ Charles Blow, she said that Trump is a perfect example of an “extreme bully,” who can appear amiable to Nieto in Mexico one day, and then attack Mexicans once he is safe again in his own country and standing before a crowd of his supporters.

    Nieto, a largely unpopular leader, stated that he invited Trump to “initiate dialogue” with a possible next president of the US. But this step was, according to Gutierrez, a “grave political mistake,” because Nieto “did not achieve anything.”

    “If Pena was taking a risk of inviting a lesser of two presidential candidates in the US to meet with him in Mexico he should have demanded a public apology from Trump. In this case this meeting would have made sense.”

    By badmouthing Mexicans and pledging to arrest “every single undocumented person and expel him from the US,” Trump follows in the footsteps of such extreme racist politicians as the late Alabama governor George Wallace, who, when confronted with the inevitable success of the Civil Rights Movement, notoriously stated, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever."

    “This is extreme racism to a major part of the working class,” many of whom harvest the crops in the breadbasket of the US, La Riva said. “It’s a strategy to divide-and-conquer the working class, because all the workers are in a severe situation of growing poverty, insecurity, being unable to pay for all the needs to live.”

    Both guests agreed that Mexican-Americans must take a stand against Trump, adding that a large resistance movement must be triggered to secure the rights of the working class and immigrants.

    “If Trump continues his line, there has to be mobilization of all Mexicans and all Latinos,” La Riva said. “A week without Mexicans and this country will shut down. I think we should take what Trump said yesterday as a starting point to fight back.”


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    Mexican, immigration, Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Juan Jose Gutierrez, Gloria La Riva, Enrique Pena Nieto, Donald Trump, Mexico, United States
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