Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed he would be willing to influence the rhetoric surrounding the U.S. midterm elections if any candidate were to speak poorly about Mexicans, while speaking on his desire about the U.S. reforming its immigration system.
“We are not going to allow Mexican migrants to be questioned in campaigns to supposedly win votes, we do not accept xenophobia, we do not accept racism,” he said at a May 20 press conference, referencing the U.S. November elections. He noted that his policy is “non-intervention and self-determination.”
“And if a party, candidates, thinking that if they speak ill of the Mexican they are going to get votes, well, from here we are going to denounce those facts so that our countrymen over there know who is who,” he added, warning that there are over 40 million Mexicans in the U.S.
He compared the number of Mexicans to the 4 million Cubans in the U.S., saying Cubans “have great influence in guiding U.S. policies in relation to the rest of the world.”
In April, the Mexican president told Americans of Mexican and Latino descent to not vote for parties or candidates that “mistreat” Mexico or other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Reuters.
“When someone goes too far and causes offence, we’ll call them out so that our countrymen help us. Because there are 40 million of us,” he added in April. “Don’t forget your origins.”
He also praised former President Barack Obama’s “commitment” to immigration reform in 2012 in his May speech and mentioned that President Joe Biden was vice president at the time.
Obama announced his decision to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants in 2012, and was applauded by then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, according to CNN. He also campaigned on a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who spoke English, had not committed a crime and were willing to pay a fine, according to Politifact.
López Obrador announced Monday he would not be attending the Summit of the Americas, an event hosted by Biden and focusing on the migration crisis, later this week. He cited Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua’s exclusion from the event as his reason for boycotting the event, according to The Associated Press.