Mexican president condemns Texas migrant policy

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tells Mexican-Americans not to vote Republican in midterm elections

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Mexico's president on Friday attacked the governor of Texas' latest steps to crack down on unauthorised migration, urging people of Mexican origin in the US not to vote for "anti-immigrant" candidates.

On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he had authorised the National Guard and state officials to "apprehend" migrants and transport them to ports of entry on the border with Mexico.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the "immoral" policy was intended to attract support before Texas' November election, in which Mr Abbott, a Republican, is running for re-election.

"If there's a candidate from a party that mistreats immigrants and Mexicans, we're going to ask our countrymen there that they don't vote for that candidate or party," Mr Lopez Obrador told reporters at a morning news conference.

Border patrol in the US falls under federal jurisdiction, and Mr Abbott's order is the latest in a showdown with Democratic President Joe Biden's administration over migration.

Mr Abbott's office, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection, which the DHS oversees, did not respond to requests for comment on Mr Abbott's announcement. The US National Guard referred questions to the Texas National Guard, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Lopez Obrador, who will travel to the US to meet Mr Biden on Tuesday, said Mr Abbott was overstepping his authority and expressed the view that he was "absolutely sure" the US president would not approve of the Texan policy.

Undocumented immigration at the US-Mexico border has been an increasingly politicised issue in bilateral relations, particularly among Republicans since former president Donald Trump's 2015-2016 successful election campaign.

Mr Trump caused widespread outrage in Mexico by describing migrants crossing the border as rapists and drug dealers, and Mexican officials are wary about the prospect of advances made by the Republicans in November's midterm elections.

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Updated: July 08, 2022, 6:20 PM