On the day he is expected to deliver a highly anticipated speech on immigration policy, Donald Trump is planning to fly to Mexico City on Wednesday to meet Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. A scant few hours later, Trump is scheduled to speak in Arizona to clarify his views on immigration.
According to the Washingon Post
, Trump and his advisors came up with the move just recently. He has been criticized by some erstwhile supporters for appearing to soften his take on deporting the approximately 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States. Border security and immigration have been the hottest issues throughout his campaign, earning him hostility and repudiation by Mexican officials, including its ambassador to the US.
Peña Nieto has extended an invitation, at great political risk, to Trump. The informants told the Post that they will discuss both political and economic issues. It was over the August 27-28 weekend that Trump accepted the invitation and called for a meeting this week.
Wednesday will be busy for Trump. Besides the jaunt to Mexico and Arizona, he will go to California to hold fundraisers. He will fly to California first and speak in Arizona at the Phoenix Convention Center in the evening. The visit with the Mexican leader will come during the interim.
Trump’s new campaign CEO, Stephen K. Bannon, played an important part in planning the Mexico trip when Trump and his family members met with aides at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. The Washington Post said that Bannon argued that Trump must burnish his credibility with his base for whom immigration is a key issue.
Bannon believes it offers Trump a chance to make headlines and to show off his diplomatic chops. Some aides were not enthusiastic about the trip.
Trump’s organization contacted the American embassy last week in Mexico City to confer about his intentions. While Obama administration officials said that security and other logistics would be difficult, Trump pressed on. Such visits normally require weeks of step-by-step planning that examines every aspect of security, protocol, and other issues. While Mexico is not considered an entirely hostile place, despite the Trump pinatas that are sold openly on the street, crime is an issue. Trump will require beefed up protection should he appear in public.
One possibility is that they could meet at Mexico’s busy international airport, where Trump’s plane can land and security would be assured.