Mexican Ambassador to the United States Geronimo Gutierrez spoke with Brian Kilmeade about the Mexican government working with the United States to block the caravan of migrants headed from Central American through Mexico towards America. Ambassador Gutierrez says Mexico understands and respects the right of the United States to protect it's borders and enforce its laws while making sure all who enter Mexico should do so in compliance with Mexican immigration law. When asked about issues the Mexican government might have with America erecting a border wall with Mexico, Ambassador Gutierrez said they do not have an issue in general with the wall but find it offensive the way President Trump talks about Mexicans in general.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:00:00] But I want to get from Mexico's point of view because we're all seeing this video of these caravans of people coming up from Honduras now through Guatemala and they get to Mexico's border. And somehow the numbers have grown. The president is not blaming Mexico. But we also notice they're not stopping there in Mexico. Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez is a Mexican ambassador to the United States. He's been kind enough to join us. Ambassador welcome to the Brian kill me Cho thank you.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:00:29] Good morning Brian thank you very much for this time.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:00:31] Good. I mean what the president really feels as though you guys are working with him. However a lot of people looking at the 7000 people marching towards our border wondering do you guys really deserve credit. How did they get in.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:00:45] Well since the day started Brian the Mexican government made very clear your critics first that anybody that wanted to enter Mexico should do so in compliance with Mexican immigration law second that if somebody really had a humanitarian situation and requested refugee status they could do so with the appropriate authorities in Mexico. And third that none of those cases and somebody decided went to very regular. They can be obviously subject to a creation of that policy has not changed. What we are doing right now is exactly what we've began to do some obscure basically some people decided to cross who regularly and since they are children and women we are being very careful in making sure that the immigration law is complied. But we also want to make sure that non-violence is registered or occurs. So our policy has not changed. Mexican government does not condone promote illegal immigration.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:01:49] We believe that immigration should be legal safe and orderly and that's where we're working on and this is very much in our own interest. And that's why we do it.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:01:59] Ambassador it's not Mexicans that are sneaking into the country. The very few that's situation has been remedied because of these laws. But Central and South America are getting different messages about America's immigration laws that are having them walk through Mexico and feel as though they can get in. What laws did we pass that are having a effect of mobilizing Central Americans to come here.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:02:24] Brian I think that we do you know we have to call things for what they are. We do have humanitarian. I would say a crisis and that is why precisely we've called on theU.N. to help Mexico review and any applications for refugee status in Mexico. We understand perfectly well the importance of complying with law international lawU.S. law in Mexico. And we have to be careful again just to make sure that we don't lose the humanitarian side of this equation. That is precisely what we're doing and we work very closely with the United States.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:03:02] But what message are we giving the United States giving to Central Americans that makes them think that they have they can come here and will get residence here. What did we do wrong to send the wrong message even though we're giving 63 billion dollars to though all three of those countries Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua were giving money to. Even though we're giving humanitarian aid to them they feel as though they have a right to come in here. But Mexicans don't feel that way. They get it. Why don't Hondurans and Guatemalans.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:03:36] Brian I would leave up to you know the U.S. to determine domestically what's the you know the appropriate system of immigration.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:03:45] OK I don't want to put you in a bad spot and you're kind enough to join us all in theU.S. here. Here's I want you to hear this. I'll have you comment. Sure Katy Waldman of Homeland Security was kind enough to come on with us Friday and she says this play dates back to 2009. Listen
(Audio of Katie Waldman from the Brian Kilmeade Show) What happened that made the America that made politicians think that Central and South Americans were more important than Mexicans to kidnap as any law written by Dianne Feinstein that treated Canada Canada and Mexico different than it treated Central Americans. Because back in 2008 most of her apprehensions were all Mexican. Now there are predominantly Central Americans. It's a shocking stat when you look at it the hundred thousand family units apprehended last year from El Salvador Guatemala and Honduras. Nearly 99 percent of them remain in the country today. So what that says is all pretty much those 400,000 apprehensions. We cannot repatriate them there once they enter. Put a .. in the United States. We cannot just send them right back.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:04:48] So that's the reality your country is not the problem.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:04:53] I say know listening to what you just played my comments would be the following. Just a few days ago Mexico and the United States convene a conference here in Washington including the Northern Triangle concrete hillside above us and what. It was very clear about that meeting which Mexico and the U.S. participated work was that we need to work on you know regionally on a two track approach. [00:05:23] One we must ensure that development is better on those so people are not forced into immigration decision and that also lol lost most of the fourth. That was the main conclusion. In the end the only long term solution to this is making sure that there's development in this countries and the United States is working towards that goal as well as Mexico and the Central American countries. But at the same time we cannot obviously look the other way to the fact that laws must be upheld and absurd. That is in my view. That's the approach that will change things. I guess everything that is going on is just a you know it really calls upon us to step up the pace to find long term structural solutions to this phenomena. And that is precisely what we're working for.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:06:17] Ambassador so you're saying that they want to stay in Mexico they can stay in Mexico but they just want to come here. Do you guys have laws and rules when it comes to refugee status or guest worker status or.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:06:30] Yes we do. We do have both things we do have guest worker status and we do have a refugee status according to our own immigration laws on international law. And in fact Brian about this around 1,000 people as of yesterday had already requested refugee status in Mexico. [00:06:50] And I was the intent and we will continue to do so and that's why we called on the high the office of the high commissioner of the United Nations on refugees to help Mexico in this process. So it's transparent it's clear it respects human rights and he upholds the law and it's an important challenge obviously but I think we will be able to count on it correctly.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:07:13] Yeah I know you don't want to comment but there's some message that we're giving to Central Americans in those Triangle countries to make them think. Now more than ever now over the last eight years more than ever that they feel as though they can come in and know how to beat the system and can stay. You heard that stat that's an American executive. American federal government worker the spokesperson for homeland security who said that 99 percent of the people coming in are not Mexican. So there's some message that we're giving that's being misinterpreted or they know our laws better than anybody else. Now let me ask you a quick question about the wall. When I look at what happened when I see the wall being effective in Israel when I see the while being effective in Hungary when I saw how effective the Berlin Wall was because for the wrong reasons when the iron curtain dropped they controlled movement. We have 7 million open jobs here. Nobody wants to shut down immigration. We just want to control our borders. Why does Mexico take that personally
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:08:15] Well first of all Mexico understands and respects the right of the United States of any concrete to protect its borders and enforce of law and I want to make that very clear and we in fact have a very strong cooperation agenda with theU.S. and other authorities in the U.S. We don't see eyeball to eyeball on everything. And you know the United States has the right to protect its borders and we don't question that if you ask because we know your friendly neighbor we would say perhaps that's not the best way to go and we have made that very clear and I think that several analysts have pointed out to the fact that there are you know perhaps better ways to secure our border and we have a very comprehensive agenda with United States on that regard. [00:08:58] So that's that's pretty much where we are. You know as as neighbors partners some friends we don't want any issues.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:09:05] But as I understand that but is it something about a wall that bothers you. I mean there are communities who don't want fences with my community. Everybody's got a fence but you don't take it personal. If we could control our borders it will make your southern border more defensible.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:09:20] Brian again we're not against any country Enforcing and Protecting its borders. And the fact that it was personal. Because you know why Mexico in general does not appreciate this position is is because it has been in some instances coupled with a narrative that is very offensive to Mexicans. Mexicans are hardworking people.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:09:47] Absolutely.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:09:48] . have values. You know there's liable to be you know bad people in a big group that's obvious. Ok but. It's to do a generalization in that regard. You are going to offend all of Mexico. And let me give you an example. You know being blunt about it in previous administrations more than five hundred miles of fences were built. Yeah but they were not coupled with a narrative that was offensive to our country and that it's important. So we hope we have a good dialogue with the Trump administration. Yes we do have differences but we believe that through cooperation and dialogue we can solve those differences as we just did on that. And that is precisely what we're going to continue to do.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:10:34] Yeah Pride Matters. So I understand that. Hopefully people will get that point across. But when you see how many jobs we have when you talk to farmers and I'm not saying all Mexicans or Central Americans should be working on a farm. I'm not generalizing but a lot of them do and 7 million jobs are open. Farmers are desperate for a guest worker program. It seems like we just can't get out of the blocks and we solve some simple problems.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:11:00] I agree wholeheartedly with you I think for example and we have had discussions with the U.S. administration in that regard that for example the H-2 A visa program which allows temporary workers on to come here should probably be reviewed and updated in a way that it's more it's more simple and more effective. Let me tell you something Mexicans don't have a cheap plant that had them that goes you know tells them go and you know break the law and enter into the United States. If there are sufficient and simple legal avenues I think that people would choose those legal avenues. I understand that this is a very sensitive and divisive issue politically in the United States and we're extremely respectful of that. [00:11:47] But you know a thoughtful discussion about how to fix the immigration system including you know discussions with Mexico will end up helping in the end both our demographics are complimentary and as you just said I have sat down with the ACT sector people for the last months and they feel that they need a lot of people in order to have those shocks and the same happens with the for example construction business. [00:12:17] So this can be a win win for both and we should work on that..
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:12:24] Ambassador you know the story of our country. You know when the Irish first came over they were building the railroads and when the Italians first came over they were they were working their way up you know up the ladder it happens through that's the history of America. You have your own history as well. But I got to just back out before I let you go I know you're busy just on this 4000 to 7000 people that are coming towards a border. Do you. The Mexican authorities have one last stand before they get to Texas Arizona New Mexico or California.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:12:59] What I will let you know is that Mexican authorities will make sure that everybody who enters in Mexico is complying with Mexican immigration law and that it's only through that way that they could come in and we will continue to follow this situation. Our staff is not to have anybody break the law of the United States or Mexico.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:13:20] Right. That means there's really no way to stop them. Ambassador can't thank you enough. I look forward to a better dialogue between the between the countries.
(Geronimo Gutierrez) [00:13:29] That's certainly the benefit of both of us. Thank you very much.
(Brian Kilmeade) [00:13:31] Thank you very much Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez.