Mexico formally asks US to clarify Trump's border remarks

Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. said Tuesday that his country has formally asked the Trump administration to clarify the president's announcement that he is planning to deploy troops along the U.S. southern border.

"The Mexican government has formally asked for clarification of the president's statements, both through the State Department and the Homeland Security Department," Gerónimo Gutiérrez said on CNN International, adding that he had personally spoken to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenDem senator requests FBI investigate Nielsen for potential perjury Schumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Trump officials discussed ‘deterrent effect’ of prosecuting migrant parents: report MORE.

"The important thing is that both countries share the idea of having a secure border," he added. "We don't always agree in how to achieve that objective, and I do expect that, in the next few hours, we will get clarification on this issue."

ADVERTISEMENT

Gutiérrez's comments came shortly after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' MORE said he plans to deploy U.S. troops along the southern border to prevent unauthorized crossings into the country until his proposed border wall is built.

Such a move would dramatically escalate the U.S. presence along the border, which is currently protected by the U.S. Border Patrol. 

Gutiérrez said that militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border would not be welcomed by the Mexican government, but added that further clarification by the Trump administration was necessary to determine "where we are."

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric on immigration and border security in recent days, reviving a topic that served as a central theme of his presidential campaign.

In a tweet over the weekend, Trump quashed the prospect of a deal to protect young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children – known as "Dreamers."

And on Monday, he called on Mexico to step up efforts to detain people who attempt to cross the border illegally, and warned of a "caravan" of immigrants from Central America heading toward the U.S.