Peña Nieto also said he had ordered government agencies to step up protection for immigrants.
“I’ve asked for the minister of Foreign Relations to re-enforce protection measures to our citizens,” he said. He added that the 50 Mexican Consulates in the US will be used to defend the rights of immigrants in the country. He also issued a call to action to legislators and civil organizations to help immigrants.
Peña Nieto closed his message by saying that Mexico offers and expects respect.
“Mexico offers its friendship to the people of the United States and expresses its wish to arrive at agreements with its government, deals that will be in favor of Mexico and the Mexicans,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mexican officials that arrived Wednesday are expected to lay the groundwork for Peña Nieto’s visit next week, which Mexican diplomats see as an important opportunity to get past the anti-Mexico rhetoric Trump used during the campaign and a chance to put the US-Mexico relationship back on track.
“There is … frustration with our government and ourselves that we have not been able to tell the story of this important relationship,” a Mexican diplomat told CNN ahead of the visit. “There are a lot of stereotypes of Mexicans in the US, but there are also stereotypes of Americans in Mexico. It is in the interest of both governments to explain what this relationship is and what we can do together.”
In a Monday speech, Peña Nieto said his government is prepared to negotiate with the US if Mexico’s national sovereignty is respected. He laid out economic integration and respect for the rights of migrants and the money they send home as his nation’s key negotiating points.