Mexico’s foreign minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu dismissed Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign promise that her government would pay for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“Well, that's absurd; we would never consider that,” Ruiz Massieu said in an interview with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.
“I think that's the real issue here. It's not a problem about a wall. It is a problem about narrow minds,” she said. “We have a very integrated economy that would suffer greatly if we place barriers into that dynamic.”
She also rejected Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants in his presidential announcement speech last summer. She said the Mexican community is contributing to the United States’ “development and growth.”
When Trump announced his presidential bid in June 2015, he famously said, “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
“I really have to object to that characterization,” Mexico's foreign minister said. “Our community in the United States is comprised of over 35 million people; not only thousands of agricultural workers…but increasingly, professional and highly trained people.”
Ruiz Massieu said Mexican Americans across professional industries have a large, positive impact on the U.S. economy.
“We're talking about lawyers,” she said. “We're talking about designers in Silicon Valley. We're talking about medical professionals. We're talking about Oscar winners. We're talking about people that are contributing through their work.”
Despite her criticisms, she maintained the Mexican government would work with any U.S. president elected this November, including Donald Trump.
“Mexico and the United States have such a strong and intertwined relationship that's multidimensional, that involves so many actors at so many different levels. It really transcends any political juncture and any one person,” she said.