Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberely Breier told Congress last year that that she has no strategy to get Mexico to pay for President Trump’s border wall, according to Hill.TV.
“As our principal diplomat for the Americas, do you intend to formulate a strategy to make Mexico pay for a border wall between our countries?” Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Breier in a question for the record.
The then-State Department nominee responded flatly, “No, but I am committed to helping secure our borders.”
On August 1, the U.S. Senate confirmed Christopher Landau as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, a position that has been vacant for more than a year after former Ambassador Roberta Jacobson resigned.
Landau said that his priorities would focus on “protecting American sovereignty and guaranteeing the implementation of the law at the border.”
Although he mentioned cooperation with Mexican authorities and the public to find common ground and solve the challenge of illegal migration, Landau did not describe any plan to force the country to fund Trump’s wall.
“The United States and Mexico work together to stop the flow of drugs and other contraband that travel in both directions across our shared border. We also work together to improve efficiencies at ports of entry to ensure the legitimate flow of commerce and travelers,” Breier said.
Breir told lawmakers, “Mexico has consistently stated it will not pay for a border wall. The president and Congress will ultimately make a decision about funding.”
Getting Mexico to the pay for a towering 2,000-mile border wall that would stop migrants before they cross into the U.S. was one of Trump’s signature campaign promises in the 2016 presidential election.
Since January 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and [CBP] have received funding to support construction of up to 201-205 miles of new border barriers,” CBP said in a “border wall status” update dated on June 14.
Only 46.7 miles have been built two-and-a-half years into Trump’s presidency.
Trump claims that he fulfilled his promise by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and securing more favorable terms for the U.S.
Breier has purview over relations with Venezuela, Mexico and the Northern Triangle.
She previously served in the U.S. intelligence community and as director of the U.S.-Mexico Futures Initiative for the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington, D.C.
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