Donald Trump — who has famously vowed to make Mexico pay for a wall across the southern border if elected to the White House— is making a brief trip on Wednesday to the presidential palace in Mexico City to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The private meeting comes before Trump makes his much-anticipated speech in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday night to lay out his immigration plans in more detail.
The Republican presidential nominee tweeted the news of his trip to Mexico City on Tuesday night: “I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.”
I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2016
Pena Nieto also confirmed his meeting with Trump in a tweet and said he had invited both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to discuss “bilateral relations” with him.
Invité a México a los candidatos a la Presidencia de EEUU, para conversar sobre la relación bilateral. Mañana recibo a Donald Trump.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016
Trump’s speech on Wednesday night is set to take place at the Phoenix Convention Center. It comes amid confusion about Trump’s actual position on what to do with the more than 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
Speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News last week, Trump seemed to preview a shift in his stance, suggesting he’s open to a pathway to legalization for certain illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a long time pay a fine so they can remain. Perhaps in response to the uneasiness expressed by some conservative supporters, Trump campaign has pushed back against the notion he is changing his position, emphasizing his vow to be tough on illegal immigration and building a wall along the border.
On the day he entered the race for the White House in June of 2015, Trump memorably went after the country on the issue of illegal immigration. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some I assume are good people.”
And at his campaign rallies, Trump routinely asks his audience to repeat his promise for who will pay for the wall. In unison, the crowd responds: “Mexico!”