REUTERS - There is no way Mexico would fund Donald Trump's "terrible" plan to build a wall along its border with the United States if the Republican front-runner wins the U.S. presidential election, the Mexican finance minister said.
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Trump, the New York billionaire developer and former reality television star, sparked outrage in Mexico when he vowed to force Latin America's second largest economy to pay for a wall along the southern U.S. border to stem the flow of illegal immigration and drugs.
In a televised interview late on Wednesday, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray categorically rejected the proposal.
"Under no circumstance will Mexico pay for the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing," he said. "Building a wall between Mexico and the United States is a terrible idea. It is an idea based on ignorance and has no foundation in the reality of North American integration."
Trump has accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug runners across the U.S. border and has vowed to increase fees on some Mexican visas and all border crossing cards as part of a broader plan to force Mexico to pay for the wall.
Former conservative Mexican presidents Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox have compared Trump to Adolf Hitler while fears of a Trump presidency have helped stoke a spike in the numbers of immigrants trying to enter the United States.