By Pat Loeb


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mexico’s consul to Philadelphia launched “Mexican Week” in the city on Monday with a flag-raising at City Hall and some tough words for President Donald Trump’s border wall and description of Mexican immigrants.

Mariachi music and Mayor Jim Kenney in a sombrero set a festive tone for the event — the fifth annual “Mexican Week,” culminating in a Cinqo de Mayo First Friday at the Barnes and FringeArts. But consul Alicia Palma also had something serious to say — denouncing President Trump’s statement that Mexico does not send its best to the United States.

“That’s absolutely false,” Palma said. “First of all, we are sending mostly tourists and a lot of them. In 2016, nearly 30 million visitors who left a profit for the United States of almost $30 billion.”

She said the president is not just wrong but misguided.

“It’s not Mexico’s business if the US wants to add to its national debt by building a white elephant on its own territory,” she said, “but we think the best way to keep America safe is not a wall but a strong and reliable neighbor.”

Palma thanked Mayor Kenney for his position on immigration, which Kenney assured would not change.

“Philadelphia is a Fourth Amendment city and will remain a Fourth Amendment city, because the constitution matters to us,” the mayor said. “It matters to me because I took an oath to uphold it.”

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