Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador revealed that proceeds from the sale of his administration’s former aircraft will help fund efforts to reduce illegal immigration under the deal struck with the White House.
“About how much this plan is going to cost, let me say, we have the budget,” Lopez Obrador said Wednesday at a news conference. “It would come out of what we’re going to receive from the sale of the luxurious presidential plane.”
The sale of the presidential plane — a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has been on the market not long after Lopez Obrador assumed office in December — will fund the deployment of Mexico’s newly formed National Guard to its southern border, the Mexican president said. These militarized troops will have the authority to apprehend and detain unauthorized migrants.
The latest details of the plane sale follow a significant deal struck between Mexico City and Washington, D,C., regarding the illegal immigration crisis.
In return for the U.S. not imposing a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods, Lopez Obrador’s government has pledged to send roughly 6,000 National Guard troops to its own southern border with Guatemala, a major chokepoint for Central American migrants, allow more U.S. asylum seekers to remain in Mexico and crack down on drug and human traffickers.
The sweeping compromise was the result of several days of negotiations between U.S. and Mexican delegations, and the latest move President Donald Trump has made in pressuring his southern neighbor to do more to combat illegal migration.
“Now, Mexico is moving 6,000 troops to their southern border. That’s a lot of troops. That’s a lot more — we never even heard of a number like that,” Trump said Wednesday while speaking at the White House, praising the concessions he was able to squeeze out of Mexico City.
Following through on a pledge to rule the country with frugality, the Mexican president has regularly traveled coach on commercial flights in lieu of flying on private planes. In fact, the leftist leader has not left the country since assuming office, statingt there are too many issues in Mexico to leave anyway.
Lopez Obrador said the 787 Dreamliner — which boasts its own bedroom, flat screen monitors and other amenities — is valued at $150 million, and he expects it to be sold by the end of week.