Messages against migrants in presidential campaign 'dangerous': Biden

Updated: 2016-02-26 14:23


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Messages against migrants in presidential campaign 'dangerous': Biden

US Vice-President Joe Biden smiles during the US-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in Mexico City, Feb 25, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

MEXICO CITY - The messages against immigrants in recent US presidential campaign are "dangerous and damaging" and do not represent the majority of the US people, Vice-President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

At the opening session of the third US-Mexico high level economic dialogue, Biden, without mentioning republican Donald Trump by name, regretted the presidential candidate's position against migrants and his plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country.

"I feel I need to say something about this because these comments do not represent the majority of the US people's opinions," said Biden at the meeting held at Mexico's foreign ministry.

Xenophobic speeches against migrants are "damaging", said Biden, who stressed his country would not be the nation it is today if it were not for multiculturalism.

"We are a nation of migrants...this multiculturalism is what makes our country 'strong'," said Biden.

"If Mexico's people believe the majority of our population do not respect them, they are wrong," said Biden.

The vice-president also spoke highly of the relations between the two neighboring countries.

"We don't have a partner that is more important than and as essential as you," said Biden, adding the relationship has matured in recent years with some "truly impressive" economic advances.

North America still faces challenges to consolidate democracy and security, but the countries within this region are on the right path foward, said the former congressman.

The high level economic dialogue seeks to achieve mutual economic growth, job creation as well as regional and global competitiveness through implementing economic and trade priorities.

After speaking at the dialogue, Biden held a private meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The two discussed some bilateral issues including ways to secure the border between the two countries.

At a joint news conference held later that day, the US official said he admired the Mexican president's unwavering commitment to a strong relationship with its neighbor.