Donald Trump may want to build a wall across the U.S. southern border to keep Mexican migrants out but don't expect Mexico to pay for it, former President Felipe Calderon told CNBC, calling the billionaire a "not very well-informed man."
The GOP presidential hopeful insisted in October that if elected, he would build a wall along the Mexican border and get Mexico to pay for it. But Calderon, Mexico's president from 2006 to 2012, told CNBC on Saturday that there was no way that Mexico would pay for it.
"Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it's going to be completely useless," Calderon said.
"The first loser of such a policy would be the United States," he said. "If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade (or) for people is going to provide prosperity to the United States, he is completely crazy."
When announcing his presidential bid last June, Trump said "the U.S. had become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," and called out Mexico as a particular culprit. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ...They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," Trump said.
Calderon questioned the caliber of candidates like Trump, who has offended large sections of the population , including Muslims by calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., as well as attracting a large following during his presidential bid.
"It is incredible that a quite admirable society like the American society could produce such kind of candidates," Calderon said. "I cannot understand that. No offense, no offense to America. So Donald Trump … is ambitious but not exactly very well-informed man, I don't want to say ignorant, but he is not very well informed."
Calderon said the level of migration of the Mexican labor force to the U.S. had been steadily declining.
His comments are borne out by analysis carried out by the Pew Research Center showing that the overall flow of Mexican immigrants between the two countries is at its smallest since the 1990s.
From 2009 to 2014, 1million Mexicans and their families, including U.S.-born children, left the U.S. for Mexico, according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics, Pew said.
U.S. census data for the same period show an estimated 870,000 Mexican nationals left Mexico to come to the U.S., a smaller number than the flow of families from the U.S. to Mexico.
Calderon said that children studying in Mexican schools and universities no longer wanted to go the U.S. as they had opportunities closer to home with around 4 percent unemployment, although he conceded that there were still "bad salaries" in Mexico.
"They don't want to go, they can work for a motor company (that's) not in Detroit, I am sorry to say. They are working for a motor company in Hermosillo and Toluca, so Mazda is coming to Mexico, Honda is coming to Mexico. Those kids have jobs in that industry in Mexico."