WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration has not decided whether it will accept aid from Mexico to help victims of the hurricane that has devastated swaths of Texas and overwhelmed emergency responders.
“If a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward,” the White House and State Department said in identical statements after Mexico offered “help and cooperation” to aid U.S. recovery from Hurricane Harvey, which has killed at least nine people, displaced tens of thousands and destroyed countless homes.
Asked if the Trump administration’s assessment is that there is no need for assistance from Mexico, the White House referred HuffPost to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which punted to the State Department, which directed questions back to FEMA.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray spoke with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott by telephone on Sunday evening to offer his country’s support. The Republican governor told reporters on Monday that his staff would communicate with Mexican government officials about specific needs.
“Our offering is open and permanent,” Carlos Sada, Mexico’s undersecretary for North America, told HuffPost on Monday evening. The Mexican government is waiting for Abbott to send a list specifying both the immediate and long-term needs of hurricane victims in Texas, Sada said.
The Mexican government made a formal assistance offer to the State Department on Tuesday, a State Department spokeswoman told HuffPost. The department will decide with FEMA whether to accept the aid, said the spokeswoman, who declined to specify the type of assistance Mexico is offering.
The Mexican government has proved willing and able to provide crucial help to Americans in the wake of previous natural disasters. In September 2005, days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out cities along the Gulf Coast, soldiers from the Mexican army rolled across the border in a 45-vehicle convoy and…