A border fence that Mexico has said it won’t allow to be built in its southern state of Toglas will be implemented on Sunday.
The new policy, which was announced by the state government on Wednesday, is the latest move by President Enrique Pena Nieto to push back against the growing influence of the U.S.-backed Belt and Road Initiative.
The border fence, a centerpiece of Pena’s bid to boost economic growth, was first proposed in September by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
Pena has since pushed for an economic reform package that included the construction of the fence.
But he hasn’t said when the wall will be completed, or when it will be put up.
On Monday, he tweeted that Mexico would begin the process of implementing the new policy on Sunday, adding that the wall would be put in place by mid-November.
“We must protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Pena said.
Penas plan to build the border wall in the state of Chihuahua, one of the poorest in Mexico.
Togas state has an estimated 20,000 undocumented immigrants, and most live in urban slums.
The government has said that Togasa border crossing will be closed to undocumented immigrants until after the wall is completed, and that it plans to erect a separate wall at a third crossing to stop the flow of migrants.
Tocantins border with the United States has become a flashpoint between Pena and the Trump administration, with the president saying last week that Mexico will not pay for the wall and Pena calling it “an act of treason” to the United Sates.
“This is a declaration of war against the U: that’s why we are moving to defend ourselves,” Penas spokesperson said on Tuesday.