presidential candidate was barnstorming across Los Angeles over the
weekend, reaching out to Mexican migrants, blasting President Trump and
calling for protection for illegal immigrants.

The twist: he is running for president of Mexico.

According to Mexican newspaper Excelsior, Ricardo Anaya Cortes met with businessmen and activists in Los Angeles -- which has a large Hispanic population.

those he met with was Obama-era Department of Homeland Security chief
Janet Napolitano, now the president of the University of California.

a tweet accompanied by a picture with Napolitano, Anaya said they
“talked about the importance of supporting the Dreamers and agreed that
Mexican migrants deserve respect.”

By “Dreamers,” he was
referring to illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.
Trump repealed the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
program (DACA) in September, which gave protection to some of those
arrivals, and gave Congress a deadline of March 5 to pass a fix. Court
orders have since extended that deadline.

According to
Excelsior, Anaya said that “we are one,” and reiterated that the Mexican
migrant community in the U.S. is not alone. While on American soil, he
also took a swipe at President Trump by saying he would not be on the
side of “an American president who has dedicated himself to insulting
our community.”

Relations between Trump and Mexico have been
strained since the very beginning of Trump’s campaign when he described
the immigrants coming from Mexico in harsh terms. 

Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best,” Trump said in
June 2015. “They're sending people that have lots of problems, and
they're bringing those problems... They're bringing drugs. They're
bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump has also clashed with Mexican leaders over his campaign pledge that Mexico would pay for the wall on the southern border.

Anaya, though, even the cool actions from President Peña Nieto were too
positive, with Anaya blasting Nieto for allowing Trump to visit the
country in 2016.

"After Donald Trump had been insulting, and
revolting at the best that Mexico has in the United States, they dared
to roll out a red carpet to receive him in Los Pinos, as if he were a
head of state," he said, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

Appealing to the Mexican community, he said that those who have entered the U.S. are “the heroes of the country.”

want to ask you, with my heart in my hand, that every time you hear an
aggressive or denigrating expression, remember that there, in Mexico,
you are the heroes of the country, the brave, the enterprising, the
generous, those who dared to cross the border to give their family a
better future,” he said, according to CIS. 

A candidate from the
conservative National Action Party, Anaya has promised respectful
relations with the United States but said his government would not let
Washington take advantage.

"At the right time I will say
personally to the president of the United States, and I will say it in
his language so there will be absolutely no confusion ... Mexico will
not pay a single cent for that wall," Anaya said. 

The election is July 1. Reuters
reported in January that since the last election, seven times as many
Mexicans in the U.S. have received voting credentials under new rules
that let Mexican citizens sign up at local consulates rather than in

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached adam.shaw@foxnews.com">here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.