Open Letter from US Citizens in Mexico to President Trump Regarding Anti-Mexico Positions
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We invite United States citizens living in Mexico to sign this open letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and the U.S. Secretary of State regarding President Donald Trump's anti-Mexico statements and policy proposals.
We are asking that President Trump acknowledge the incredible contribution of Mexico and Mexicans, apologize and retract his disparaging statements and policy proposals, and strengthen U.S.-Mexico relations.
We will deliver this letter to the United States Ambassador to Mexico and the United States Secretary of State during his visit to Mexico on February 23rd.
Dear Secretary Rex Tillerson and Ambassador Roberta Jacobson,
This letter has been written by a group of United States citizens living in Mexico. We wanted to take the opportunity of Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Mexico to express our deep concerns regarding statements made about Mexico by our President, several policy proposals, and his general demeanor and approach to relations with Mexico. We ask that Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Jacobson relay our concerns to President Donald J. Trump. We believe that U.S.-Mexico relations have been and continue to be needlessly worsened by these actions. As U.S. citizens living in Mexico, we are in a unique position to see how these actions have altered relations between our two countries and express our concerns to you.
First, we would like to underscore that the U.S. and Mexico have more interactions and interdependencies than most nations. There are more Mexican citizens living in the U.S. than any other country outside of Mexico. There are also more U.S. citizens living in Mexico than in any other country outside of the U.S. Trade between the two nations is significant and critical to both economies. Mexico is the U.S.’s third largest trading partner and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that six million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico.
Human exchanges between the two countries are extensive and strong, such as educational exchanges, temporary work arrangements, cross-border shopping, tourism, and retirement communities. Connections between Mexico and the U.S. are vibrant and symbiotic. The importance of U.S.-Mexico relations should be clear from both a human and economic standpoint.
U.S.-Mexico relations are deeply personal to us. Many of us have Mexican spouses and children. We truly love the people of Mexico and Mexican culture, and enjoy living in Mexico. We view ourselves as cultural ambassadors between Mexico and the U.S. We are your biggest constituency outside of the United States, and we vote in an informed and considerate way.
Since the start of the presidential elections in the United States, and particularly since President Trump won and assumed office, we have witnessed a very worrying trend of deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Mexico. No great crisis has occurred to instigate this. There has been no economic catastrophe nor security breach. In recent years, the flow of immigrants and drugs to the U.S. from Mexico have not been particularly significant - the two most cited areas of concern for Americans regarding Mexico. In fact, Mexican immigration to the U.S. is flat or net-negative over the past decade and the Mexican government has been very cooperative in collaborating with the U.S. on drug interdiction. Rather, this deterioration in relations between our countries is entirely attributed to the comments and policy proposals of our new President.
President Trump has disparaged Mexican immigrants to the U.S. His discourse is degrading and un-presidential. By leading chants of “Build The Wall!” and insisting that Mexico pay for it, President Trump demonstrates a particularly damaging lack of diplomacy with Mexico and to Mexicans. Mexicans living in Mexico are particularly aware that their fellow citizens living in the U.S. have been taunted by chants of “Build the Wall” and “Go Home!” in schools and public spaces, since President Trump won the election.
President Trump even threatened military intervention to go after “bad hombres” on Mexican soil. It is heard and understood by Mexicans that, according to President Trump, Mexico is the source of the problems in the U.S. and that the U.S. can bully Mexico into doing whatever it wants. By promising large roundups of undocumented immigrants, President Trump further reinforces the message that Mexicans are not welcome in the U.S. By threatening import tariffs on Mexican goods, President Trump makes abundantly clear that the U.S. will break its word that it gave when signing NAFTA. President Trump reinforces the impression that he believes that he can and should be able to push Mexico around.
Our neighbors are these Mexicans. Our coworkers are these Mexicans. Our families are these Mexicans. We worship in their churches. We attend our children’s soccer games together. We depend on Mexico’s welcoming attitudes and good will to help us navigate our lives here. We are visitors and immigrants from the United States living in Mexico and we have been welcomed by Mexico. President Trump is undermining that environment. We are very concerned.
We would ask that Secretary Tillerson and Ambassador Jacobson deliver these requests to President Donald J. Trump:
1. Halt plans to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and renounce proposals to make Mexico pay for the wall.
2. Publicly apologize for the disparaging comments about Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the United States and retract those statements and social media commentaries.
3. Publicly encourage Americans to welcome immigrants with open arms, help and encourage them, as we have been helped and encouraged here in Mexico as American immigrants.
4. Restate and reinforce the critical importance of Mexico in America’s foreign policy and economic relationships.
5. Retract proposals to impose import taxes on Mexican goods.
6. Adopt policies and statements that are open and welcoming to foreign immigrants and visitors to the U.S.
Mexico is a great country. Her people are generous and her culture is beautiful. The United States government should continue to recognize that we have a friend and ally to our south. We are too intertwined to continue down the current path. No one understands that better than those of us residing in the other country as guests, visitors and immigrants.
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