The Hostility of the Neighbor

Is it possible to inhabit a country where armed conflict exists, poor health is widespread and where the government adopts manifest attitudes of intolerance and discrimination? Yes, is probably the answer, although those who decide to immigrate to such places would experience greater risks and a diminished life expectancy.

According to Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs there are regions in the world considered hostile for Mexicans – Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Palestine, Honduras, Lebanon … and, joining that list just a few months ago, the USA.

Before Donald Trump’s victory, the Mexican secretary of foreign affairs predicted a rise in the risk to his fellow nationals living in the neighboring country due to a climate of confrontation and uncertainty “fostered by continual xenophobic comments from political, social and financial leaders toward Hispanic migrants, particularly Mexicans.” He mentioned the need to reinforce several of the Mexican representatives in the U.S.

There are always ways to fight against this hostility. There probably exists a minority that adopts discriminatory attitudes against the Mexican community within the U.S., but that [these attitudes] are now delivered from a position of public office only serves to magnify the problem. Nevertheless, it is surprising that up until now it has been Americans who have tried to revise that image of Mexicans and their country – the television presenter Conan O’Brien and the journalist Shane Harris, who are both currently visiting the country, are primary examples. There have been no cases of notable Mexicans in the U.S. campaigning to promote a different image of their country, its people and the importance of bilateral relations.

Just Tuesday Donald Trump’s government announced new policies to reinforce immigration control that step away from the initial plan put forward a few weeks ago that was focused on deporting criminals and those who represent a threat to national security. According to the information released, now all undocumented migrants will be susceptible to being returned to their country of origin. Mexicans will bear the brunt of this. For them the hostility is not easing off, only worsening.

Today could provide a precious opportunity to stand before representatives of the highest level of U.S. government and reject the unilateral actions they have taken that impact the country and our compatriots living across the border. A critical strategy is needed at the meeting in order to try and return relations to the route of cooperation and respectful understanding. To reach an agreement without betraying dignity.

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