It is outrageous that Donald Trump had the guts to visit Mexico after his offensive remarks about Mexicans (link to some of his comments). There can be no question that Trump’s visit to Mexico was a strategical move, from his campaign’s point of view, to present him as a hero hours before he delivered his extreme anti-immigration speech in Arizona. However, such a move was a “historical error” as the New York Times reported (link to NY Times article), since Trump’s unethical behavior poses a greater risk to both domestic and international relations.
At the start of his presidential campaign, Trump referred to Mexicans as rapists and criminals. But Trump did not stop there, also proposing the building of a wall on the border with Mexico, after he assured the American people that Mexicans will pay for the wall whether they like it or not. It’s fundamentally obvious that Trump lacks the necessary virtues and principles that a statesman is expected to possess.
In fact, there is some concern that Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico a couple weeks ago might have damaged relations between U.S. and Mexico. After being heavily criticized for arranging Trump’s visited to Mexico, the Finance Minister of Mexico, Luis Videgaray, was forced to resign. Moreover, the Mexican parliament is considering a series of economic measures to protect the Mexican economy and the rights of Mexicans against a possible Trump administration. Additionally, President Nieto’s failure to ask Trump for an apology on behalf of Mexicans, did not help his sagging poll numbers, and in fact contributed to the further decline of both men’s fragile popularity.
Trump’s unethical behavior continues to present Mexicans as despicable immigrants, stealing jobs and services from the American people. His narrative depends on his continued failure to acknowledge the tremendous contributions of Mexicans to the United States. According to the Multicultural Economy 2015 Report, Mexicans in the United States have a spending capacity of approximately $1 billion in consumer goods. Further, a 2014 report by the Current Population Survey states that agricultural fields and most of the food supply rely heavily on the Mexican labor force. The Pew Research Center and the Current Population Survey found that Mexicans add vitality to the American economy, since two thirds of the population of Mexican origin belong to the labor force in the United States. Furthermore, by 2050, Mexicans will be the largest immigrant group in the country, contributing the most to the American government’s pension plans.
Mr. Trump has also complained that Mexico does not sends it’s brightest. Yet, 1 in every 5 Mexicans living in the United States are professionals. There is also an increasing number of young Mexicans receiving a higher education. Even though most people think that the majority of Mexicans are undocumented, 7 of every 10 or 23.5 million Mexicans were born in the United States. Moreover, of the 11.5 million who were born outside the United States, 3.4 million are authorized permanent residents, 3 million are American Citizens and 200,000 have a work permit.
Instead of insulting Mexicans and fighting with President Nieto on who’s paying for Trump’s wall of magical thinking, Mr. Trump should praise Mexicans for their enormous contributions to the United States. He should also come out with clear and effective solutions on how to help entire immigrant communities to assimilate to the American culture. Lastly, he should promote naturalization and support a path to citizenship since both measures have the potential to maximize their economic gains and participate actively in the affairs of the state.