What is the richest neighborhood in america
USA-Mexico: "Good fences make good neighbors"
"You even need Mexican workers to build a wall," said Mexican entrepreneur and Mexico's richest man Carlos Slim when Donald Trump assumed his presidency. This seemingly relaxed attitude that much of what Trump had announced during the election campaign would not be so bad has now also vanished into thin air in Mexico. Not only during his presidential campaign, but also during his first year as US president, Donald Trump consistently humiliated the US's southern neighbor. Building a border wall to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking is one of his main campaign promises.
"Even before his election victory, Trump accused Mexico of sending criminals, rapists and drug traffickers to the US and has maintained this position ever since," Washington-based Mexican journalist Gregorio Meraz told DW.
US reception center for illegal immigrants.
Many Americans and even Republican Party politicians had expected that Trump would take the edge off his rhetoric in office. An assessment that was also widespread in Mexico. But Trump has never ceased to humiliate the Mexicans in particular and to abuse the problem of illegal immigration for domestic political purposes. "Because of the separation of the children from their parents at the border, his approval ratings began to decline. But he wanted to put pressure on the Democrats to agree to a tightening of the current immigration law and to approve $ 25 billion for the construction of the border wall," says Meraz .
Mexico's "servile" attitude towards the US
But there are also numerous voices in Mexico calling for a more self-confident attitude from Mexico and saying that the country must stop staring at Washington like the rabbit before the queue. "Mexican foreign policy is far too soft and toothless," says Sergio Aguayo, political scientist at the Colegio de México, a renowned institute in Mexico City. This toothlessness was seen particularly in the case of the separated migrant children, said Aguayo.
"There is a policy of submission and defenselessness because President Peña Nieto does not play to Mexico's strengths against the US. But that has been the case since Obama's time," says Aguayo.
The political scientist illustrated his assessment with a phone call between then President Obama and Mexican President Peña Nieto in 2014. It was about the increased number of unaccompanied minor migrants from Central America who then reached the border with the United States. "Barack Obama called Peña Nieto in June 2014 and asked him to tighten controls on Mexico's southern border. Peña Nieto agreed without asking for anything in return. He only did because the United States asked him to," said Aguayo. In return, Peña Nieto could have asked for more US officials to stop arms smuggling on the northern border.
Unfortunately, there is an asymmetrical perception on both sides of the issues of safety and drug trafficking. "What unites Obama and Trump is that they both reject any responsibility the United States has for the humanitarian tragedy in their neighboring country. Mexico is the country that Trump criticizes most, without realizing that the United States is supplying the drug cartels with smuggled weapons . ", says Sergio Aguayo.
"Good fences make good neighbors"
Günter Maihold, Deputy Director of the Science and Politics Foundation (SWP), is convinced that Trump really believes that he can solve the immigration problem by building a border wall - exclusively for the USA, of course.
"It is unrealistic to expect the United States to start serious negotiations on this issue with the current or future Mexican government in view of the upcoming mid-term elections. Trump is following the line of Ronald Reagan, who once put the slogan 'make good fences good neighbors' (good fences create good neighbors) ", says Günter Maihold. The verse about the peace-making fences comes from a poem by the American poet Robert Frost. Every child in the USA knows it.
The Mexican political scientist Aguayo is convinced, however, that Mexico would also do well to point out its limits for its part. "Mexico has arguments and weight. In extreme cases, Mexico could sue the US defense industry by referring the case to multilateral organizations and demanding that they investigate the United States' responsibility for illegal arms smuggling," said Aguayo. But whether this would make for a better neighborhood remains to be seen.
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