With U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continuing to tout his desire to build a wall on the southern border to keep Mexicans from entering the United States, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Ruiz Massieu is urging Mexican Americans to showcase their contribution to the U.S. economy, society, and culture.
Speaking in New Delhi, Massieu also suggested that Mexican government could learn from India about how to engage with its diaspora. The minister and other high-profile people in the country appear concerned about Trumps rhetoric because he has characterized many Mexicans as rapists and drug peddlers. This concern is growing by the day with Trump becoming the front-runner to win the Republican nomination.
As of July 2013, Mexican Americans made up nearly 11% of the U.S. population. By contrast, Indian Americans number less than 1% at just over two million people. Nonetheless, Indians are a very prosperous migrant group in the United State and politically influential as well.
Massieu points to how Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is cozying up to the diaspora and pressing them to invest back in their homeland. According to Massieu, whose comments have been published by several Indian media outlets, Mexican-American community runs 600 firms, and the bilateral trade is responsible for six million direct jobs in the United States.
“We have not been able to communicate on what the Mexican and Mexican-American community contributes to the well-being, economic growth and social advancement of the United States,” Massieu said in Indian capital New Delhi.
He contrasted this with how Indian immigrants are viewed. “The way the Indian community in the U.S. is perceived due to their contribution that they do everyday to the community — that is a source of strength for India and India’s image abroad,” said Massieu. “That is the sort of the thing that we want to engage in to make our community abroad part of our projection and part of our policy and strategy to promote our values, our strengths and opportunities.”
Mexicans have many success stories in the United States. They have served in the Army, created millions of jobs for fellow Americans, and contributed to science and technological advances. Mexico-born Jordi Muñoz, for example, is the co-founder of 3D Robotics, which manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles.
In a BBC interview, tech employee and Mexican American Diana Alberran Chicas challenged Trump, saying that he should “come out to Silicon Valley and meet with a lot of these prominent Mexican Americans that are actually pushing for innovation in Silicon Valley.”
Over 60% of all Mexican Americans reside in the states of California and Texas.