What Is the Most Important Aspect of the U.S.-Mexico Relationship?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 20, 2009
Zocalo Main Square in Mexico City

U.S. relations with Mexico have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans – whether the issue is trade and economic reform, homeland security, drug control, migration, or the promotion of democracy. At the invitation of Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Secretary Clinton will travel to Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico from March 25-26, 2009.

What is the most important aspect of the U.S.-Mexico relationship?

Comments

Comments

Jason
|
Kentucky, USA
March 20, 2009

Jason in Kentucky writes:

We need to find a way to get the Mexican economy to stand on its own. It wasn't before the global economy crashed, and probably won't after the global economy gets on track. This is the reason we have so many people crossing undocumented and why the drug trade has taken off there. The economy of Mexico is the reason for this...people wouldn't cross if they had jobs where they could stay in Mexico and wouldn't be in the drug trade if they had legal options. I have faith that people will do the right thing unless desperation pushes them into things they normally wouldn't do. If we could help the Mexican economy to stand on its own and thrive it would solve many of these problems. We also need to communicate this to the common citizens of both sides. I have noticed that many people on both sides of the border have the wrong idea about the problem. This includes many right wing representatives and senators that use ignorance and prejudice to fuel the hatred on this side of the border. Thanks for truly working on solving these problems.

Ann
|
California, USA
March 20, 2009

Ann in California writes:

1 Safety

Ren頁driᮧ s.
|
Arizona, USA
March 20, 2009

Ren in Arizona writes:

I believe the most important part of the US-Mexico relationship at this time is drug control because it is currently Mexico's largest issue. We need to distinguish ourselves as a definite ally to our neighbors to the south and help them in their time of need. After or concurrently with helping with the current drug situation we need to also work to tie our economies closer together because it is essential to strengthen our ties to as well as help strengthen the counrties just over our borders. We need strong allies and we need to be doing business closer to home.

Bob
|
California, USA
March 20, 2009

Bob in California writes:

We must work to improve Mexico's prosperity and welfare. Over the years we should strive to improve relations with both our North American neighbors so that ultimately our borders may be as open as those in Western Europe. We have neglected our neighbor to the South consistently since 1849. The more Mexico prospers, the less will be our problems with illegal immigrants from the south. Furthermore, until we reduce our demand for illegal drugs we will be encouraging crime in Mexico. Mexico should be one of the highest priorities of our foreign policy.

Anna
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 20, 2009

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

Mexico is a beautiful country but is sadly being torn apart by the drug cartels. I just read this thoughtful commentary by Ruben Navarrette Jr. on CNN's website:

QUOTE: Merchants in Puerto Vallarta -- once home to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor -- usually get a surge in business in March. This year, the crowds are light and...one merchant insisted there really hasn't been a spring break-inspired boost in business this year. And she doesn't expect one, either. She was already trying to be optimistic about next year.

Given that 8,000 people have already died in the war between the Mexican government and the drug cartels, and no end in sight, optimism is hard to come by in Mexico. Public opinion polls by Mexican newspapers reveal a paradox: A majority of Mexicans support the government's crackdown on the drug cartels but also think it won't ultimately succeed. Even the support appears shaky, as the death toll mounts and the killings become more brutal.

According to a recent article in USA Today, many Mexicans are growing weary of the drug violence and looking for a way out of their predicament. They fault Mexican President Felipe Calderon for -- in a metaphor that has become popular down here -- stirring the hornet's nest.

Some Mexicans are actually growing nostalgic for the corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party known as the PRI. The thinking goes: While the PRI plundered the country and rigged elections for 71 years, at least it didn't antagonize the drug lords. END QUOTE

Our relationship with our southern neighbor is so critical. We must promote security in Mexico, for the safety of us as Americans and for the Mexican people who do not want to live under the violence and oppresion of the drug cartels.

Thomas
|
California, USA
March 20, 2009

Thomas in California writes:

STABILITY.

Cindy
|
Texas, USA
March 20, 2009

Cindy in Texas writes:

Homeland Security first, but closely followed by the dangerous drug wars. Building a fence is insane. Consider deporting second time offenders to far south Mexico. Monitor the border and increase employment.

Good luck, but remember the your biggest challenge is Pakistan!!!

PJ
|
New Jersey, USA
March 20, 2009

P.J. in New Jersey writes:

I am an American who lived in Mexico for 6 years. My three issues would b 1) mexican economic situation, 2) immigration, and 3) the drug cartels. These are in order -- they are all three equally important and all go hand-in-hand. The economic situation -- and now the cartels -- are driving the immigrants and the violence is starting to spill over into the U.S. There are regions of the country (eg Oaxaca) where so many of the men have left for the U.S. that there are only women, children, and the elderly remaining.

Peter
|
Canada
March 20, 2009

Peter in Canada writes:

The most important aspect of our relationship with Mexico is to not forget our three country obligations to The Security and Prosperity Partnership as signed by Stephen Harper, Vincente Fox and George W. Bush. The two northern countries often overlook our most important trading partner when developing our own domestic policy.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 20, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

The most important part of the relationship is Mexico's proximity, which affords a safe haven for persecuted Americans. And that, plus the beef burrito, is worth keeping Mexico safe for refugees from the Obama Administration.

Mexico needs better water purification facilities, better food in prisons, better schools, more jobs, and police who communicate in both Spanish and English instead of in dollars. A complete regime change in Mexican government might actually raise their living standards, but isn't that true for the U.S. as well?

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
March 20, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Most immediately, the drug cartels and violence leaking across the border into undefended U.S. border areas with tiny police departments. This is a Homeland Security issue, and Janet Napolitano needs to step up to the plate. The economy and illegal immigration are warp and woof with the above issue. But we need to recognize that Mexico is part of the corridor of illegal immigration and is equally a victim. Our border will be more secure if Mexico's borders are also strong.

I also think we need to step back from trying to impose a political system on any other country. Mexico has elections. Quite frankly, in the last election cycle, my own primary vote was simply and summarily given away by my governor on the convention floor.

Like some other issues raised here, on democracy-building, first we need to fix the problems in our own back yard.

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
March 20, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

This could be a concern. This is what I mean about securing the borders both of the U.S. AND of Mexico.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v9q7Km6DhM

Any takes on this?

Vicki
|
Montana, USA
March 21, 2009

Vicki in Montana writes:

Ms. House Speaker, What are you thinking? How or where else are ICE suppose to find these ILLEGAL aliens? You really should watch the local news channels in you state. My goodness woman, fire you speech writer!

John
|
Greece
March 21, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Rosemary in New Jersey

Your video link suggestion is great! I think that anyone who will spend 7 minutes to watch it, will easily understand this "lunatic war" against West that we have to face.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v9q7Km6DhM

Besides, the problem is not only the American-Mexican border security, but also the "West border" security, since anthrax etc. can be transferred from anywhere to everywhere via intermediate "stations". You see, fanatic Muslims are everywhere and "work" on a spider platform. This makes the problem even more complicated; a real nightmare.

However, securing American-Mexican border line is VITAL, especially if you also consider the fact that this way you actually secure other possible "danger corridors" from South America (Venezuela, etc.).
Unfortunately, this border line is really BIG to be secured only from the one side (U.S.). That's why the key word is: Collaboration! Mexico must try hard too!

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
March 21, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. Why not annex Mexico? It would be easier and cheaper in the long run. LOL!

2. Drugs. Throughout three administrations, the transfer of narcotics from El Salvador to Columbia to Mexico has gradually created the situation we have today, which is totally out of control. The fact the Government of Mexico legalized many class one drugs internally, shows a total lack of authority or care whatsoever.

I personally know it goes back much further and simply wonder when and if there will ever be an American Administration that can Control this costly problem with the integrity of the Nixon - Bush Era. When established entities in the United States regulated this dark aspect of society, it was less costly and crime overall was considerably less. While some regard this as "Chicago mentality", there are a number of past retired Federal Agents who will attest to this being, by historical finite consequence, the best method of control historically. People knew when enough was enough and both sides of the fence had established rules. Until a better method of educating the market end to realize the negative aspect of use, going back historically may be a better alternative then filling our prisons.

3. Trade. The new Nationalization Mexico is establishing exhibits a lever to keep our authorities-DEA and FBI- from following the drug trade profits back to their roots: The Cabinet Members as they did during Clintons Administration. We need to take authority back from them and not let trade be an issue used against us with a soft stand. How this is handled will reflect America's stance worldwide. If we bow to Mexico, a weak diplomatic view will be taken worldwide.

DO NOT UNDERSTIMATE THE RESULTS OF THIS MEETING. If we cannot make accords with our neighbor it will be viewed as weakness. Do not come back with just diplomatic niceties.

4. Immigration. Mexico has vast resources and their denial of human rights via the lack of the worker rights, still shows a fraudulent democracy and is more a represented Dictatorship than anything which takes vast amounts of American resources. They do not give back to the people they represent as they should and promise. They have the means to provide more to their people to keep them in their homeland of Mexico. This problem alone affects every single American man woman and child's future here.

5. Environment. Their environmental laws are in actuality nonexistent and the resulting devastation directly affects every American citizen and entrepreneur who cannot compete due to environmental regulations not in place there which must be followed here.

6. Total Repeal of all NAFTA agreements unless they provide Oil at a low price again for seven years and remain out of OPEC.

7. Mexico so divided within itself as to authority and jurisprudence, that leadership is taken no more seriously than in any third world country. Anyone knows that who has been there or dealt directly with provincial governors. One set of leadership at vacation resort areas which provides Americans with a false valuation covers over the rest of the corruption country wide.

8. As far as Homeland security is concerned, it is virtually impossible to control. One small example is the fact that it is difficult to tell a difference physically for most Americans between Arabic and Spanish cultures when dressed in one garb or another. Combined with the fact that the ease to obtain ANY documentation of Identification in ANY country in South America, as Venezuela, which can be used to travel freely within the entire South American-Mexican community as they have no universal identification program or enforcement programs. This problem is much more than just with Mexico, who cannot even enforce their own Identification programs and corruption reigns.

With the tons of narcotics that come across daily, what problem would it be in actuality to move any other item as a bio weapon or even small nuclear devise in pieces, as in the manner that Pakistan received its parts?

Annex Mexico and why not as close to one third of Americas voting population is Spanish. I guess it is because American leadership would not be liable for acountability and that is their leverage...we just keep shaking hands with the devil.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
March 21, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

For so many years we have turned a blind eye to desperate Mexicans crossing our borders. Why? To use their desperation for our economic advantage. Cheap labor, migrant workers working close to slave labor conditions, and now we are blaming them. Oh, and please don't forget that we are the greatest "buyers" of illegal drugs in the world. So, how about taking some responsibilty for both problems and stop making it so profitable to continue to cross our borders and to sell us drugs.

Milton
|
Massachusetts, USA
March 21, 2009

Milton in Massachusetts writes:

I think the single most important issue facing the sustained integrity of the Mexican government is the "drug war" of the United States. The criminalization and militarization of a social and medical problem has led to billions of dollars going into the hands of extra-governmental INSTITUTIONS (we call them drug lords, but they are now institutionalized) that rival the power of many small nations. When the U.S. seeks to address OUR drug problems by attacking availability rather than demand, we lose in many ways. If we don't confront our own responsibility for our drug problems, Mexico will fall. We don't need a "rogue state" on our southern border.

Denise H.
|
California, USA
March 22, 2009

Denise H. in California writes:

While there are of course, many key aspects, perhaps the singular most important at this juncture is not to paint the entire country of Mexico with the tainted brush of the drug lords in the border towns. The violence and corruption has been a direct result of demand created in the United States and our failure to enforce our own laws and policies. Failure to take some ownership for the problem and a willingness to blame others can only deepen the chasm, shame, and growing fear.

Chad
|
Washington, USA
March 22, 2009

Chad in Washington writes:

The biggest concern I have about our relationship with Mexico is the effect of the current economic crisis on the local markets on both sides of our borders. We can't lose sight of the importance of local farmers growing food and being able to sell it to friends and neighbors in local markets at fair prices.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 22, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"What Is the Most Important Aspect of the U.S.-Mexico Relationship?"

Our common desire to better the human condition.

Kathleen
|
Colorado, USA
March 22, 2009

Kathleen in Colorado writes:

My prayers are with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to address the awkward remark of her counterpart in Mexico and her upcoming appointments

Wendy
|
California, USA
March 22, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Soon in history we will realize that *all* of us on our darling EarthVuravuraJeegoo are family, but clearly Mexico is particularly part of our beloved community family, so deep a part of our heart, parientes y amigas.

All the practical things are important, the sustainable prosperity and the blossoming lives for all our children together, but this flowering is rooted in our heartfelt kin kindness and recognition and welcome among each other in our hemisphere home.

Dina
|
Texas, USA
March 22, 2009

Dina in Texas writes:

As a Texan living on the border, I see how desperate Mexicans are to live a safe and prosperous life. They are willing to risk their lives to come to America to feed their families, with or without that "wall" which is a colossal waste of our money. We need to make sure we stay on friendly terms with our neighbor at all costs. Also, it's obvious our "war on drugs" has not been won. It's time to decriminalize marijuana. Because of the drug cartel's terrorist tactics, especially along the border, Americans are leary of traveling in Mexico. Fortunately, the violence has not spilled over into Texas, but the U.S. needs more Border Patrol agents, not military, and certainly not walls.

Annette
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 23, 2009

Annette in Washington writes:

I would just like to say that the most important aspect of the U.S. and Mexico relationship is to work together regarding the immigration issues that are seperating family members from their homes and the people that love them. I would like to know what is being accomplished at the State Department level to resolve this issue and improve the immigration process both here and abroad.

Hazhir
|
California, USA
March 23, 2009

Hazhir in California writes:

The most important aspect of the U.S.-Mexico relationship is illegal immigration into the U.S. Illegal immigration is inextricably linked to the economy, homeland security, drug control, and human rights. America cannot solve this problem alone. No amount of fence along the border will put an end to illegal immigration. The Mexican government must also see that it is in its self-interest to stop the flow of undocumented workers from the Southern border.

chris
|
California, USA
March 23, 2009

Chris in California writes:

Illegal immigration is responsible for the ever increasing costs for education, ever increasing class sizes, ever decreasing test scores, ever increasing drop out rate, ever increasing teen birth rates,ever increasing rapid population growth, ever increasing gang crime, ever increasing ghetto sprawl, ever increasing crime rate, ever increasing prison population, ever increasing workers compensation costs, ever increasing social security fraud, ever increasing medical insurance costs, ever increasing auto insurance fraud, ever increasing lack of respect for the English language here in the U.S.A., ever increasing welfare programs, ever increasing freebies from the government to undeserving illegals. I will gladly pay more for my tomatos.... to save everywhere else... from car insurance to workers comp insurance to medical insurance.

I am tired as a home owner in LA.... of having my home taxes got to pay for the education of illegal aliens children... especially when I have no children!

Illegal is illegal. I have watched Illegal aliens go from being called illegal alien...to undocumented worker to undocumented citizen!!! They are not citizens! They are illegal aliens!

Fix the problem!!!

Marco`
|
California, USA
March 23, 2009

Marco in California writes:

control of the border for iligal inmigrants and drugs

R. B.
|
New York, USA
March 23, 2009

R.B. in New York writes:

The most important aspect of U.S.-Mexico relationship is the potential for reciprocal development and security. This will require a clear and consistent committment to mutual legitimate trade arrangements; and the end of the illicit narco-weapons and human trafficking symbiosis.

Rozanna
|
Texas, USA
March 24, 2009

Rozanna in Texas writes:

I think the most important aspect of the Mexico U.S.A. relationship is that Mexico is a steadfast ally. I think that the region has been ignored for the last 8 years and we must move towards dialog on immigration, violence on the border, and trade issues.

Susan
|
Wisconsin, USA
March 24, 2009

Susan in Wisconsin writes:

Agreemnet: mutual policy and then the discipline and follow through to back it up. Drug leader control..Forget the little guy...go after the cartels...seeking those with integrity over the MONEY drugs bring in...I agree with what Obama just said about "earning" the rights that come with being American...Speaking english is major; having some screen for actual resonance with our contitution etc and a not just coming here for economic reasons....Make sure the trade is a win win for each side....Partners and awareness that our countries were originally borderless....Thanks Susan

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