Both Parties Are Playing the Mexico Card

07/29/16 Truthout

us mex flagSurprisingly, Mexico has taken center stage in this year’s U.S. presidential elections.

While it has been cast mainly as the villain, the unexpected spotlight has sent politicians and activists on both sides of the border seeking to get their message out. If they’ve learned anything from the Trump playbook in the past months, it’s that negative attention is still free publicity.

Read more…

President’s US Visit Reinforces Mexico’s Importance to Main Street America

07/22/16 The World Post

President Obama visits Mexico President Enrique Pena NietoFor the second time in less than a month, Presidents Peña Nieto and Obama are meeting to explore how to deepen collaboration in issues ranging from security to climate change and our commercial relationship. The timing of this meeting on Friday—between the two presidential conventions—could just be chalked up to a coincidental schedule alignment. But it also sends a powerful signal of how critical the relationship is just as parts of the nation are transfixed by rhetoric blaming Mexico for problems that it didn’t create.

Read more…

Mexico & the United States: Let’s Build Prosperity & Security

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Sergio M. Alcocer

12642332434_f5a427c4ea_zPresident Obama will receive Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto July 22 in Washington.  This is a critical opportunity to highlight the importance of U.S.-Mexico ties, to underscore the substantial progress in cooperation, and to accentuate how the campaign rhetoric in the United States is out of tune with the reality of relations.  With the U.S. election approaching, it is crucial to take steps to preserve the unprecedented U.S.-Mexico collaboration that exists today.

U.S.-Mexico relations touch the daily lives of more citizens of both countries than do ties with any other country in the world.  Over 30 million U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage, our interconnected economies, the 1,990-mile border and our shared environment link us uniquely.  The two governments have established a comprehensive network of mechanisms that put bilateral relations in the best place they have been in memory.  Officials work together to take advantage of mutual opportunities and to solve shared problems across a wide spectrum of issues, with input from “stakeholders” in the relationship.

There is still a lot of serious work to do to address the problems out there and to take advantage of the opportunities of the region.   Each government has experienced professional ambassadors and teams in place to help guide the work during the U.S. leadership transition.  But, simplistic explanations of the problems or solutions distract us from the good work underway and the hard work still needed to deal with the serious challenges ahead.  As the United States prepares for a presidential transition, the two countries should solidify the mechanisms and engagements that are doing the hard, policy and technical work of enhancing both of our nations’ economic and national security.  These include the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), the 21st Century Border process, the bilateral Security Coordination Group, and the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESSII).  The U.S.-Mexico relationship is too important for both countries not to continue this work.

Read more…

Building Prosperity And Security With Mexico

07/20/16 Forbes

obama penaPresident Obama will meet Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House on July 22.  This is a critical opportunity to stress the importance of U.S.-Mexico ties, to highlight the substantial progress in government-to-government cooperation, and to underscore how the U.S. campaign rhetoric is out of tune with the reality of the relations with Mexico.  With the U.S. election approaching, it is more important than ever to preserve the unprecedented U.S.-Mexico collaboration that exists today.

Read more…


US, Canada and Mexico pledge 50% of power from clean energy by 2025

06/27/16 The Guardian 

downloadBarack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House has said.

The leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico, meeting on Wednesday at the so-called “Three Amigos” summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50% of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures.

“We believe this is an aggressive goal, but for all three countries, one that we believe is achievable, continent-wide,” said Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama.

Read more…

Fresh Thinking on Drug Use

4/12/16 Human Rights Watch

drugsFor the past decade, Mexico has pursued a “war on drugs” with catastrophic consequences — drug-related violence has taken the lives of tens of thousands of people. Last month, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled that prohibiting the personal use of marijuana violates a constitutional right to the “free development of one’s personality.” The ruling, while limited to marijuana, represents an important step toward a new approach to drug policy that could help make Mexicans healthier and safer.

We hope that Brazil´s Supreme Court will follow Mexico’s example. The Brazilian court is considering whether a law that makes possession of drugs for personal use a crime violates a constitutional right to privacy. If the court strikes down the law, Brazil will join a growing list of countries that are liberalizing their policies toward drug use – from Portugal, which in 2001 decriminalized the personal use of all drugs without apparent ill effect, to Uruguay, which in 2013 became the first country fully to legalize and regulate marijuana.

Even the United States, traditionally one of the most zealous enforcers of a prohibitionist approach to drug control, is starting to soften. Almost half of its 50 states have legalized marijuana in some form, and the Obama administration is taking a hands-off approach to the states’ experiments.

Read more… 

2.5 million illegals cross border under Obama, less than Bush

7/20/15 Washington Times

ObamaAbout 2.5 million illegal immigrants have settled in the U.S. during President Obama’s tenure, according to estimates being released Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which said it’s an improvement compared with the Bush administration.

Nearly 800,000 of those illegal immigrants arrived in the past two years, suggesting that the flow has ticked up as the economy has improved and as Mr. Obama has reshaped enforcement policies, focusing on criminals while relaxing actions against rank-and-file illegal immigrants. Still, the total illegal immigrant population has remained steady at an estimated 11 million to 12 million over the past six years, the report concluded, finding that the arrivals are canceled out by the hundreds of thousands who return home, die or earn legal status through existing channels such as marrying an American.
Read more…