Congressman García Tells President López Obrador: Hold Trump Accountable for his Attacks on Immigrants

July 7, 2020
Press Release

Chicago, IL - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García published an op-ed in the Mexican newspaper Reforma calling on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to hold President Trump accountable for his attacks against Mexicans and Mexican immigrants during his visit tomorrow in Washington. The op-ed in Spanish can be found here, and a translation is below:

“President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to meet President Donald Trump at the White House on July 8th. President López Obrador seems to forget that from the moment Trump launched his presidential campaign, his attacks against immigrants—and particularly against Mexicans—were a central part of his strategy to win votes and divide our country.

Beyond his tweets, Trump has implemented dozens of inhumane, and in many cases illegal, public policies against immigrants. The image of a Mexican president meeting with the most anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant president the United States has had, without questioning his aggressions, is offensive for me, and for Mexican Americans from Chicago to El Paso and from Los Angeles to New York.

“Trump has called us ‘rapists and criminals,’ and has explicitly said that "Mexico is not our friend." Just last week, he tried to blame Mexico for the increase in coronavirus cases in the United States, despite evidence that his administration has failed to contain the pandemic.

“Trump's cruel policies have traumatized migrant children, left innocent people detained indefinitely, and terrorized entire communities with raids and deportations. Instead of holding productive conversations on immigration, Trump has tried to build an ineffective wall and has deployed the National Guard at the border. Rather than honor the American tradition of welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution, he implemented in collaboration with President López Obrador, the Migrant Protection Protocols also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy that have left asylum-seekers stranded and at high risk at the U.S.-Mexico, and Mexico-Guatemala borders.

“We are four months away from the presidential election in the United States. Trump knows that he cannot be reelected without the Latino vote. A meeting for a photo opportunity with President López Obrador cannot erase four years of insults, attacks and damaging policies, but Trump will do his best to manipulate this visit to use it for his political agenda and will also try to normalize his incessant campaign of aggressions against our community.

“Trump's attacks are a very personal matter to me. More than 50 years ago, I left my town of Los Pinos, Durango, with my mother and siblings to join my father in Chicago. I still remember the pain of leaving behind my friends, my school, and even my dog. I remember my fear of coming to a new country and not speaking the language. But I worked hard and within a few months, I was able to speak English and navigate a new culture. My father, who came to the United States through the Bracero Program, always worked hard to give us a better life. But we never forget that we have roots in Mexico and we are proud of our binational heritage. This is also the history and pride of millions of Mexican Americans.

“To be an immigrant is to belong to two countries: the one where you were born and the one that has seen you grow and fulfill your dreams. Trump has turned our American dream into a nightmare. I hope President López Obrador uses this controversial trip as an opportunity to demand respect from Trump for the 36.6 million Latinos of Mexican origin and 11.2 million Mexican immigrants living in the United States. At a time when people have taken to the streets around the world to demand dignity, justice and civil rights, our community must be and feel respected by both presidents. This is the only way that President López Obrador can make this trip count.”