The problem with Donald Trump’s antagonism of México is that friendly relations between nations brings cooperation. When Trump attacks Mexicans or México it results in Mexicans rethinking their cooperation with the United States. In addition to México being the third-largest trading partner with the United States, México’s cooperation on several levels secures America.
Donald Trump and cohorts continue to attack México and threatening to build a wall that will do nothing for the security of the United States. The wall is nothing more than a symbol of antagonism towards México.
Many of Trump’s supporters like to point out the immigration issue as the reason to build the wall. The problem with that notion is that Mexican undocumented immigrants has been in decline for years. Less Mexicans are crossing the border, legally or illegally. The most poignant proof of the fallacy of the U.S.-México border as an immigration problem lies in the inconvenient fact that more Canadians overstay their visas than Mexicans. Yet, none of the wall supporters call for a wall on the northern border.
Some readers will also likely argue that Central Americans are traversing México to get to the United States and thus the wall is needed. This is where cooperation comes into play. México has and is intercepting undocumented Central Americans who are undocumented in México and deporting them, thus lessening the strain on the U.S. border security forces.
However, México cannot and will not enforce U.S. immigration policy within México. If an immigrant intent on reaching the U.S.-México border has the proper documents to be in México, including a tourist visa, then they are legally allowed to transit México unimpeded by Mexican law enforcement.
Other readers will argue that the wall is needed to ensure that drugs do not make it across the border. The wall will not interfere with the illicit drug trade.
However, cooperation between México and the United States fosters cooperative law enforcement that benefits both nations, like drug interdiction.
Just last week, a Mexican Navy helicopter intercepted a drug-laden fast boat and took almost two tons of drugs off the street. Those are two tons of drugs that will not reach American consumers.
México has been on the frontlines of the Drug War since the 1980’s. Mexican military and law enforcement are murdered fighting the drug cartels. Each Mexican win is less drugs on American streets. México does not have as large a problem with drug use as the United States, thus if México wanted to stop cooperating with American officials on drug interdiction it could easily focus its security apparatus on local consumption and leave exports out of the country alone. Such a strategy would immediately reduce the violence in México as the drug dealers would want to focus on the American market while Mexican law enforcement works on the local consumption.
There are many more instances of U.S.-México cooperation that is happening behind the scenes, even today with Donald Trump continued antagonisms towards México. But, the wall rhetoric will continue to damage that relationship resulting Americans being less safe.