Three Democratic state lawmakers have sent a letter inviting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to address the N.M. House of Representatives during the current session.
“We here in the New Mexico State House of Representatives understand that our futures are intertwined and know when the people of Mexico thrive, we do as well,” Reps. Bill McCamley, Javier Martínez and Angelica Rubio wrote in the letter.
“As our communities grow and succeed, the benefits extend across the border uplifting both our peoples,” the letter states.
Peña Nieto hasn’t yet responded to the Jan. 27 invitation. The session ends March 18.
McCamley and Rubio are from Las Cruces near the Mexican border. Martínez, who is from Albuquerque, spent part of his childhood in Ciudad Juárez and is the son of immigrants.
The letter comes in the midst of uncertain times for U.S./Mexico relations and as protests are sweeping both nations. New U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Wednesday to advance construction of a wall along the United States’ southern border and limit immigration from certain nations. He signed another immigration-limiting order on Friday that does not affect Mexicans.
Trump has not signed an order to repeal former President Barack Obama’s order granting temporary legal status to some immigrants who were brought to the United States without legal status as children — but he’s said to be considering such action. He also says he plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost,” Trump tweeted. “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
“This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the
Later Thursday, the Trump administration suggested a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the wall — which would have a significant impact on the economies of border states, including New Mexico. The White House later backed off the suggestion a bit.
Trump and Peña Nieto talked by phone for an hour on Friday.
In their letter, the New Mexico lawmakers didn’t mention Trump. They wrote that New Mexico “has a long and fruitful relationship with both the government and people of the nation of Mexico.”
“Your attendance would be a small step towards a world where people treat each other with respect, dignity and compassion,” the letter states.