Migration and co-operation: Details of AMLO’s letter to Donald Trump revealed

On Sunday Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador released details of a seven-page letter that he had sent to Donald Trump detailing how the countries can work together to tackle the migration crisis, amongst other tensions.

The letter set out a new approach which proposed that the two countries, alongside cooperation from Central American authorities, make it economically unnecessary for Mexicans to attempt to cross to the US.

Although details of the President-elect proposals were disclosed just days ago, the letter was delivered to Trump on July.13 following the U.S delegation visit to the country. Proposals of bilateral support in a number of areas such as migration, trade and safety were all touched upon, although a written response from the United States is yet to be received.

The Associated Press has reported that on Sunday, prospective foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard read the letter to the media outside MORENA party headquarters.

By disclosing the contents of the letter, AMLO has initiated a precedent of increased transparency within his governance, as well as maintaining a clear approach to the new relationship he seeks with the United States. The two leaders have also said to have already shared a ‘positive’ phone call and Lopez Obrador has reportedly invited the American President to his inauguration later this year, reports Yahoo.  

Framed by a heightened political tension since the Republicans came into the White House and amidst ongoing pledges from America’s leader that Mexicans will pay for ‘the wall’ between the two countries, AMLO has instead called for change, co-operation and respect between the neighbouring countries. This marks a shift in previous comments from the President-elect who had previously referred to Trump as ‘‘erratic and arrogant’’.

The letter offered a great deal of hope for Mexican citizens and a number of changes from previous governments.

“Regarding migration, I must comment that the most essential purpose of my government will be to ensure that Mexicans do not have to migrate because of poverty or violence,” Ebrard read on Sunday.

One of the largest areas of focus that AMLO proposes within the letter is a new push on employment opportunities and economic growth, both in Mexico and Central American countries in order to reduce migration. Though the two countries have previously worked together to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and narco-trafficking, the letter suggests a shake-up on where Mexico’s focus will lie. According to the Pacific Standard, this change comes in the form of proposed legislation which, if passed, will see 75% of new funds directed to job growth and the remaining 25% on security such as border control.

‘‘Mexico, Mr. President Trump, is the home for the largest number of Americans living outside the American Union. In the same way, the United States is the largest home for Mexicans outside of our borders. I believe that the understanding that I propose in this letter should lead us to a worthy and respectful treatment of these communities,’’ the letter outlines.  

The tone of the letter paints Mexico and the United States as equals and partners pioneering change across North America. Though on paper it sounds like a relationship in which both countries can benefit, it remains to be seen whether this will work in practice and whether Trump is willing to reply or Tweet about it.



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