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Media 111615 SRE

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mexican-Americans make Notable Contributions to U.S. Development

Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Mexico's Undersecretary for North America, Carlos Pérez Verdía, inaugurated a forum on "The Cultural Flowering of Mexicans/Chicanos in the United States," saying that—given the anti-immigrant electoral messages—it is important to stress the notable contributions made by Mexican-American citizens to the development of the North American region.

"The negative public discourse that has arisen in the context of the U.S. elections tries to underestimate and belittle the importance of immigrants. It is proved false by observing what the Mexican community has given that country. All of us are bound to speak out and express our rejection of all expressions denoting hatred, discrimination and intolerance," he said.

He noted that the voice of Mexican, Mexican-American and American civil society emerges more strongly with every negative pronouncement made by some sectors, and that this is a process that will ultimately strengthen the immigrant community.

Speaking to migration specialists and academics from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, the event’s organizers, the undersecretary said that, while there was a Mexican population of three million in the United States in 1940, in the past decade the figure had risen to 20 million and is currently estimated at 33 million people.

"Mexicans contribute 8% of U.S. GDP, and have established more than half a million businesses that generate US$17 billion a year," he said.

He stressed the importance of the activity on the Mexico-U.S. border, where US$1 billion of commerce is conducted daily, with about one million crossings at the 57 border crossing points.

He also highlighted the work being done to modernize and construct border infrastructure, such as the recent opening of the railway bridge between Brownsville and Matamoros, and the Tijuana-San Diego airport connection.

The forum, held on November 12-13 in the Palacio de Minería, brings together specialists from Mexico and the United States to discuss issues such as diversity and gender, Mexican and Chicano culture, literature, art and Chicano cinema.

The following participated in the forum: José Manuel Valenzuela, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte; Maria Herrera Sobek, University of California; Debra Castillo, Cornell University; Martha Sanchez, Arizona State University; Adelaida del Castillo, San Diego State University; Francisco Lomeli, University of Santa Barbara, California; and other specialists in Mexican-American culture.

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Press release, "Mexican-Americans make a Notable Contribution to the Development of the United States," Nov. 12, 2015, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Mexico, DF; translation SRE

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