Over the weekend, Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya Cortes met with Mexican migrants in Los Angeles. After listening to the concerns of the Mexican community in the United States, Anaya reiterated that Mexico would not pay for President Trump's border wall and would stand with the migrant community.
Mexico will elect its next president on July 1, 2018. Ricardo Anaya Cortes is running under the political coalition For Mexico in Front (FMF), which consists of the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Citizens' Movement (MC). The coalition formed in an effort to defeat front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the left-leaning party (MORENA) and Jose Antonio Meade from the ruling party (PRI).
During his time in Los Angeles, Anaya assured the migrant community that he will always stand with them. The presidential candidate stated that when he is president he will be on the side of Mexican migrants and not on the side of "an American president who has dedicated himself to insulting our community". Anaya took advantage of the growing dissatisfaction with the current Mexican administration and alluded to President Trump's visit under the invitation of President Peña Nieto: "After Donald Trump had been insulting, and revolting at the best that Mexico has in the United States, they dared to roll out a red carpet to receive him in Los Pinos, as if he were a head of state." He described the event as the moment when the humiliation of the Mexican people was consummated.
Nevertheless, the presidential hopeful clarified that the Mexico-U.S. relation should be maintained:
We want to collaborate, we want to build, but that will only be possible if we start to respect ourselves, because those who don't respect themselves will not be respected by others; and the Mexican government has acted in an unworthy manner. It has disrespected itself and that is why today the U.S. government does not respect the Mexican government.
Anaya went on to express his admiration for Mexicans living in the United States. He described them as the Mexicans who dared to seek change:
I want to ask you, with my heart in my hand, that every time you hear an aggressive or denigrating expression, remember that there, in Mexico, you are the heroes of the country, the brave, the enterprising, the generous, those who dared to cross the border to give their family a better future. Do not you forget that you are not alone ... all of Mexico is with you and when I am President I will always be on your side.
Additionally, Anaya tweeted that he met with the president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano (who, as President Obama's first secretary of Homeland Security, was a major figure in U.S. immigration policy), to discuss the importance of supporting "dreamers" and agreed that Mexican migrants deserve respect.
Hoy me reuní con Janet Napolitano, Presidenta de la Universidad de California. Platicamos sobre la importancia de apoyar a los dreamers y concordamos en que los migrantes mexicanos merecen respeto. pic.twitter.com/g4ZmtHMU7S
— RicardoAnayaC (@RicardoAnayaC) March 3, 2018
It can be expected that over the next couple of months the presidential candidates will continue their appeals to Mexican migrants in the United States. Under Mexican law, Mexican citizens outside of the country can now sign up for voting credentials through their local consulates. This was not the case during the last presidential election six years ago, when Mexican migrants had the right to vote, but could only obtain a voter ID inside Mexico. Consequently, some have suggested that Mexican migrants in the United States may be a deciding factor as the election grows more contentious.