Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The Growing Population of Latinos Will Redefine U.S.-Mexico Relations
Press Release

RELEASE: The Growing Population of Latinos Will Redefine U.S.-Mexico Relations

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, or CIDE, the Center for American Progress, and the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations published a new report, in collaboration with the ongoing “U.S.-Mexico Moving Forward” series, that is designed to generate a debate about the two societies’ shared future. For far too long, the traditional U.S.-Mexico narrative has centered only on immigration, drug policy, violence, and crime instead of looking for solutions to policies that focus on a broader approach, encompassing the full range of political, economic, and energy issues facing both nations.

Shifting focus would markedly improve persistent stereotypes, distorted perceptions, and mutual understanding among both nations. The growing 55 million Hispanic population in the United States, two-thirds of whom are of Mexican origin, will continue to have great influence in the U.S. economic and political landscape. How large of an asset U.S. Hispanics can be—and the extent of their impact on relations across the hemisphere—depends on actions related to immigration and trade in the United States and across the Americas, particularly in Mexico.

“Changing demographics call us to rethink U.S. politics from scratch. The same is true for our neighbors south of the border. Increasingly, Mexico’s future is determined not only in Mexico, but also in the United States. Our countries are growing together at a rapid pace—a process that has its challenges but presents tremendous opportunities,” said Michael Werz and Dan Restrepo, Senior Fellows for the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. “That message is particularly important today as national security discussions are dominated by talk of nefarious nonstate actors and government-to-government relations.”

The development of Latinos as the fastest growing segment of the nation’s population will change the way election campaigns are run, local and state officials are elected, and the United States defines its political traditions. In 2012, more than 11 million Latinos voted and 40 million Latinos are expected to be eligible voters by 2030. The political impact is clear, and Mexican leaders can no longer ignore Latino leaders or the issues Latinos face in the United States. Building political, social, and economic connections between Mexico, as well as the rest of Latin America, will require business investments and cultural and education exchanges in order to develop a stronger sense of shared interest—which will only benefit the Americas.

“Mexicans can no longer afford to turn our backs on Mexican-Americans. In order to make the best of our shared heritage, we must move beyond the us and them mindset to build joint solutions to shared challenges. Mexican-Americans and Latinos can and should become our strategic partners for a common future in North America,” said Carlos Heredia, head of CIDE’s Program for the Study of the United States.

Click here to read “Latinos Are Shaping the Future of the United States” by the Center for American Progress and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Jennifer Molina at [email protected] or 202.796.9706.