Américas is reconvening and serving as the primary institutional sponsor of the Mexican-Mexican American Dialogue, a bi-national group of scholars, community and business leaders, journalists and policymakers addressing issues of mutual interest between Mexicans and their Mexican American counterparts. The Mexican origin population of the U.S. has grown to nearly 40 million persons. Remittances from Mexicans residing in the United States constitute the largest amount of foreign exchange for Mexico, totaling $38 Billion in 2019 alone and reaching historic heights in the first quarter of 2020. The Mexican-United States border region provides a setting for sometimes controversial and complex interactions between the two countries that often draw the borderlands closer together as a dynamic cultural, economic, and social region and often drive Washington and Mexico City further apart. Dramatic political change in Mexico is occurring simultaneously with the continual expansion of the influence of Mexican American and Mexican immigrant communities on U.S. state and federal electoral political outcomes. And the successful adoption of a new transcontinental trade treaty, USMCA, takes effect on July 1, 2020, replacing the NAFTA agreement enacted in 1994.
Founded in 2001, the Dialogue was hosted by the University of California and held a series of workshops, seminars, and meetings in Mexico and the United States through 2003. A group of academic, governmental, media and non-profit organizations in Mexico and the United States provided the co-sponsorship of Dialogue activities. A major conference will be held under the auspices of the Dialogue at the UC Washington DC Center in the fall of 2020. Entitled Building Bridges not Walls: The Role of the Mexican American Community in US-Mexican Relations, this convening will explore the political, economic, cultural, and social presence of Mexican American communities in both Mexico and the United States. In a series of roundtable panels, academic, public policy, and business experts from both countries will explore these dynamics, including the active role of Mexican American community, political, and business leaders in the development of Mexican-U.S. relations. We expect that this event and other virtual webinars will help restart this important binational engagement around matters emphasizing the role of the Mexican American community in our bilateral relationship.