Washington.— Jesús Chuy García (Los Pinos, Durango, 1956) is one of the most frank and direct Democratic congressmen in the defense of migrants and the Mexican community in the United States. Representative for Illinois, where he competed for mayor in 2015, was one of the signers of the letter that the Hispanic Caucus sent to President Donald Trump demanding that he cancel the meeting with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and that in the event that if they occur, they will discuss the immigration issue.
“Our great concern is that the meeting will be manipulated by Trump and his campaign to try to extract votes from Latino communities in the United States, particularly Mexicans or Mexican Americans,” he confessed in a telephone interview with EL UNIVERSAL.
Reading the letter from the Hispanic Caucus gave the impression that it was sent to Trump, but that he was addressing López Obrador, to tell him what he is exposing himself to.RELATED
—We are warning President López Obrador very clearly of the realities that the immigrant and Mexican communities live in the United States, and that if he comes to meet with President Trump, he has a moral obligation to address these issues of great importance, because if it does not seem that the visit is only to put a pretty face to what has been a terror in terms of the reality that the immigrant community, and especially the Mexican one, has lived in the United States.
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As the leader of the Mexican and Mexican American community, how do you feel that the President of Mexico comes to Washington, with the effects it may have?
—It is very disappointing to me to know that López Obrador has agreed to visit the president who has most insulted Mexico, the Mexicans and the Mexican Americans, to whom we have roots in that country. Until now, he has remained very quiet in the face of all the actions that Trump has taken, which have damaged and are hurting the people that many of us represent in Congress. There has been no other ethnic or racial group that has suffered attacks at the hands of Trump in the United States like our community.
When he stood for election, Trump directly called Mexicans rapists and criminals. In this context, do you think that López Obrador should come to visit him even though he has not apologized or retracted?
I would like President López Obrador to raise these issues, all these attacks, and that at the end of his meetings he would tell us what the dialogue was and if he asked for an apology from Trump or not. Because I believe that if there is to be a greater rapprochement between both societies, between the leaders of both countries, and if we are actually integrating countries, their peoples and their economies, there must be respect and fair treatment for all members of this society.
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López Obrador has said that, contrary to what may be thought, Trump has behaved very well with Mexico and there is respect for the country and between governments. What responds to that?
—The reality that we have lived is very different from the words that President López Obrador uses when describing the president and his administration, due to the realities and aggressions that we have experienced in the United States.
I feel angry, pissed off at this visit.
—There is a lot of legitimacy, as a congressman representing one of the largest Mexican and Mexican American communities in the United States in Congress, for my district (District 4 of Illinois, with a majority Hispanic population), and all the other communities that the members represent. of the Hispanic Caucus.
Our perspective is based on what our community lives in the United States, the verbal attacks, the threats, the administrative initiatives of the president, the battles in the federal courts, even in the Supreme Court in the cases of the census and DACA, which motivate and force us to raise our voices. This is a unique forum to present our complaints and what the people we represent in Congress have suffered. That is why we ask the questions we are asking, because we question the motivations of President Trump’s invitation.
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López Obrador says he has no intention of speaking with former Vice President Biden, nor has he contacted anyone from the Democratic Party, nor is he scheduled to call the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. How do you see that posture?
—For us, he points out that López Obrador is either giving in to Trump’s wishes or has no knowledge of the realities that we live in the United States. Or you don’t want to know.
He implies that, despite the fact that he said he was going to be a president who was going to protect migrants, you believe that López Obrador is not doing it.
—We have not seen a defender of human rights, of people who have roots in Mexico or of Mexican nationals who are suffering in the United States, or of the communities that are among the best allies of the Mexican people in the United States.