WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, asked former N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson whether the threats from President Trump and his administration to dismantle NAFTA and build a border wall will negatively affect New Mexico’s growing border economies and do little to effectively secure the border. At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, “The U.S.-Mexico Relationship: Advancing Security and Prosperity on Both Sides of the Border”, Udall discussed the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico to New Mexico’s economy and border security and raised concerns about how President Trump’s negative comments about Mexico — from insulting its leadership to calling Mexicans rapists and murderers — has already affected diplomatic relations with the country.
Below is the text of Udall’s opening remarks:
“Governor Richardson and Ambassador Noriega, it’s wonderful to be with you here and this has been an excellent discussion. I think one of the points that you’ve made that is really important, is treating Mexico like an equal and I think that what we have seen in this relationship with President Trump and the president of Mexico is that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a very condescending approach.
“I know we were all shocked at where President Trump has taken U.S.-Mexico relations — calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, insulting their leadership and threatening to send U.S. troops south of the border to fight cartels, demanding to build an expensive and unproductive border wall and to extort Mexico to pay for it, and threatening to rip up NAFTA, throwing our border economies into chaos.
“For those of us in New Mexico, and other border states, this is really beyond belief. This approach is completely and totally inappropriate for a neighbor, for an ally, and a nation with which we share many common bonds.”