As Rockport was collapsing and Houston was submerging in Hurricane Harvey’s first day of landfall on Sunday, August 27 at 7:44 a.m. ET, president Trump continued his series of tweets insulting Mexico, one declaring —
“With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.”
You would think it would be in our government’s best interest to view Mexico as a country we can count on during times of need.
In the wake of the apocalyptic flooding catastrophe in Texas, Mexico has offered us their helping hand and our president chose to raise his chin and turn his back on their offer.
President Trump has put his personal animosity towards Mexicans and undocumented immigrants above the needs of suffering Americans.
He has apparently forgotten that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mexico sent a massive convoy of close to 200 doctors, nurses, military personnel and engineers to help alleviate the suffering of the flood victims.
There were thirty-five Mexican Army trucks and 18-wheelers, many draped with Mexican flags blowing in the wind. The convoy included a couple of mobile kitchens that fed up to 7,000 people daily, three trucks carrying mobile water-treatment plants and several trailers loaded with bottled water, blankets and other necessities.
The Mexicans carried out a 3-week operation during which they served over 170,000 meals, helped distribute over 184,000 tons of supplies and dispensed medical care to hundreds.
President George W. Bush saw Mexico as a friend and partner.
Those were different days.
As of today, Trump has kept silent about Mexico’s offer, but gratefully his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson finally thanked them late yesterday and Governor Greg Abbott formally accepted their offer, several days late and a few dollars short.
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The Houston/Brazoria metropolitan area has the third largest Latino population in America with over 2,100,000 residents of Hispanic heritage. A very high percentage of them are immigrants from Mexico; many losing family members, homes, transportation, possessions and jobs as a result of hurricane Harvey.
This is one fundamental reason why Mexico absolutely needs to be a part of the rescue and disaster relief efforts going on in here in Texas.
Jus knowing their country of origin is here to help support them along with everyone else gives Houston Latinos a much needed emotional lift.
We are all glowing on about how everyone is uniting in this color-blind effort to save lives and alleviate suffering, as we should be.
But if we really believe that that at face value, then all Americans need to embrace Mexico’s inclusion in joining the efforts to reach out to hurting Texans.
We must put aside our prejudices and stereotypes and act opposite of the divisiveness that characterizes our president’s attitudes towards Mexico in general and gladly receive their extended hand of friendship and commitment to our people in need.
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Here is a comment from a 2005 Katrina survivor to reflect on the value of immigrants to our country –
“I lived through Katrina. I will straight up tell you, as will anyone who was here, that Mexicans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorians, etc. rebuilt New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast after that hurricane. They worked their asses off on construction and demolition jobs. We did not have the labor pool at the time to rebuild on our own. They did amazing work, quickly, and they were incredibly kind to locals who were struggling with the after-effects of a natural disaster.
If people think immigrants are un-American, then they have not seen immigrants build and harvest and butcher and paint and plant and repair. I'm forever grateful to the Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans who came here and helped rebuild my home. They were definitely hermanos.”
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