Los Angeles

Are the U.S. and Mexico Becoming One Country?

Andrew Selee

Photo courtesy of Andrew Selee.

LOCATION:
National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 N. Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Paid parking is available at the Little Tokyo Mall Public Parking Lot (318 E. First St.). Enter from San Pedro Street. Additional paid parking is available at the Japanese Village Plaza Parking Lot (356 E First St.) and the Office Depot Plaza Parking Lot (401 Alameda St.).

Is there any canyon on earth wider than the gap between rhetoric and reality when it comes to the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico? The rhetoric is all about separation—with Americans proposing giant border walls and denigrating Mexican migrants, Mexican leaders condemning U.S. bullying, and each country accusing the other of being a source of violence. But the reality is two neighbors becoming even more intertwined in economic, cultural, and personal relationships. Today, San Diego and Tijuana share a single international airport, Guadalajara and Silicon Valley jointly develop technology, and a more educated and prosperous Mexico has more influence than ever on the food Americans eat, the jobs Americans do, and the entertainment Americans consume. To what extent are the U.S. and Mexico becoming one entity? Do today’s populist politics threaten to reverse the trend of deeper integration, or is a true North American community inevitable? Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee, author of Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together, visits Zócalo to explain how and why the U.S. and Mexico keep getting closer, in spite of themselves.

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