Las Vegas, Nevada - Mexico is mounting an unprecedented effort to turn its permanent residents in the U.S. into citizens, a status that would enable them to vote - presumably against Donald Trump.
Officially, Mexico says it respects U.S. sovereignty and has no strategy to influence the result of the presidential race. Yet Mexican diplomats are mobilizing for the first time to assist immigrants in gaining U.S. citizenship, hosting free workshops on naturalization.
"This is a historic moment where the Mexican consulate will open its doors to carry out these types of events in favor of the Mexican community," Adrian Sosa, a spokesman for the consulate in Chicago, said before an event on March 19. In Dallas, about 250 permanent residents attended the consulate’s first "citizenship clinic" in February and another 150 in its second in March. In Las Vegas, the turnout topped 500.
Underscoring the fine line that separates participation from interfering in another country’s election, Sosa noted that the consulate only hosts the event but it's community organizations who offer the advice.
Laura Espinosa, deputy consul in Mexico's consulate in Las Vegas, said the main goal of the program is citizenship, and while that includes the right to vote, the government doesn't press people to do so. "Those who use this to vote, that's up to each individual," said Espinosa, who confirmed that most consulates have begun citizenship campaigns. "We don't have any opinion on that, because that would be totally interfering in internal affairs of the country."
The government in Mexico City is holding off on engaging the Trump campaign directly until he becomes the nominee, said Francisco Guzman, chief of staff to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Speaking with reporters on March 1, Guzman said the government plans to communicate with the campaigns of the nominees once they're chosen and try to dispel what it considers misinformation about Mexico and Mexicans.Read the full article on Bloomberg.com.