The relationship between the USA and Mexico, and particularly the one between Texas and Tamaulipas, is an evolving relationship.
Every difficult situation arising between the two sides of the border has to be evaluated taking into consideration this very long and undeniable evolution.
Seen in the perspective of 180 years since a very bad beginning, the current situation on how the authorities of both neighboring States are dealing with the problem of disrespectful treatment to a considerable part of the Mexican population who frequently enter the USA at the 17 international crossing points shared by Texas and Tamaulipas is indeed a faithful reflection of how much this relationship has improved over the years.
Although it is true that the number of mistreated Hispanics who cross from Mexico to the United States is big enough to rise their indignation to a rank of clamor, there are substantial differences in how the problem is being handled compared to the times when it was impossible to publicly acknowledge the wrong doings of the American side authorities against the Hispanic interests, let alone help the victims in anyway. Especially what was done, or more specifically, “over done” in the name of the Law and Common Wealth.
Today it is possible to talk about this. But the matter has to be taken from the perspective of people from both sides of the border. This mistreatment has to be acknowledged, but the causes of that attitude are also important.
The causes of discomfort about the Mexican presence in Texas has changed over the centuries. Take for instance one of the very early ones in Section 8 of the General Provisions in the Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836; where it was stated that any citizen of the new Republic who “shall give aid or assistance to the present enemy (Mexicans that included those rightfully residing and holding title to their land on what now was American territory) shall forfeit all rights of citizenship, and such lands as they may hold in the Republic.”
Of course today’s discomfort about the Mexican presence in Texas has new sources which include the overwhelming growing immigration of the marginalized population of Mexico who cross to the USA in search of the opportunities not given to them in their own country; and more importantly, more times than less carrying with them a culture of poor civil engagement and sometimes corruption and social service system abuse.
Nevertheless, it is best not to generalize. It has to be taken into consideration that the immense majority of the Hispanic population in the USA are working people whose market statistics show that their purchasing power has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent, which is more than twice as fast as the 2.8 percent growth for the total U.S. purchasing power. *
The general context has changed very much and neither of the societies on both sides of the border has remained the same. The American collective thought has changed in the long process of the human border relationships. And it has been a long way; the Border Americans really are much better human beings than those who witness and did nothing about the burning and the lynching many new Texans, along with what the Ranger authorities “did from Brownsville to Rio Grande City, one hundred twenty miles, and back to the Arroyo Colorado,” according to USA Army Major Samuel P. Heintzelman, Commander of the 1859 Brownsville Expedition. As it turned out – as often happens with former predatory hunters- they are now a society of people ready to defend the right of others.
Today, our ways, from both sides, have evolved to the possibility to publicly speak about American authorities’ abuses against Hispanics, and it is now possible to the Americans to accept and even shelter active responses here, on this side, on the American side of the Border. And the Mexicans are learning to understand the causes of those abuses, especially the ones that have to do with their own quality collective growth.
However, the speediness of our relationship evolution lays mainly in the everyday civic practice of each one of the Mexican crossers. It is widely accepted as a known fact that much of the solution in any predatory scenario relays on the prey´s capacity to respond. In this case, to negotiate with a collectively strong civil response. Citizens on the Mexican side have a great deal of active significant response to learn, and it better be acknowledged that much of the abuse they have historically endured, both on the American side and in their own land, was possible because of a generalized lock of organized civil capacity.
In this particular case though, both sides have accomplished an excellent exercise of international, multicultural common wealth. This may sound irrelevant to many, but it isn’t. To the Hispanic population on this Border, it is of enormous significance that the Mexican Consulate has picked up the general outrage from people crossing from the Mexican side being repeatedly offended by unnecessarily degrading methods applied on people in the name of homeland security by some of the CBP Officers.
To be able to successfully use diplomatic negotiations to gain attention from the CBP authorities is very significant. Much more so is the CBP capacity to understand, not only that professionalism is a global quality standard, but that being damn good in protecting the USA Borders has more to do with pursuing perfection in the interaction with all others, than with their degradation.
Since 2014, as a result of diplomatic negotiations, CBP has begun to train its personnel to improve professionalism and correctness in the services rendered at international crossing points that in Texas service more than 200,000 people each day. There are designated supervisors (Professionalism Service Managers) in each Texas Border town and anyone can issue a complaint against a CBP official whom in any form has mistreated, offended or damage his or her dignity without any fear of retaliation. The complaint can be made in person, by phone or by email.
Regardless of the increasing burdens of our modern times, we, at this border, are without a doubt better, far better than the ones before us. We are. We have made things that just couldn’t be imagined before; and because of that, we are also stronger and happier.
* Source: The U.S. Hispanic Economy in Transition: Facts, Figures, and Trends