U.S. Expatriates in Mexico Feel Tensions Over Border Wall, Trump Rhetoric

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico — This colonial jewel, with its cobblestone streets, Spanish architecture and Gothic-style pink stone cathedral, has long been a magnet for thousands of Americans who call the Guanajuato city home.These days, however, things are growing a bit tense.As bids to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border come in, and fears of mass deportations in the U.S. grow, some Mexicans and the American expatriates among them are growing uneasy about the possibility of nationalism on both sides of the border, harming what's long been a strong relationship.Many Mexicans have left here to look for jobs in the U.S., often following the path to North Texas. Those who remain quietly contrast the anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. to the welcome Americans have received here.Carolina Rodriguez, a massage therapist, wrestles with her emotions."We could also treat Americans badly here, be mean-spirited, be as hateful as Americans across the border," said Rodriguez. "But in the end, we're human beings, and I'm not going to lower myself to the level of Americans and talk about walls, kicking Americans out of San Miguel. Not yet, and I don't imagine myself doing that because we need one another. But yes, when I read about what's happening to relatives, compatriots, I do feel offended and increasingly angry."Carlos Heredia, the chairman of International Studies at CIDE, a research university in Mexico City, is worried that a rise in nationalism in Mexico would hurt both sides. "I'm watching this carefully," Heredia said, "and with deep worries."As tensions rise, some Mexicans are beginning to show their displeasure with their pocketbooks. "I'm not like Trump. You must respect people," said Laura Padilla, owner of a bed-and-breakfast in San Miguel. She's so upset, she no longer plans to travel to Texas to shop or vacation on South Padre Island or in Aspen, Colo. , as has been her annual custom. "This year, I canceled everything. I don't want to know anything about the U.S., much less Trump."   Continue reading...

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