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US Elections 2008
US immigration issue key for Mexico
Mexicans speak out on what they think an Obama presidency should focus on.
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2008 23:00 GMT

The next US president must reclaim the "mantle of moral leadership," Luis Sosa says

Foreign policy - and specifically, dealing with the country's neighbours - will be a crucial part of Barack Obama's job when he takes over from George Bush in the White House.

Al Jazeera spoke to Mexicans in the country's capital city about what they think Barack Obama should prioritise when he becomes the next US president.

Luis Sosa, 28, film-maker

I think immigration is key. But it is a really tricky line between what a president can do and what he wants to do.

The US needs to stop antagonising their workforce – immigrants. Building walls, putting more cops on the border doesn't stop anything, it's just politically popular right now.

America needs to reclaim that mantle of moral leadership, even if it's just a symbol or an idea. That's where its real strength comes from - as a concept, not from its military.

Arnulfo Reyes, 31, actor


It's key that the next president improves foreign relations with Mexico. He needs to help Mexico improve its awful situation with drug trafficking and violence.

One problem is that the US is a major consumer of drugs. The US should help us with logistical and real support on enforcement and security. But the US shouldn't try and push Mexico around.

Another key issue is immigration. The next president should make sure that Mexican immigrants receive health care, education and other services. They should be treated like human beings.

Rodolfo Nevarez, 26, actor

The next president should establish better relations with Mexico.

Immigration is the most important thing - the US should change a little about the legal status of immigrants. For example, people who've been in the US for a long time – like 10 years – should be able to stay legally.

They contribute a lot to the US, they shouldn't be treated like criminals.

Viviana Herrera, 38, self-employed businesswoman

There are three big issues that the next US president should deal with vis-à-vis Mexico: drug trafficking, the economy and immigration.

I believe drug trafficking is the most important issue because the US is the largest consumer of drugs and plays a large part in the expanding drug trade that comes through Mexico.

It's very important for the US to talk to Mexico about solutions to the problem with violence and a lack of security.

Should there be a military strategy? I don't know, but something needs to be done.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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