UC system prez fears Trump will 'isolate and antagonize' Mexico
University of California system President Janet Napolitano will be taking a three-day trip to Mexico next week to “strengthen ties” with the country as a rebuke of Trump administration policies.
UC spokesperson Dianne Klein told the Associated Press that Napolitano’s trip is intended to “send a very strong and loud message...that we believe it is wrong to isolate and antagonize this important neighbor.”
“We believe it is wrong to isolate and antagonize this important neighbor.”
Klein also remarked that it is currently a “very propitious time to strengthen ties,” citing the Trump administration’s proposed border wall, as well as a preliminary budget proposal released last week that envisions cuts to a variety of research programs, as policies liable to irk Mexico.
The trip is part of the UC-Mexico Initiative that Napolitano launched in 2014, which facilitates academic research and programming between the UC system and institutions in Mexico. Napolitano kicked off the initiative with a two-day trip to Mexico, but no mention was made at the time of any concerns regarding U.S.-Mexico relations.
Napolitano told The Los Angeles Times that she plans to build on this partnership during her trip by reassuring Mexico that the collaboration will continue despite Trump’s plans to build a border wall, increase immigration enforcement, and cut federal research funding, declaring that “Regardless of what is happening federally, the University of California remains open to academic partnerships with Mexico.”
In addition to collaborating on funding research projects and developing programs, the UC-Mexico Initiative also assists students who travel between the United States and Mexico.
Patricia Gándara, an education professor at UCLA, said the group’s efforts have recently become more focused on students whose parents brought them back to Mexico after being deported, losing work, or simply becoming “freaked out about Trump.”
According to Napolitano’s itinerary, she will visit with the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and Mexican students and business leaders.
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