Larry Rubin, a representative of the Republican Party in Mexico and the president of the American Society, says that among the almost 1 million Americans living in Mexico, the American Society estimates that 57% will vote red. “The vote of Americans in Mexico is very relevant,” he says, as is the influence of Mexicans with family in the United States, a population close to 35 million.
The North American Project sought out Mexican-American Democratic and Republican leaders and supporters residing in Mexico to learn their views regarding President Donald Trump’s administration, their concerns about the November elections, and their activities within the country to promote the vote.
Though Rubin hadn’t considered supporting Trump in the 2016 election, due to Trump’s criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he now says he believes this administration must continue. He sees the following as achievements: tax reforms that benefit Americans; agreements that have reduced illegal immigration; peace negotiations in the Middle East and North Korea; and a robust trade agreement, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or T-MEC.
“Mexico has become the No. 1 trading partner of the U.S.,” Rubin says. “It has surpassed China and Canada in 2019 thanks to President Trump’s policy and the negotiation of the T-MEC.”
Rubin says that to stem the pandemic and find solutions to what he sees as violent protests, “a strong and capable leader is needed.”
The United States has one of the lowest rankings in voter participation. Among a ranking of 32 countries, it ranks 26th. Many people who do not vote say that the system is confusing.
Rubin, who votes in Ohio, believes the system is archaic and complicated, because each state has its own rules. “A more dynamic effort must be made, which will not only involve an exceptionally large political effort but also bring the nearly 10 million Americans who live outside the United States closer together,” he says.
To bring Americans abroad closer, the Republicans have implemented WhatsApp chats to answer questions on voting. He also invites people to visit various Republican websites to participate in talks with “top-notch” speakers.
Erick Rojo, a retired U.S. Army colonel, will vote abroad for the second time. Rojo, who has lived in Mexico for seven years, has been a delegate to Republican conventions, a party representative in Mexico, and a member of Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign.
Rojo and his colleagues network in Mexico to identify American citizens and get them to register to vote. He argues that those who criticize the polls and difficulties to vote from abroad are unaware of the U.S. Constitution. He disagrees with people who say they don’t vote because it doesn’t make a difference, recalling a slogan from past campaigns: “I have the vote that counts.”
“I think we saw it in the last election when everyone was betting that Hillary would win and we were surprised that she didn’t,” Rojo says. “Enough people and votes were counted in the states to give Donald Trump a majority of the electoral vote.”
He says the president has enemies because he broke the traditional pattern of Washington and the power groups of both parties.
Rojo says he was angered at first by Trump’s anti-Mexican comments. But he says he now understands it’s only rhetoric. Over time, Rojo has accepted Trump because he has kept his promises.
“Hispanics in the United States have gained a lot from the Trump administration because there has been more employment,” he says. “Business has grown. So, beyond the ugly words, he said at first, his actions are causing him to gain more support.”
He also sees it as an achievement that Trump has not declared war.
Gwen Richard, a Mexican American born in Florida, says she had the “honor and privilege of growing up in Mexico.” She spent her summers between California and Delaware. As the daughter of a businessman, she believes that the best way to govern a country is as if it were a business.
Though she hadn’t been involved in politics before, Richard will now vote for the first time in the state of California from Mexico. “We are now at a critical moment,” she says. “I think Trump is a great blessing for Mexico.”
She sees the president’s immigration policies as the right ones. “You can’t have open borders,” she says.
Gwen is currently president of the University of Texas Alumni Society and a member of the American Society. Helping others has been a guiding principle in her life, she says.
Regarding Trump’s hostile comments toward Mexicans, she says, “I recognize that President Trump talks too much, he should be a little quieter, but I respect him. I think the idea of a country being run like a business is not bad. He is a prestigious businessman. He hasn’t done the United States any harm.”