Mexican official addresses misperceptions during LA visit

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016
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Mexican undersecretary for North America attempted to correct U.S. misperceptions of Mexico during his visit to Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Since appointed as Mexican undersecretary for North America in April, Paulo Carreno's goal has been to address misperceptions in the U.S. about Mexico and Mexicans.

"We have built a relationship in which both countries benefit from each other," Carreno said during his visit to Los Angeles.

According to Carreno, surveys taken as far back as 2014 suggested Americans knew very little of the strong and mutually beneficial economic ties between the two countries.

The undersecretary said misperceptions became apparent during the recent presidential campaign when immigration became a hot issue.

"The treatment was unfit, it was unfair, it was painful as well, but the campaign is over. It's time to build upon a new relationship with a new government," Carreno stated.

He said the greatest misconception was the belief immigration from Mexico is on the rise.

"More Mexicans are coming from the U.S. to Mexico than actually going from Mexico to the United States," Carreno said.

He shared that talk of deportations have many undocumented Mexican nationals concerned for their futures.

In response, the Mexican government launched the campaign "Estamos Contigo," meaning "We are with you," to ease concerns.

Two hotline numbers have been placed as Mexican consulates in the U.S. expanded hours and brought in additional staff.

Concerning President-elect Donald Trump's proposed border wall, Carreno expressed his dissatisfaction.

"As a concept, we certainly don't like it," he said. "What I can tell you is that Mexico is certainly willing to explore more ways of having both countries together, not apart."

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