The United States and Mexico have always had a rocky relationship, which has only become more unbalanced due to the current president and stigma against the country. When it comes to Mexico, the issues at the forefront are immigration/ the border, and trade. Our party will improve relations with Mexico and reestablish a balanced, cooperative relationship through implementing an open border policy, as well as a free trade policy. The current United States immigration policy is quite difficult and can be divided into several groups. First, there is family based immigration which allows a preference to relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This includes spouses, unmarried minor (under 21) children, and parents. The amount of family based immigrant visas that are available is usually 226,000 with each type of relationship having its own limit. There is also employment based immigration. This allows skilled workers to live in the U.S. on a temporary basis, and visas are separated by the skill. Permanent residence can also be sought by employment based immigrants, with a limit of 140,000.The permanent employment based immigrants are also divided into categories, each with their own limit, such as those with “extraordinary ability”, those who hold degrees, those who have work experience, “special immigrants” like religious workers, and those who plan on investing $500,000 or more in a business that employs U.S. workers. Each country also has its own limit, that states that no country can exceed 7% of the total amount of immigrants each year. Refugees and asylum seekers are also included with their own ceiling. In 2016 the ceiling was 85,000, however the current administration has proposed a ceiling of 45,000, which is the lowest ceiling since 1980. There is also the Diversity Visa Program that behaves as a green card lottery allotting 55,000 green cards each year, with 20 million applicants. However the purpose of the program is to provide green cards to those from countries that send less than 55,000 annually, so the program does not affect Mexico. Other forms of immigration exist as humanitarian aid. In order to become a U.S. citizen, immigrants must have been lawful permanent residents for 5 years, be 18, have an understanding of basic English, be of “good moral character” and complete the 10 step naturalization process.In recent times, under the Donald Trump administration, things have taken a negative turn. Trump began his presidential campaign attacking Mexico even stating in his speech announcing his candidacy that “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” This statement was highly isolating and demonizing towards a neighbor that the U.S. values as a partner. This was not the only time that Trump insulted Mexico during his campaign, and even throughout his presidency. His claims that “Mexico is not our friend” and that “They’re Mexicans destroying us in terms of economic development”, don’t serve to address an issue but rather to ruin the relationship completely. Trump’s entire campaign was founded on “Make America Great Again” and “build the wall”. His “Make America Great Again” slogan and policies mean to say that the country must put American issues first instead of helping other countries and the way to “return” to “greatness” is through acting in self-interest. However, the concept is reminiscent of  “America First”, a phrase that Trump has also taken advantage of. The America First Committee, which was formed in 1940, was an anti-war group that was defined by its prominent anti-semitic members and rhetoric. The group urged the United States to not enter World War II and began blaming Jews for issues in America. A parallel can be made between this group and how Trump has blamed various ethnic and religious groups for today’s issues, including but not limited to Mexicans, African Americans, and Muslims. Specific to Mexico, it is obvious how Trump has blamed the country for American issues and this can not continue as America needs other countries, especially Mexico, to ensure our development and the success of our global economy. The wall that Trump proposes is also not a new concept. Anti-immigration politicians have always proposed strengthening the U.S.-Mexico border with a wall. Trump promised his supporters that he would create this wall if he was elected and that he would get Mexico to pay for it, a claim that has not gone ignored by Mexican leaders. Mexico’s former president, Vicente Fox, even going as far as stating, “I’m not going to pay for that f–king wall.” while on live television. Enrique Pena Nieto, the current Mexican president, agreed with Fox’s sentiment after cancelling a trip to the White House in January of 2017, stating that, “Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall.” Trump has not released any plans on how he will get Mexico to pay for the construction of a wall. So far, construction has also not began as Congress has not allocated any funding for it. Before Trump was elected as president, the relationship between the United States and Mexico had been cooperative and growing positively after a detached beginning. The countries had begun to work together for trade purposes and became partners looking to reach similar goals. Although a power imbalance did exist, and communication was not always clear and consistent, the countries were genuine allies. In 2008, with the election of Barack Obama, positive opinions toward the U.S. by Mexicans reached an all time high of 69% and hovered around 50 and 60% throughout the Obama administration. In 2017, only 30% of Mexicans held a positive view toward the U.S., with only 5% holding confidence in the new U.S. president. Trump has only proved to ruin the country’s relationship with potential allies in the name of putting America first. This isolationist ideology is outdated and rooted in racism and only goes to show that Trump and his supporters are unaware that the only way to make America “great” is through working with other countries and maintaining positive relationships in order to ensure the safety of the economy and to avoid greater conflict. In the United States, many Americans hold their own opinions of Mexico, fueled by the main issue of immigration. The views toward immigration are typically split, corresponding to political parties. Overall, Republicans tend to hold anti-immigration views while Democrats supports immigration. In fact, 53% of Republicans believe that immigrants worsen the country in the long run and worsen crime and the economy according to a study down by Pew Research Center. On the other hand, 55% of Democrats believe that immigrants better society as well as having no effect on crime and generally better the economy or have no effect on it. Almost 50% of all considered in the study however, agreed that immigration should be decreased. Most also agree that the immigration system is inefficient. America has always had a difficult relationship with immigration, and despite the country being founded on immigration the people are split on how it should be handled. Due to Trump and his supporters the rhetoric that immigrants ruin society has grown. With respect to the history of American society, it is difficult to agree with that idea.In reality, immigration is not nearly as negative as Trump has painted it out to be. Immigration has a positive effect on the economy and ending it or limiting through strengthening border and immigration policy could have an adverse effect. Those against immigration often claim that “illegal” or undocumented immigrants are “stealing” jobs that could potentially go to U.S. workers, take advantage of welfare, refuse to assimilate, raise crime rates, and create a strain on the economy. All of these claims are false however. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have actually found that immigrants contribute more to job creation and “have little to no effect on the wages and employment of native-born workers in the long run”. Entrepreneurship is prevalent among immigrants and this quality could help U.S. workers. Not only this, but immigrants also stimulate supply and demand in their local economy. Immigrants are also not given access to welfare programs if they are undocumented and if they are documented they still are limited by a waiting period placed on their first five years. They are also less likely to apply for welfare programs than U.S. born people that are under similar circumstances. Research has also been found that states current immigrants are no different than past waves of immigrants in regards to assimilation, and are assimilating at the same rates. Other research has disproved the claim that immigrants raise crime rates, and actually are less likely to commit crimes as opposed to native-born Americans. Finally, immigrants place no strain on the economy as they pay taxes ($11.64 billion a year) without receiving any benefits. Furthermore, they account for around $13 billion going into the social security fund annually while only using  $1 billion.Immigration is beneficial to American society. As countries become more developed, the people begin to have less and less children. This means that as a population ages there will be less people in the workforce that are responsible for supporting them. Immigrants are what the workforce of developed countries rely on, especially given how much they supply for social security funds. In America, immigrants account for 13% of the population and 15% of the economic output, as found by the Economic Policy Institute. This along with the entrepreneurship brought through immigration is crucial to our economy. Along with how much more immigrants contribute to social security than they use, the same can be said about social services, due in part of how inaccessible social services are to both documented and undocumented immigrants. For Medicare in 2002-2009, research has found that “immigrants paid in over $115 billion more than they took”. Overall, immigration is crucial to American society and implementing things like a border wall or stricter quotas will only harm our current economy. Trump and his supporters hold a toxic and racist attitude towards immigration, only supporting it when the immigrants come from countries they approve of. Mexico does not make the cut for them. In order to move forward it is essential to view immigration from all countries as equally important. The options available are to maintain the same immigration policies that have been in place for the past several years, move forward with Trump’s idea to build a wall, or embrace immigration and adopt an open border policy. The current policies have been deemed ineffective and immigration is to vital to limit with policies as strict as those that Trump proposes. An open border policy, on the other hand, embraces everything that is good about immigration and will act as a way to rebuild the current relationship with Mexico, who immigration affects the most. Slowly integrating processes to record all new immigrants and awarding amnesty to those already living in the United States and allowing them to receive the same benefits as native born citizens could revolutionize the country in a very positive way. Immigrants are already putting in the work and allow the already developed country to continue to grow and remain stable, an open border policy would solidify that. The free movement of people would allow the U.S. and Mexico to come together again. Although this shift in the economy could have initial harmful effects when immigrants are first given access to the same benefits as native-born Americans, this would ultimately balance out and the economy would eventually return to how it is now, seeing as immigrants have had a positive effect on the economy thus far. Another program with Mexico that has come under fire by Trump recently was the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative which aimed to provide another path to citizenship for immigrants that arrived to the U.S. as children. Trump announced plans to end the program, despite the aid and safety it provided to young immigrants. Although Congress has yet to create a plan for the “Dreamers” who were under the program, an open border policy would return the aid to these people and allow them to continue the lives they have created here in America. The U.S. also has an education exchange with Mexico known as the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research. This forum works together with  Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative as well as Mexico’s program Proyecta 100,000. The goals of each are slightly different, but in general aim to create mobility between the two countries in regards to students as a way to provide educational opportunities. Under an open border policy, initiatives such as these could be strengthened and work much more swiftly than with current immigration policies.Other issues between the U.S. and Mexico include American factories outsourcing to Mexico. Trump has implied that this is a way in which Mexico is “killing” the U.S. through jobs and trade. Trump has claimed he will protect American workers from the practice of outsourcing, where big businesses use factories in countries with weak labor laws (such as Mexico where minimum wage is just $4.70 a day) in order to exploit cheap labor and generate more revenue for themselves. Trump has continued to subsidize companies that partake in this practice, and has failed at addressing the issue outside of his claims. Although the U.S. typically uses federal contracts to ensure that companies will not outsource, Trump has awarded them without care for outsourcing. In order to ensure that this will not continue it is vital to return to the correct usage of awarding federal contracts and subsidies to companies that are not partaking in outsourcing. The war on drugs in Mexico has also garnered American intervention. The “war” began in 2006 and unprecedented cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico began through the establishment of the Merida Initiative in 2008. Through this agreement, the U.S. has supplied Mexico with $1.5 billion, however this money has ben open to corruption and the war on drugs has cost more than just money but human lives as hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered with another several thousand disappearing. From an ethical standpoint it is vital for the U.S. to remain involved in Mexican efforts against drug cartels, and perhaps send more than just money and weapons. Although, some progress has been made with American help, the war on drugs is something that affects the United States and creating a new strategy could create a bigger impact and be more effective in providing much needed aid to Mexico.The current trade policy with Mexico includes the two countries being partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Mexican economy relies heavily on trade with the United States and is the nation’s third largest trading partner. Mexico is currently the second largest supplier of goods and imports with costs of each reaching $262 billion and $317.6 billion, respectively. Although there is a deficit, it only accounts for 8% of the total U.S. deficit. NAFTA has opened up the economic border between the U.S. and Mexico (as well as Canada) and has strengthened the relationship with Mexico as a trading partner. Maintaining NAFTA and a free trade agreement with Mexico in general has become crucial to the economy. Opening borders in any way between Mexico and the U.S. is what will move the U.S. towards a positive relationship with Mexico. Whether it be literally opening borders, or opening borders with trade, resources, programs, and conversation, the only way to grow is through keeping an open relationship. An open border and free movement of people is highly valuable. Creating an easier means of allowing immigrants to legally enter the country is more than just an economic decision however. No human being should be deemed “illegal” and  the opportunity to succeed in America when one cannot do so in their own country should be made easily available to all. Granting amnesty to those already in the United States recognizes all they have done for the economy thus far and allows them the chance to safely continue with their lives and receive the benefits that they have not had access to depute having paid their due in taxes. Open trade gives the country open access to different markets and promotes diversity while creating a healthy competition. Open access to resources and programs also promotes the much needed communication that the U.S must have with Mexico. The country must learn to listen to our neighbor if not from a humanitarian perspective, then to ensure our own success. Given all of this, I would recommend incorporating an open border policy while continuing NAFTA and other educational and entrepreneurial initiatives. Being open is the key to success. Despite what the current administration believes, demonizing Mexico and building a wall does more harm. Creating an open conversation with Mexico through these policies will create the relationship the country is in need of.