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More Than Neighbors

Today IÂ'm in Texas.

You canÂ't come to Texas and not think about Mexico. The history of the two countries, the people and their cultures are so intertwined, increasingly so as the years roll by.

For one thing, the percentage of Mexican-heritage people living in Texas continues to rise; many of them citizens, some not. This, of course, is true in a number of states in the U.S., especially California, Arizona and New Mexico, all bordering Mexico.

ItÂ's not exactly on todayÂ's news. But then again it is on the news, the ongoing important news to point out that U.S. relations with Mexico need, and deserve, constant attention.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president in the 1930s, he embarked on a Good Neighbor policy toward Mexico. No president before or since tried as hard as FDR to improve relations, to make the U.S. truly a good neighbor to Mexicans.

Some presidents since have talked about it, few have actually done a lot about it. None have come close to making it the high agenda policy that Franklin Roosevelt did.

One of the problems is, frankly, a taken-for-granted attitude on the part of the U.S. and Mexico.

There have been some exceptions, over some years and with some leaders, but overall it has been, and is, a core problem.

What to do? Well, for one thing, recognize the problem; remind ourselves how much our futures, as well as our pasts, are intertwined. And then teach the young.

Most especially, teach them the history and the language, each neighbor about the other.

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