Mexican diplomats often repeat a mantra that Mexico has the largest consular network in the United States, with a total of 50 consulates. This figure makes sense for the population of Mexican descent, which is estimated at 36 million people. Within the Mexican diaspora, a network of networks has also been established, which represents a nationwide effort to bring together the Mexicans deployed in the American Federation and advance their interests and needs: the Mexican American Association (AMA).
AMA is a non-partisan, non-profit, and non-governmental organization founded in 2018 in Dallas, Texas, in the context of the growing xenophobia in the United States and the media dispersion of the anti-Mexican rhetoric promoted by Donald Trump. Hence, through the mission, they proposed “connecting communities of Mexican descent in the United States into a unified and cooperative network that enhances their valuable contributions to the country”. In other words, create a network to demonstrate the value of the Mexican diaspora vis-à-vis American society.
The organization’s efforts to connect the various diaspora networks of Mexican origin is a strategic step to increase its visibility and impact. Diplomatically, they exercise the informal and collective representation of the diaspora diversity itself, of a complex constellation of actors, made up of community organizations, corporations, academic institutions, local governments, chambers of commerce and small businessmen, among others.
AMA has several regional headquarters (Far West, California, Texas, Southeast, Northeast and Midwest) and also has a presence in the digital space as it conducts its daily communications on its website, but also on social networks, generating sufficient information Media to reach different audiences. Thus, the diaspora’s voice finds resonance outside the traditional American media, where there is still a lack of representation of various minorities.
On January 23, AMA organized its annual virtual conference entitled “The Age of Resilience”, which reflected on topics such as mental health, challenges to the success of Latina women and the future of employment, in the context of the spreading pandemic that particularly affected the Latino community. One of the interesting results that emerged from the event was the proposal of the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, which in partnership with the organization provided the consular platform for advancement in training small businesses in the Mexican-American community.
Diverse leaders from the Mexican diaspora participated in the annual meeting: Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of the We Are All Humans Foundation; Cindy Nava is a public policy expert and leadership coach. Cynthia Padilla, Social Justice Attorney and Public Policy Expert; Tayde Aburto, CEO of the American Business Association for Ecommerce; Ish Verduzco, Social Media Strategist; Martha Soledad, founder of madeBos, is among the many. There were special guests such as Dr. Andrew Sealy, President of the prestigious Immigration Policy Institute.
The profile of Mexican leaders participating in AMA confirms the argument of David Maciel, an academic from Chicano who believes that the Mexican diaspora is of greater importance in the economic, political and cultural processes in the United States. Thus, this organization has the potential to become a benchmark for improving the image of Mexican society and the state of their rights. The Mexican authorities must work closely with them, in the context of the Biden administration’s initiation and the promise to reform the immigration system, as the cooperation of the consular network will undoubtedly be a stronger force, if this network of networks is considered.