A group of Mexican children won’t be making a planned trip to dance in the United States next year due to concerns over visiting the country during the presidency of Donald Trump.
Grupo Folklorico, comprised of middle- and high-school students from Instituto Blaise Pascale in Oaxaca, was planning to visit the sister city of Palo Alto, California, in April.
However, after Trump’s election, parents started to cancel, according to Neighbors Abroad of Palo Alto, a volunteer group that coordinates sister city activities.
“They are parents like… parents anywhere,” said Bob Wenzlau, the organization’s president. “When they are sending their children without their being there, there’s a heightened sensitivity, like any of us have.”
Palo Alto is an affluent city in the progressive San Francisco Bay area, but that distinction may not mean much to parents in a faraway part of Mexico, a country that was often targeted by Trump during the presidential election.
“We know we can tell them things are safe here,” Wenzlau said. But in their view, sending the kids to anywhere in the U.S. in this climate could still be risky.
“These are parents that are afraid to send their children into a little bit of harm’s way up here,” he said. “They’re a long way away.”
Wenzlau shared a portion of an email from the event’s organizer in Mexico, which cited “the socio-political situation in the U.S.A.” as the reason for the cancellation.
The story was first reported by the local Palo Alto Online.
It’s as yet unclear what effect, if any, Trump’s presidency will have on tourism, especially from Mexico. However, last week Canada lifted visa requirements on Mexican visitors in a bid to encourage both investors and tourists and perhaps capitalize on concerns among Mexicans leery of visiting the United States as Trump takes office next month.