New Mexican consul for Utah visits
Richfield to address Six County AOG
By James Tilson
Mar. 1, 2018
RICHFIELD—Lauding the United States as a “nation of immigrants, and a nation of laws,” Mexican Consul Jose Borjon visited Richfield this month on a fact-finding and introduction mission to the Six County Area.
Borjon took office on June 16, 2017, in Salt Lake City. His territory covers all of Utah, and western Wyoming.
During his visit on Wednesday, Feb. 7, Borjon wanted to provide information to the local officials from the Six County Area about the importance of Mexico to the Utah economy, and how much Mexicans and those of Mexican heritage are a part of the Utah population.
According to Borjon, Latinos make up the largest minority in the United States, comprising approximately 17 percent of the population, or about 54 million people. In Utah, Latinos make up 14 percent of the population, with 78 percent of those coming from Mexico. In Sanpete County, the Latino population is 9.7 percent of the general population.
However, Borjon noted to attendees that Utah has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the United States. By 2040, Utah will be a majority-minority, 10 years before the United States as a whole reaches that benchmark.
Borjon showed statistics where Utah exports $741 million of goods to Mexico, and imports $3.3 billion of goods from Mexico. Mexico is the No. 1 country of import origin for Utah, he said.
During the question and answer portion of Borjon’s presentation, Richfield mayor Dave Ogden asked Borjon, “We love your people, but we are in favor of a strong border. How should we fix this?” Borjon answered, “[The United States] is a nation of immigrants, and a nation of law. The solution needs to come from your elected officials, on a national level.”
Sanpete County Commissioner Steve Lund said, “I am very impressed with Mexican people.” He also noted that his heritage, Danish, did not fully integrate into the American culture until they learned to speak English.
Lund said he wondered if there was some way that the consulate could encourage the learning of the English language among Mexican immigrants. Borjon said that the consulate was in favor of English language classes, but that private sources of funding would have to be developed.
According to Borjon, government sources do not provide funding for English classes. He noted that without assistance, English-language classes were difficult for immigrants to take around work and child-care responsibilities.