SAN ANTONIO -

Lost in the presidential debate over foreign policy that focused primarily on the Middle East, Dr. Walt Wilson, an assistant professor of political science at UTSA, said Mexico was never mentioned.

“Given the close proximity to Mexico and the importance of the immigration issue to so many voters, it was a somewhat surprising omission,” Wilson said.

He said Latin America was brought up once by Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney in describing how investment opportunities there could help generate jobs.

However, Wilson said President Obama failed to bring up the Merida Initiative that is helping Mexico combat warring drug cartels.

Wilson said although it is considered a major trading partner, he thinks Mexico is somewhat taken for granted.

However, whoever wins the presidential election, will have to work with Mexico’s newly elected president, Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office in December.

Wilson said they will have to contend with issues such as trade relations, the on-going drug war in northern Mexico, and immigration.

As an example, Wilson said President Obama made it possible for children in the U.S. illegally who qualify to stay for the time being, but yet his administration had a record number of deportations.

Wilson said on the other hand, Romney has talked about “self deportations,” but still sees immigrants as an economic benefit.

“I think we will continue to work closely with the Mexican government,” Wilson said. “But I don’t see that the candidates offer a substantially different position with regard to foreign relations with Mexico, at least at this point.”