US President Donald Trump's calls for a wall along the US-Mexico border risks destroying a relationship that isn't all just one-way. The illegal status of American retirees may turn into the political ace up Mexico's sleeve at the negotiating table.

A foreign resident teaches local children how to draw at the Cultural Arts Center in Ajijic town of the State of Jalisco, Mexico on June 9, 2012
A foreign resident teaches local children how to draw at the Cultural Arts Center in Ajijic town of the State of Jalisco, Mexico on June 9, 2012

Mexico has topped the list of destinations for US expatriate retirees and ironically many of them are living in the country illegally.

Thousands of Americans are heading south in search of a better quality of life and cheaper healthcare.

These people are an essential part of the heartbeat of the Mexican community, such as those who live in San Miguel de Allende, a city located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico.

Mexican people embrace the expats, many of whom are illegal immigrants, due to the influx of US dollars that they bring with them.

However, US President Donald Trump's reckless plan for a Mexican wall may put that social harmony at risk, sowing the seeds of division.

Alasdair Baverstock reports from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for TRT World.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies