Mexico’s Immigration Policy: Hypocritical?

portada.jpgNewsweek has a piece on the availability of opportunities to immigrants in Mexico; a piece that in tone seems to allude to some level of hypocrisy on the part of the Mexican government:

If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn’t be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn’t have been allowed on the force.

Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies “xenophobic,” Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

In the United States, only two posts — the presidency and vice presidency — are reserved for the native born.

In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

To be fair, this is no revelation and Mexico is not the only country that imposes this rule.


Newsweek seems to be keen on this theme, as they published another article this week that exposes the discriminatory practices of Mexico’s own immigration service with regard to immigrants that come from its southern border:

As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Moisés. There’s ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn’t—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier. Tougher laws? Hispanic-rights groups are enraged over U.S. efforts to criminalize undocumented aliens—yet since 1974, sneaking into Mexico has been punishable by up to two years in prison. Foot-dragging on amnesty? Fox has spent the past five years urging the United States to upgrade the status of millions of illegals from Mexico. Meanwhile, his own government has given legal status to only 15,000 foreigners without papers.

The article points to the exploitation of thousands of Central American farm workers, in a description that mirrors the worst conditions here in the U.S., and conjures images from the classic muckraking essay México Bárbaro.

While the tone of this last article is reactionary in my opinion, there is truth in all of this. It’s true that Central Americans are despised by many in Mexico, much in the way that indigenous people are despised. These are symptoms of a country in which wealth and opportunity are connected to skin color vis a vis the unbearable weight that these colonized countries still carry. The truth is, the more “indio” you are, be that in Manila or Oaxaca, the more jodido you are likely to be.

Via / Newsweek

Post to Twitter

5 comments on “Mexico’s Immigration Policy: Hypocritical?
  1. The comparison is not just with Mexico either, the United States lets in more immigrants (especially lower income) than any other industrialized country in the world. Even when you factor in the recent anti-immigration hysteria, the United States is still a leader in immigration and race issues.

    It reminds me of this quote from Condoleezza Rice:

    “But I also hope that around the world it’s noted that on matters of race, the United States is about 100 percent ahead of any place else in the world in issues of race. And I say that absolutely fundamentally. You go to any other meeting around the world and show me the kind of diversity that you see in America’s cabinet, in America’s Foreign Service, in America’s business community, in America’s journalistic community. Show me that kind of diversity any place else in the world, and I’m prepared to be lectured about race. “

    You don’t have to look any further than Germany and how Germany treats the Turks that live in the country (who are responsible for a great deal of Germany’s rebuilding and who many of them have lived in Germany for generations) or to the French in Canada, to see how radically different the rest of the world is with immigration. Even adding in the current anti-immigrant climate and anti-immigrant legislation, the United States is still “100 percent ahead of any place else in the world in issues of” immigration and race.

  2. Creo que la reglamentación mexicana en cuanto a ciudadanía no se ha renovado desde principios del siglo pasado.

    Me parece que ese es un tema de discusión para el futuro inmediato, por la cantidad de gente que también pone a México como su destino de migración.

    Es triste reconocerlo, pero, un empeoramiento de la situación con Venezuela, puede provocar una oleada migratoria que incluso alcance a México (ya llegaron miles de argentinos al país por la crisis económica más reciente).

    México ya es y será aún más un país con dos realidades: expulsa a sus ciudadanos más ricos y recibe a extranjeros con conocimientos y riqueza medios.

  3. Yeah, a nice little Newsweek article but golly, there’s this thing called NAFTA that imposes a low-wage/low-benefit economy which requires cheap, exploitable labor.

    Rather than living in a world of “what if..” and “blame Mexico” why not face the economic realities of late global capitalism. The U.S. has only themselves to blame.

  4. “…or to the French in Canada, to see how radically different the rest of the world is with immigration.”, says HispanicPundit. I just had to correct that one. French Canadian are actually the first settlers in Canada and French sailors were fishing around Newfoundland since year 1000, even before Cristobal Colón. Or did you speak about French Canadians to compare them with indios? Some indios in Canada might howl, but that would almost be more apt. After all, lots of French Canadians have indigenous ancestors and even in Quebec, where 80% of the population is of French descend, they receive their share of “Speak white” and “Fucking pea-soups”.

  5. It is sad to here, because before Jorge Ramos mentioned it I never knew about Mexico’s Immigration Policies. But it is sad to here how they treat immigrants over there, so sad to here the harsh conditions in which women have to pass and face very high risks of rape.
    All of these past comments have so many good points it hard to argue.
    We do have to consider many angels to this very important issue of immigration, and not very many people are taking the time to research policies and laws carefully.
    I think the U.S. is a bully either way, they have always exploited our people one way or another, and no thanks to the European “pure blood” people in the Latin American countries for our situations today. There is just too much history in L.A. and one has to consider all of them, too see why L.A. is so fucked up and why he U.S. seems to have so many investments there, its not because they care about the L.A. people thats for sure.
    Its all about research and little by little I myself am learning more and more about such complex issues.
    Take it easy all and have a beautiful rest of the week.

Comments are closed.