Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IME &" The Mexican Government's Efforts To Aid Migrants In The United States"

The Migration Policy Institute is a globally respected think tank. Supporters include agencies of multiple foreign governments, the US State Department,Fannie Mae, US Health & Human Services, and the US Census Bureau, as well as private foundations.

In January 2010, the MPI published an analysis paper on Mexico's strategy to use multiple channels, including activism development, to effect changes to US immigration policy, and to maintain allegiance to Mexico by emigrants in order to assure continued and growing Remittance income. Written by Laureen Laglagaron, it is titled "Protection Through Integration: The Mexican Government's Efforts To Aid Migrants In The United States" (link will open a PDF)

The paper begins by noting the influence of the IME (a Mexican government agency also called the Institute for Mexicans Abroad) on US Immigration Policy is "significant" but seldom noticed (page 4), and on page 5 makes a statement inferring the success of the IME in the past 10 years may relate to the increased population of Mexican nationals coming to the United States, and increase in Mexican consulate offices. It recommends that these programs serve as a model for other "sending" countries, specifically naming Ecuador, Bolivia, Uraguay and Paraguay.

Throughout, the paper adopts the word "integration" in its narrowest definition, to describe programs the Mexican government intends to reduce assimilation and retain allegiance of its citizens who emigrate and their American-born children, thereby assuring retention of remittances (link will open a PDF) and political activities supportive of Mexico's interests.

The paper requires careful reading and study. You may wish to note, in particular, the five bullet points on page 11, paragraphs following through page 12, the role of the Mexican consular on page 9, the information about the IME as an independent agency of the Mexican government operating out of embassies on pages 13, 14 and 16, and of no less importance, the central
paragraph on page 20 and 21.

The next several pages outline worthy and valuable educational and health care initiatives the Mexican Government supports for emigrants through the IME, and a discussion about remittances begins on page 34.

No one is talking about this. The situation with illegal immigration has changed in the past 10 years due to the intervention of the Mexican government outlined in the MPI Policy paper above, and of international banking interests, both in the remittance delivery systems market, (link opens a PDF. Click Here for Google-cached HTML version) and as a factor in trade balance calculations and securitized for sovereign debt. Mexican citizens working in the United States send $2 Billion dollars per month back to relatives in Mexico.

Most of us even in the border states are not aware of these new influences. They create issues beyond enforcement of our laws (8 USC Sec. 1304(e).) These changes make a difference to me in how I see the issues we face with immigration.

I am a nearly life-long Texan, and like most Texans, fully integrated into mainstream American Hispanic (Mexican) social and family life. My children are Hispanic. My beloved daughters in law are of Mexican descent, and my grandchild is Hispanic. My cherished friends, in-laws, nieces and nephews are Hispanic. My future as well as my heart are inseperably and gladly entwined with the future and happiness of Hispanic Americans.

Until a few days ago I thought the situation with illegal immigration from Mexico was the same as it was 20 or 30 years ago. Texans and the people of Mexico share history, faith, culture, & traditional values. We are easy together. My concerns about controlling the Southern border were about stopping the activities of gangs & criminal interests, the awful exploitation of coyotes and other human traffickers, and in preventing people from dying horribly of dehydration and exposure. I won't fault any person for seeking work to try to attain a decent life, even if we can't let them stay.

But it's no longer just a matter of assimilating millions of people. This is something else entirely, and I can no longer support the kind of reform I might have been comfortable with last week.


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