Mexican migration to the United States reflects many of the paradoxical elements that characterize the two countries’ relationship. While the Mexican government encourgages migration for remitances that contribute enormously to GDP, the US goes to great lengths to demonstrate that it is “tough” on illegal immigration. In this examination, I will argue that the United States’ focus on enforcement undermines its supposed aim to curb illegal immigration because, in fact, the US economy heavily relies on the labor of undocumented workers’s informal economy. Since 9/11 and along side the ongoing economic challenges facing the US, Mexican immigration has been on the decline and enforcement at the border and deportations are reaching record levels. Some are making the case that Mexican development is achieving greater progress resulting in less immigration, the state of the international economy, specifically in the US calling for fewer workers, record deportations and more aggressive border controls, and the ongoing drug cartel violence concentrated along the border are certainly other factors. From a policy perspective, the US’s approach appears rather unintelligent, focusing on reprimands and punishment rather than a more comprehensive attempt to address the economic underpinnings that cause Mexicans to migrate North in the first place. Scholars such as Santiso assert that Latin American countries benefit from pursuing long-term economic and political agendas. I will assess the institutional support of the Mexican diaspora in light of this theory and ultimately try to project where Mexican development is heading in the long-term future. Mexico’s relationship with the US presents a multitude of contradictory ideas that date far back throughout history and are reflected on by scholars who draw parallels with national identity and development. A further complication in the idea of national identity lies in the the strengthening and expansion of transnational constituencies which I will try to relate to Mexico’s political trajectory in its impact on development.
1. areas of development in Mexico, what is civil society focused on, govt programs, intl institutions, MDGs, specifically what the us does-5
3. transnational communities and immigration patterns, us immigration policies, mexican immigration policies-5-7
4. impact of nafta 9/11 and financial crisis-5
5. institution building-1-2