Skip to main content

Will Ex-Mexicans Choose America’s Next President?

Mexicans make up more than half of the flow and stock – legal or not – of all immigrants in the US. With more of them settling permanently, the electoral numbers perhaps best explain the immigration issue's importance in today’s presidential campaigns.

Among the many surprises during the Republican Party presidential candidates’ debates a couple of weeks ago was the rekindled importance of immigration. After the failure of President George W. Bush’s and Senator Edward Kennedy’s comprehensive immigration reform effort last spring, most observers thought the matter would remain dormant until 2009, since even touching it was potentially fatal for Democrats and Republicans alike. But as Democrats discovered in other recent debates, and as Republicans realized with a little help from the CNN organizers, who skewed the questions toward issues they feel strongly about, immigration is an issue that just won’t go away.

This is one reason why I wrote a short but – I hope – useful book on Mexican immigration to the United States, entitled Ex-Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants . Based on internal documents from the Mexican and US governments, countless interviews, and a survey of much of the existing literature on the subject, Ex-Mex seeks to fulfill three purposes.

First, I wanted to provide a Mexican voice in the immigration debate. Mexicans make up more than half of the flow and stock – legal or not – of all immigrants in the US, but a point of view attempting to reflect their interests and aspirations has been largely absent from the American discussion.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/AU1ROkv;
  1. palacio101_Artur Debat Getty Images_earthspaceshadow Artur Debat/Getty Images

    Europe on a Geopolitical Fault Line

    Ana Palacio

    China has begun to build a parallel international order, centered on itself. If the European Union aids in its construction – even just by positioning itself on the fault line between China and the United States – it risks toppling key pillars of its own edifice and, eventually, collapsing altogether.

    1
  2. rajan59_Drew AngererGetty Images_trumpplanewinterice Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Is Economic Winter Coming?

    Raghuram G. Rajan

    Now that the old rules governing macroeconomic cycles no longer seem to apply, it remains to be seen what might cause the next recession in the United States. But if recent history is our guide, the biggest threat stems not from the US Federal Reserve or any one sector of the economy, but rather from the White House.

    0
  3. eichengreen134_Ryan PyleCorbis via Getty Images_chinamanbuildinghallway Ryan Pyle/Corbis via Getty Images

    Will China Confront a Revolution of Rising Expectations?

    Barry Eichengreen

    Amid much discussion of the challenges facing the Chinese economy, the line-up of usual suspects typically excludes the most worrying scenario of all: popular unrest. While skeptics would contend that widespread protest against the regime and its policies is unlikely, events elsewhere suggest that China is not immune.

    3
  4. GettyImages-1185850541 Scott Peterson/Getty Images

    Power to the People?

    Aryeh Neier

    From Beirut to Hong Kong to Santiago, governments are eager to bring an end to mass demonstrations. But, in the absence of greater institutional responsiveness to popular grievances and demands, people are unlikely to stay home.

    1

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions