Migration and Borders: The Space for Contradiction
Published on: Aug 31, 2006

In a complementary way, the new scenario in the United States compels Mexico to end the omission and pro-emigrant discourse. Ideally, we can expect at least two progressive phases of new management methods concerning emigration matters. In the first phase, the objective must be the establishment of administrative procedures for the migration phenomenon, so as to provide a platform for development in a second phase that will result finally in a stable migration flow after the year 2015. This process was encompassed in the principles of the “Mexico and the Migration Phenomenon” document mentioned above.

In this perspective, it is essential to define “administrative procedure,” which at the least must include an order-control model of Mexican and Central American migration flows; protection, orientation, and assistance programs for emigrants and immigrants;  juridical and institutional frameworks; and a new model of relations with Mexican communities in the United States.

In this direction, the election of a new government in Mexico should start a process of change that leaves omission behind and replaces it with new administration and development strategies. This change would encourage the construction of serious and detailed bi-national spaces of dialogue between Mexico and the United States, as will be necessary to address the entire migration phenomenon in both countries, where the new American no-tolerance model for undocumented migration is formulated in unison with a management model in Mexico.

While perhaps not the best window of opportunity imaginable, this approach certainly reformulates the setting within which the migration phenomenon has developed until today.


1 As a part of these limited efforts, the presence of Grupo Beta should stand out, due to its assistance and rescue efforts in helping emigrants located in the desert areas. During three years, there has also been a voluntary repatriation program that works in unison with several American and Mexican government organizations, to return the emigrants, who wish to do so, back to their home countries. In fact, this is the only bi-national program concerning the migration issue over the last few years.

2 This service is offered by the airline company A Volar

3 Polleros are immmigrant smugglers.

4 The Altar residents affirm that during the governor’s campaign at the time, they requested him not to pave the highway that joins Altar City with their neighbouring town of Sásabe, because consequently the emigrants would travel directly to Sásabe, not stopping by Altar, and the city’s economy would considerably deflate. Until now, July 2006, the highway remains intact.

5 For example, the Programa Paisano, the Beta Groups, the Programa de Repatriación Voluntaria, or the Programa de Comunidades Mexicanas en el Exterior (renamed the Instituto de Mexicanos en el Exterior).

6 “Mexico and the Migration Phenomenon,” appeared as a Mexican government article in American newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as in most Mexican newspapers, on March 12, 2006, just as the migratory debate in the U.S. was living one of its most important moments.