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According to a director for Southwest Bell Telephone, the Mexican government makes American citizens "jump through hoops" before being allowed to work on the other side of the border.
The Mexican government also keeps close tabs on American workers, checking bank accounts, taking fingerprints and requiring photographs.
The director, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, said the U.S. government should provide the same stringent rules as does its Mexican counterpart when it comes to illegal aliens attempting to work in America.
To apply for the FM 3 I needed to submit the following notarized originals -- not copies -- of my:
1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The St. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the U.S. and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth "letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized It all produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.
Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours accompanied by a Mexican attorney touring Mexican government office locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location (and we remember at least four locations) we were instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we were required to obey their laws or face the consequences. We could not protest any of the government's actions or we would be committing a felony.
We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household good that were held by US customs in Laredo, Texas. This meant we rented furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods.
There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid. We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates and under contract and compliance with Mexican law. We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an amazing process. The company arranged for the licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and the laminating machine.
We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again, and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.