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A comparison of United States and Mexican immigration policies

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posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:08 PM
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In the United States it is estimated that ten thousand illegal immigrants enter the country every day. This is a crime which is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment of up to six months for a first time offense. Repeat offenses can result in imprisonment of up to two years in addition to fines. Most of these illegal immigrants are Mexican citizens who cross the southern border. People of Mexico tend to criticize the United States stance toward illegal immigration, yet as it turns out, Mexico’s policy towards illegal immigrants is far stricter than that of the United States. In this essay I will describe the policy towards illegal immigration in both the United States and Mexico, comparing and contrasting their policies. In addition I will explain the legal method by which one can enter these two countries.

Though it is a criminal act to enter the United States illegally, this is often disregarded as millions attempt to enter the United States from Mexico every year. To keep illegal immigrants out of the country over 7 billion dollars was spent on Border Patrol in 2005. However if an illegal immigrant successfully makes it into the U.S., for the most part they are not deported. This is partially due to financial reasons. “The Center for American Progress estimates that it costs approximately $23,148 for each person in the U.S. illegally to be apprehended, detained, legally processed, and finally transported out of the country.” This equates to about 285 billion dollars over 5 years if the U.S. were to deport all illegal immigrants.

The result of not enforcing the deportation of illegal immigrants however, has resulted in large numbers of immigrants working in the country illegally. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 “prohibits an employer from knowingly hiring, recruiting, or referring illegal aliens for work in the United States, whether the individual is in the country illegally or because their immigration and residency status does not allow employment.” Yet it is estimated that 25-50% of farm labor in the United States are illegal immigrants.

Another factor to be taken into consideration is that in the United States any child born on American soil automatically becomes an American citizen. This is due to the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which states “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This includes children born to immigrants in the country illegally, although some believe this to be a misinterpretation of the amendment. A term often used to describe children born to illegal immigrants on American soil is “anchor babies” or "jackpot babies". This term is derived from the fact that when this situation occurs, the family members who are still in the country illegally are able to anchor on to the benefits the child may receive. Some of these benefits include: “public housing, free rent, food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment, Earned Income Credit” This acts as an incentive for illegal immigrants to enter the United States and have children as this will allow them to reap benefits without having to become citizens themselves.

Continued...




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:09 PM
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While the Mexican government is often a critic of the U.S. immigration policy, some believe this to be hypocritical as Mexico has a much stricter immigration policy which is more heavily enforced. Illegal immigrants in Mexico are the equivalent of felons. Around 185,000 illegal immigrants are deported from Mexico each year, most of them coming from Honduras and Guatemala. Upon being detained they experience much harsher conditions than illegal immigrants in the United States while waiting to be deported. They are held in the detention centers prior to deportation where they receive no phone calls or hot water. In addition, cases have been reported where up to 78 illegal immigrants were forced into cells designed for occupancy of only five. They were denied both food and water for over 24 hours.

The Mexican immigration law ensures that people in Mexico are in the country legally, can economically sustain themselves, and have no criminal records. In addition, their immigration law makes sure that immigration authorities have records of all foreign visitors so that they cannot violate their visa status. Anyone having false papers is imprisoned and/or fined. If a person is deported and tries to Mexico again, the result is potentially a long imprisonment. “Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)” In addition to the illegal immigrants themselves being punished, in Mexico, anyone who helps them is also subject to fines/imprisonment.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox had been urging the U.S. to grant amnesty to millions of illegal Mexican immigrants in the U.S. during his presidency yet his government had only granted amnesty to 15,000 illegal immigrants in Mexico. Also he had used the Mexican military to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Mexico from the south. Yet he remains opposed to the increase of U.S. border patrol. The Mexican Government has pressured the U.S. to ease up on its immigration policy while they continue to enforce their strict policy.

The legal method of entering both the United States and Mexico is to obtain a Visa permit. In the U.S. there are two types: immigrant and non-immigrant. Immigrant visas are for those intending to reside in the U.S. permanently, whereas non-immigrant visas are for those who will only be there temporarily. Non-immigrant visas are for things such as: “Tourist or medical treatment, business purpose, Students, Participants in exchange programs, Temporary workers, Performing artists, Professional journalists, and Government representatives”
Non-immigrant visas cost 131.00 dollars and immigrant visas cost over one thousand dollars.

The main difference between immigrants and citizens in the U.S. is the ability to hold public office and voting. “The main thing which separates legal immigrants and citizens is the ability to vote and hold public office” In the U.S. once a person becomes a citizen they are able to hold public offices even if they were not born on U.S. soil (for example Arnold Schwarzenegger). In Mexico however, even if one becomes a Mexican citizen, as long as they were not born there they will not be able to hold public offices.

Continued...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:12 PM
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In order to gain citizenship one must live in the U.S. with an immigrant visa for 5 years continuously. “You can maintain "continuous presence" in the United States and preserve your permanent resident status by not remaining outside the United States for more than one year, or by obtaining advance approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services” Upon completing this requirement one must take a written test to determine that the immigrant has basic knowledge of the English language and American history. “In order to become naturalized, immigrants must reside in the U.S. for five years. Most must demonstrate a proficiency in English and a knowledge of U.S. history and government.” Failing this test twice in a 90 day period results in not being able to apply for citizenship again for 1 year.

Mexico’s visas are very similar to those in the United States. For example Mexico also has both immigrant and non-immigrant visas (short term - FMT, and long term – FM3). The short term non-immigrant visa is for stays lasting less than six months and the long term visa is for stays lasting longer than six months. The long term non-immigrant visa is granted for one year and renewable for four more years. After this five year period, if one desires to stay in Mexico longer, it is required that they apply for a new visa. As a non-immigrant, one must obtain special permission from the Immigrations Office in order to work in Mexico

The immigrant visa (FM2) is designed for those seeking a permanent residence in Mexico. After five years with a FM2 visa one can apply to become a permanent resident.



After having lived in Mexico for 5 years with an FM2 visa you can apply for a permanent resident status (inmigrado) which entitles you to full rights and responsibilities of Mexican citizens (i.e. IMSS sickness pay and income tax payment), except for the right to vote. As an inmigrado, you also have the right to work in Mexico


As this quote states, even if one is to become a permanent resident they are unable to vote in elections. Also, as previously mentioned they will not be able to hold public offices either. These rights are reserved for natural born Mexicans.

Both the United States and Mexico have similar methods of entering their country legally as one can see. In addition both of these countries are dealing with the issue of people entering their country illegally. The Mexican policy of dealing with illegal immigrants seems to be more effective at keeping illegal immigrants out through stricter enforcement than the United States. Many industries in the United States have become reliant on illegal immigrant workers who work for less than minimum wage, proof that the policy in the U.S. regarding illegal immigrants is less effective.

Sources:
www.theamericanresistance.com...
www.usimmigrationsupport.org...
www.americanpatrol.com...
www.cis.org...
www.freerepublic.com...
articles.latimes.com...
vivirlatino.com...
www.alternet.org...
nationalhogfarmer.com...
www.associatedcontent.com...
wonkroom.thinkprogress.org...
www.humanevents.com...
www.path2usa.com...
www.mexperience.com...
en.wikipedia.org...
www.visaus.com...
www.justlanded.com...
newsbatch.com...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:34 PM
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You better watch out, discussing such a topic with actual facts and pointing out hypocrisy is usually considered hateful and when it comes to Mexican illegals, downright racist.

Just had to preempt the inevitable "you are racist" comments.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 02:22 AM
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Originally posted by NJE03
Anyone having false papers is imprisoned and/or fined. If a person is deported and tries to Mexico again, the result is potentially a long imprisonment. “Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)” In addition to the illegal immigrants themselves being punished, in Mexico, anyone who helps them is also subject to fines/imprisonment.


Mexico changed their law in 2008. No one can be imprisoned for entering Mexico illegally, only fined, regardless of repeat offense. None of the bloggers or 'journalists' in America bothered to notice though.

Source

Even with this newfound knowledge, Mexico's immigration policies are not ones to be emulated, we do not better ourselves by lowering our standards of freedom.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 02:50 AM
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reply to post by NJE03
 


Those who support illegal immigration dont give a damn aboutlaws, that much is certain considering all the threads that have been done on this subject. What they want, is Amnesty. Amnesrty for conducting a crime.
Their excuse is "well, they are already here, and we need them, they arejust looking for a better life"crap.
Hell, I am already here, my country needs me, and I myself am looking for a better life that these criminals are constantly taking away fromnot only me but from the rest of the American people. They say we dont want to do these 'certain' jobs, which is not only BS, but just an excuse for their own laziness.

Amnesty is the WORST thing that we can do. We are already stressed enough as a nation as it is. We cant afford to have people over here that dont care enough about our laws or customs in the first place.

Besides my rant, I just wanted to say good job in putting all of this together, but it still wont do for those who are determined to make these criminals citizens. They obviously dont care about the laws, so they obviously dont care about our opinions on the matter.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by links234
 


Thank you for the clarification regarding the issue of imprisonment links234. Even so, there are still fines as you state (and deportation). From my perspective this is better enforcement of immigration laws than in the United States where instead of fines, people in the country illegally are actually allowed to reap benefits usually reserved for legal citizens.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 01:13 PM
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Yes, Mexico had a pretty harsh jail term system up to 2008. In many ways the laws are still stricter there today than in the US.

But what stood out to me after reading your essay was another thing altogether?

If you shift your focus from the differences to the commonalities something springs into the face...

Neither Mexico nor America found any effective measures against the flood of immigration. It does not seem that the Mexican approach has stemmed illegal immigration - if anything, the opposite is true. Isn't it kind of ironic to make the case for harsher illegal-immigration laws by citing a state that is ovewhelmed by illegals despite its harsh policies?

Seems to me the problem lies further south than Mexico. Seems to me we as Americans have been, are, and will be part of this story and there's no way to get to the root of the problem as long as we don't acknowledge that fact.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by NichirasuKenshin
 

You make a valid point NichirasuKenshin that both countries have a problem with illegal immigration. However, in the U.S. we are becoming reliant on the labor of illegal immigrants whereas in Mexico they do not hesitate to deport illegal immigrants. As I stated in my essay, part of this is due to the cost prohibitive nature of deportation in the U.S. but another factor is our increasing reliance.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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"America is generally more civilised than Mexico shocker".

The problem is that it's so hard for a Mexican who wants to work to immigrate to the United States legally. Enforcing border controls is all very well, but you must also make it easier to take the legal route.



posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 01:18 AM
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Have you read today's news that 72 South American and Central American illegal immigrants were killed by Zetas in Mexico while trying to go North?
Only one survived.
A real tragedy. And then Mexico wants protection for Mexican illegals in the USA....



posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by NJE03
reply to post by links234
 


Thank you for the clarification regarding the issue of imprisonment links234. Even so, there are still fines as you state (and deportation). From my perspective this is better enforcement of immigration laws than in the United States where instead of fines, people in the country illegally are actually allowed to reap benefits usually reserved for legal citizens.


Our Government could care less about us. How many illegals have been deported for rapes, theft, murder etc.etc. only to return to commit the same crimes over and over again? How many of our citizens have died at the hands of an illegal simply because our laws were not upheld?

I have seen citizens denied any help whatsoever because they made 3.00 over the poverty limit, while illegals recieved cheap housing, food stamps free medical etc. AND they and their boyfriends held jobs and made over the poverty limit. Of course they lied their way through the system. Either the women didn't mention they were living with their boyfriends and had a second income, or the boyfriend or they themselves worked under the table. This makes me sick!



posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by Night Star
I have seen citizens denied any help whatsoever because they made 3.00 over the poverty limit, while illegals recieved cheap housing, food stamps free medical etc. AND they and their boyfriends held jobs and made over the poverty limit. Of course they lied their way through the system. Either the women didn't mention they were living with their boyfriends and had a second income, or the boyfriend or they themselves worked under the table. This makes me sick!

How do illegals receive the benefits of the system when they are by very definition outside of the system?

Sounds to me like your country isn't very good at this whole 'welfare' thing.



posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by LeftWingLarry
 


All they need is to have a baby on our soil and they get all kinds of things.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 07:43 AM
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Originally posted by Night Star
reply to post by LeftWingLarry
 


All they need is to have a baby on our soil and they get all kinds of things.

Which would make the child a legal citizen due to the 14th Amendment, correct?

Anyway, the USA should concentrate on making it easier to immigrate legally, so that they can concentrate on those who wish to do the nation harm.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:09 AM
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We don't need hordes of immigrants, legal and illegal anymore. Limit legal immigration to 100,000 a year and bring back national quotas.



posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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SandF! I love this thread and believe everyone should read this thread and realize the truth! Thanks again for posting this thread!




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