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United States and Mexico

United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

Emma Aguila
Alisher R. Akhmedjonov
Ricardo Basurto-Davila
Krishna B. Kumar
Sarah Kups
Howard J. Shatz
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 2
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 234
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  • Book Info
    United States and Mexico
    Book Description:

    This binational reference for U.S. and Mexican policymakers presents the interrelated issues of Mexican immigration to the United States and Mexico's economic and social development. Differences in economic growth, wages, and the employment situation between two countries are critical determinants of immigration, and migration of labor out of Mexico, in addition to economic and social policies, affects Mexico's development.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7458-4
    Subjects: Law, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxv-xxxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxvii-xlii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    U.S.-Mexican relations tumbled from optimism in the 1990s, spurred by the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to a turning away in the years immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, starting in the second half of the 2000s, there has been renewed interest in the importance of U.S.-Mexican relations on both sides of the border. Public attention has been stimulated by cover stories in national media regarding the construction of a border fence, authorized by the U.S. Congress through the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-367), to alleviate the influx of illegal immigrants, also...

  10. PART ONE Migration from Mexico: A Critical American Issue
    (pp. 7-8)

    Natives of Mexico account for the largest number of U.S. immigrants since the 1980s (1960–2000 U.S. Census, accessed via Ruggles et al., 2010). Although immigration has been a continuing topic of discussion in both countries since the early 1900s, its specific aspects—such as the size of migration flows, characteristics of migrants, immigration’s causes, consequences, and subsequent policies—have evolved considerably over time. In the United States, the topic of immigration has been a major focus of public debate for many years, before being overtaken by the economic crisis that started in 2007. Although there has been some attempt...

  11. PART TWO Progress and Challenges: Mexico’s Economic and Social Policy
    (pp. 53-54)

    In this second part of this monograph, we examine Mexico’s progress and challenges on the economic and social fronts. Although the repercussions of the U.S. recession that started in 2007 and the global crisis that commenced in 2008 are clearly of great interest to both countries, we focus our analysis predominantly on the years preceding the recession and global crisis in order to concentrate on the secular trends we have witnessed during the past two decades.

    Although Mexico’s economic performance was relatively stable before the 2007 U.S. recession, it continues to be classified as a middleincome country. Its performance has...

  12. PART THREE The Past and Present of U.S.-Mexican Relations

    • CHAPTER TWELVE Immigration Policies and Proposals During the 2000s
      (pp. 135-142)

      After the terrorist attacks of September 2001 changed the bilateral agenda on migration, negotiations between Mexico and the United States on migration policy effectively stalled. In February 2006, the Mexican Congress—both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies—unanimously passed a resolution titled “Mexico and the Migration Phenomenon” (Embassy of Mexico, 2006), which presented general principles and recommendations to guide future migration policies; one of the most-important points made in this document is the public acknowledgment thatthe migration phenomenon is a shared responsibility of both Mexico and the United States, so both countries, not only the United States, must...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN U.S. Public Opinion on Immigration and the North American Free Trade Agreement
      (pp. 143-148)

      Public opinion is a vital, dynamic force in supporting progress for international policies, institutions, and organizations, making it important to assess foreign policy issues from a public opinion perspective. In this chapter, we examine the attitudes that the American public has toward the political and economic effects of U.S.-Mexican relations following the passage of NAFTA.

      Recent public opinion polls suggest that most Americans hold generally positive views regarding immigration. According to a Gallup poll conducted in June 2008, 64 percent of Americans think that immigration is good for the United States. This number is a slight increase from the 60...

    • CHAPTER FOURTEEN Conclusions and Policy Recommendations
      (pp. 149-152)

      Recent policy developments and public opinion present the underlying complexity of the present and future conditions of U.S.-Mexican relations. Immigration reform is actively debated in the U.S. Congress, but all initiatives since the IRCA passed have failed to pass. NAFTA has increased trade and investment between the two countries, but the issue of whether Mexican trucks should be given free access to the United States was solved only in 2011, more than ten years after such access was meant to be implemented.

      U.S. public opinion is divided on whether illegal immigrants should be deported or granted legal status. Although most...

  13. PART FOUR Conclusion

    • CHAPTER FIFTEEN Conclusion
      (pp. 153-160)

      The findings and observations discussed in this monograph demonstrate that Mexican migration to the United States and the economic and social conditions and policies in Mexico must be reconsidered in a binational framework. Expanding cooperation on important issues concerning trade, immigration, security, and business investment has the potential to advance the prosperity and security of both countries. U.S. opinion polls suggest that U.S. citizens have varying and frequently negative attitudes toward Mexico and toward U.S.-Mexican relations in particular. The findings in this monograph suggest ways in which the two countries can further come together, from instituting organizations that facilitate immigration...

  14. APPENDIX Political Contexts Behind Mexican Reforms
    (pp. 161-162)
  15. References
    (pp. 163-192)