Protection through Integration: The Mexican Government's Efforts to Aid Migrants in the United States
With immigrant integration largely an afterthought in US immigration policy discussions and the country's integration policies chronically underfunded and limited in scope, this responsibility has historically fallen on families, churches, employers, community-based organizations, and even state and local governments. However, new partners are beginning to emerge.
Mexico's efforts to help its migrants succeed in the United States offer a new example of an immigrant-sending country looking to improve its emigrants' lives and connect with its diaspora. The Mexican government’s Institute of Mexicans Abroad (Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, or IME) delivers an array of civic, health, education, and financial services to its migrants. Services provided by IME include: low-cost distance-learning instruction to Mexican immigrant adults; workshops on financial literacy that encourage the use of formal banking institutions to build credit histories in the United States; establishing medical stations located within consular offices; and creating a unique model of binational civic engagement through a migrant-elected, migrant-led council that focuses on the Mexican government's policies on Mexicans abroad and develops leadership within diaspora communities.
The report examines the evolution of Mexico's approach to its migrants and details the activities of ME in a first-ever attempt to map the expanding range of its educational, health care, financial, and civic engagement programs. This outreach is significant as some 95 percent of Mexican migrants live in the United States, and are especially vulnerable in this economy as they are concentrated in industries that are struggling through the recession — including construction, manufacturing, leisure, and hospitality.
A. Demographic Profile of Mexican Immigrants in the United States
B. The Role and Function of Mexican Consular Officials in the United States
C. The Mexican Government and Its Emigrants: A Brief History
D. The Institute for Mexicans Abroad
III. IME Programs: Building the Social and Human Capital of Mexican Migrants in the U.S.
A. Supporting Leadership from Within the Mexican Migrant Community
B. Improving Education for Migrant Children and Adults
C. Providing Health Care for Its Migrants
D. Promoting Formal Banking & Improving the Financial Literacy of Its Migrants