This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mexico's New Migration Law

Mexico is largely a migration-sending nation, so it has not historically worried too much about immigration policy. If you want to become a Mexican citizen, for example, you can apply for a visa to move there (which may or may not be approved, depending upon you and your circumstances) and after five years of legal residence you can apply for citizenship. But Mexico has been facing a politically more sensitive issue--that of migrants from Central America passing through Mexico on the way to the US. And, of course, some of them wind of staying in Mexico. To cope with these circumstances, the Mexican Parliament recently passed a new Migration Law, as detailed in a new report from the Migration Policy Institute by Mexican scholars Francisco Alba and Manuel Angel Castillo. 
The law aims to develop a migration policy that respects the human rights of migrants, is comprehensive in its coverage, facilitates the international movement of people, meets the country’s labor needs, ensures equality between Mexican natives and immigrants to Mexico, recognizes the acquired rights of long-term immigrants, promotes family unity and sociocultural integration, and facilitates the return and reintegration of Mexican emigrants. 
As the authors note, it is too early to tell whether the law will really be implemented and enforced in any meaningful way, but this is an important step for Mexico, which has not passed any migration legislation of note since the 1974 General Law of Population. 

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