Friday, January 29, 2010

Mexico and its emigrants

The Migration Policy Institute published a study on Mexico's efforts to extend the services it offers to its migrants in the United States: "Protection Through Integration: The Mexican Government's Efforts to Aid Migrants in the United States."  It focuses on the Institute of Mexican Abroad (IME), which offers a host of different programs.

Grounded in the belief that a better integrated immigrant benefits the individual migrant, the sending country, and the receiving country, IME’s integration work represents one of the most significant, if overlooked, factors in US immigrant integration policy. Although small in scale, Mexico’s promising activities in the field of integration have the potential to ease their migrants’ transition to life in the United States. In addition to benefiting from programs that help to improve Mexican immigrants’ educational attainment, civic engagement, and financial literacy, the United States stands to gain from integration initiatives that fill gaps in the social welfare system caused by funding shortfalls, lack of experience with migrant populations, eligibility
requirements, or neglect.

Many scholars have argued that large-scale migration, but especially emigration, weakens states because it represents a loss of control.  I have an article forthcoming in International Migration challenging that view, and arguing that programs precisely like those described above demonstrate a renewed (or entirely new) state presence and relevance.


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