The monologue on Mexico focuses on those crossing the border into the US. In fact, that’s a very narrow view of the relationship between the two countries.
According to the State Department, there are one million US citizens living in Mexico. However,
- That figure was first reported in 2014. The number has been increasing since. The US government doesn’t track residents living out of the country as long as they pay their taxes.
- One US expat realtor reports a 40% increase in home sales in one US expat enclave just in the last year.
- A commentator in The Guardian estimates the number of Americans living in Mexico as closer to two million.
- A number of the US citizens living in Mexico aren’t there legally (estimates vary from 50 to 90 percent). The Mexican government isn’t particularly good about tracking them, and doesn’t deport them. In fact, Mexico abolished a mandatory prison sentence for undocumented immigrants in 2008. Those who have not committed a crime are simply allowed to stay.
CNN reports that there are four reasons that Americans give for moving to Mexico:
- Cost of living
- Escaping the US political climate
One American comments that doctors in Mexico are more helpful and enjoyable to visit than are doctors in the US.
It’s cheap. It’s very patient-oriented. It’s like my father practiced in Illinois about 50 years ago, without all the paperwork.
Many Americans, including some in Congress, view Mexico through the prism of an out-dated stereotype. Of course, if that changes, more Americans might move there.
- Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografíca. http://www.inegi.org.mx/\
- Adam Taylor, “Mexico has its own immigration problem: American retirees,” The Washington Post, 21 November 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/11/21/mexico-has-its-own-immigration-problem-american-retirees/?utm_term=.dc11626a341f
- Leyla Santiago and Traci Tamura, “South of the border, US expats have a different take on Mexico,” CNN 24 June 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/24/americas/mexico-american-expats/index.html
- “News Report: 91.2% of All Americans Who Live in Mexico Are Living There Illegally,” Latino Rebels, 5 March 2017. http://www.latinorebels.com/2017/03/05/news-report-91-2-of-all-americans-who-live-in-mexico-are-living-there-illegally/
- The Guardian, 23 January 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/23/trump-futures-mexico-us-interlocked-wall-border Millions of Americans live in Mexico. Can we continue to coexist?”