Mexico and the Mexican Community in the United States

Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME)

by Editors

These articles illuminate the evolving relationship between the Mexican government and the Mexican diaspora in the United States and Canada. This relationship has gone from simple consular support to full engagement organized around programs such as the IME to protect and take advantage of the countries large diaspora populations and to ensure these individuals have the most positive transition/ adaptation as possible.

The Institute of Mexicans Abroad: The Day After…After 156 Years

This academic article analyzes the Mexican government’s relationship with its organized immigrant community in the United States. Following an overview of the transnational politics model that guides their analysis, the authors turn to an account of the relations between the Mexican government and its organized immigrant community since 1848, divided into phases that often reflect the political and economic character of U.S.-Mexico relations.  The challenges to recent, more institutionalized policies and programs, such as the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) and its predecessor, the Program for Mexican Communities Abroad (PCME) are also discussed, especially in relation to American politics.

Este artículo académico analiza la relación del gobierno mexicano con la comunidad inmigrante organizada en Estados Unidos. Tras un repaso general del modelo de política transnacional en el que se basa su análisis, los autores hacen un recuento de las relaciones entre el gobierno mexicano y su comunidad migrante desde 1848, dividido en fases que a menudo reflejan el carácter político y económico de las relaciones México-Estados Unidos . También se discuten los desafíos a las políticas recientes y programas más institucionalizados, como el Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) y su predecesor, el Programa para las Comunidades Mexicanas en el Exterior (PCME), especialmente en relación con la política estadounidense.

To read the rest of the article by Gustavo Cano and Alejandro Delano from the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego, please click the following link: The Institute of Mexicans Abroad: The Day After…After 156 Years


Protection through Integration: The Mexican Government’s Efforts to Aid Migrants in the United States

This Migration Policy Institute report looks at a first of its kind effort by an immigrant sending country to help its citizens living abroad succeed by integrating into the host country, socially and economically. The report notes that in the United States where the majority of Mexicans abroad live, integration policies have been chronically underfunded leaving the task of integration to families, churches, and community-based organizations. The Mexican government, particularly through the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), has gradually taken on the responsibility of delivering health care, educational, financial, and civic engagement services to help Mexicans in the United States succeed through integration.

Este informe del Migration Policy Institute observa el esfuerzo vanguardista de México, como país ‘exportador’ de migrantes, para ayudar a sus ciudadanos residentes en el extranjero a ser exitosos mediante una integración social y económica en el país de acogida. El informe señala que en Estados Unidos, donde la mayoría de los mexicanos en el extranjero viven, las políticas de integración han sufrido crónicamente de un financiamiento insuficiente, dejando esta tarea de integración a las familias, iglesias y organizaciones de base comunitaria. El gobierno mexicano, en particular a través del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME), ha tomado gradualmente la responsabilidad de la prestación de servicios de salud, educativos, financieros, y servicios de participación cívica para ayudar a que los mexicanos en Estados Unidos tengan éxito a través de la integración.

To read the rest of the report by Laureen Laglagaron for the Migration Policy Institute, National Center on Immigrant Integration, please click the following link: Protection through Integration: The Mexican Government’s Efforts to Aid Migrants in the United States. 


Del acercamiento a la inclusión institucional: la experiencia del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior

This article places the IME within the broader policy context created by the nature of the Mexican community in the United States and the interests of the Mexican government. It begins by describing the transnational nature of the population the IME is designed to affect. These immigrants are able to simultaneously “live” in 2 countries by preserving Mexican cultural norms while adopting those of the United States. The Mexican government has tried to create links with this population to help improve their lives in the United States and to take advantage of the immigrant’s political power to promote Mexican interests in the United States. The IME was an important institutional development in this evolving relationship by enhancing Mexico’s voice in immigrant communities while giving these communities voice within the institution.

Este artículo sitúa al IME en un contexto político más amplio delimitado por la naturaleza de la comunidad mexicana en Estados Unidos y los intereses del gobierno mexicano. Inicia con la descripción de la naturaleza transnacional de la población a la que el IME está diseñado para influir. Estos migrantes son capaces de vivir simultáneamente en 2 países, preservando normas y costumbres culturales mexicanas, al mismo tiempo que adoptan las de Estados Unidos. El gobierno mexicano ha tratado de crear vínculos con esta población para ayudar a mejorar su nivel de vida en Estados Unidos y para aprovechar el poder político de los migrantes para promover los intereses de México en Estados Unidos. El IME fue un importante desarrollo institucional en esta relación en constante evolución, intensificando la voz de México en las comunidades de migrantes al tiempo que le dió a éstas una voz dentro de la institución.

To read the rest of the article by Carlos González Gutiérrez, please click the following link: El acercamiento a la inclusión institucional: la experiencia del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior


The Case of the Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CC-IME) 

This article uses the Advisory Council of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (CC-IME) as a case study to understand better the effects of intersecting geographies on transnational peoples. The authors conclude that the transnational experience which forces individuals to deal with conflicting norms and traditions can be a positive, constructive one. In the case of the Mexican diaspora in the United States, they argue that the ultimate goal of the CC-IME’s is to “construct” this immigrant population rather than to “divide and destroy” it.

Este artículo utiliza al Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CC-IME) como caso de estudio para comprender mejor los efectos de la intersección de geografías de los pueblos transnacionales. Los autores concluyen que la experiencia transnacional que obliga a las personas a lidiar con normas y tradiciones en conflicto puede ser positiva y constructiva. En el caso de la diáspora mexicana en Estados Unidos, sostienen que el objetivo final de la CC-IME es “construir” una población inmigrante en lugar de “dividir y destruirla”.

To read the rest of the article by Jane Bayes and Laura Gonzalez for Politics and Policy, please click the following link: The Case of the Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CC-IME)


The U.S.-Mexico Network’s Imagining 2024 project is designed to provide readers a quick overview of key issues in US-Mexico relations – the background of the issue, its current state, where we ought to be by 2024, and how to get there.


Each short essay is coupled with suggested background readings for those interested in a more detailed understanding of the issue at hand.  And as an electronic publication, both the essays and their associated resource pages are updated as needed to keep the information and analysis fresh.

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Latest News: The Mexican Diaspora

by Editors
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