Title: The Mexican-American Diaspora's Impact on Mexico.
Source: Political Science Quarterly, Winter99/2000, Vol. 114 Issue 4, p661, 31p
Author(s): Shain, Yossi
Abstract: Examines the impact of diasporas on the construction and reconstruction of homeland national identity as reflected in the interaction between Mexican Americans and Mexico. Conception of emigration and diaspora in Mexico; Effect of emigrant remittances on the perception of diaspora; Relationship between Mexicans in their homeland and those in the United States.


This article examines the changing relations between home countries and their diasporic populations in the United States, using the interaction between Mexican Americans and Mexico as a case study. I focus on two major interrelated questions: First, how are homeland attitudes toward kin diasporas and homeland intervention in diasporic affairs being transformed over time and why? Second, how do these homeland/diaspora-related changes affect conceptions of national and cultural identities within the home country itself? These questions are particularly interesting in the context of the United States, where newly mobilized ethnic groups have gained importance in U.S. civic culture and politics, and where new types of complex and elaborate interaction between ethnic Americans and their ancestral homelands have developed as a result of the growth of transnationalism.[sup1]

While many scholars have focused on the repercussions of diasporic influences on American foreign policy and issues of national identity and loyalty within the United States,[sup2] there has been little recognition of the fact that the political, social, and cultural effects of diasporas are not confined to the host country. I have discussed elsewhere the critical roles played by several U.S.-based diasporas in helping to attain homeland political goals such as national self-determination and the removal of dictatorial regimes.[sup3] This article explores the equally important impact diasporas have had on home country culture and society, in particular the construction and reconstruction of homeland national identity. The relatively recent rapprochement between Mexico and its U.S.-based diaspora after years of estrangement makes Mexico an interesting case study in this regard. Mexico's new posture toward its diaspora and consequently its attempt to reimagine itself as a "global nation"[sup4] is strongly connected to three things: the evolution of diasporic conditions in the United States, including the Mexican American community's political and economic empowerment, and its dual self-perception as both an integral part of American society and a distinct ethnic diaspora; the growing economic, political, and social impact of the Mexican American diaspora on homeland affairs; and changes in U.S.-Mexico relations in the era of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The first part of this article examines the ramifications of the interplay between the homeland's changing perceptions of its diaspora and of itself, while part two elaborates on the theory in view of the Mexican experience.

The Homeland's Conception of Emigration and Diaspora

States and regimes adopt different postures toward their diasporic communities, which vary significantly according to: the national ethos of the country of origin; official and societal perception of emigration in general; reliance on the economic investments of diaspora members and emigrant remittances; the makeup of the diaspora (emigrants, refugees, or exiles) and its general attitude toward the home regime; the political role assigned by the home regime (or its opposition) to the voice of the diaspora in domestic or international affairs of the home country; citizenship laws (ius sanguinis vs ius soli) and especially the possibility of holding dual citizenship. All these factors may be in flux, changing according to the transformation of the home country's regime, interests, and national self-perception; the material and political position of the diaspora abroad; the ways the home regime feels it can exploit and mobilize the diaspora's status and organizations; and the availability of symbolic and material means that enable home states to intervene in the life of their overseas population and enforce their will abroad.

Home governments, as prime manipulators of national symbols, use nationalist rhetoric to shape and control the attitudes and behavior of relevant constituencies vis-a-vis their rule. They tend to pose a psychological as well as an actual cost on those who reject their authority and to reward those who respect their claims as legitimate. Governments also use their powers to promote and sustain the attachment of the people to the motherland and often use the national border to differentiate between "us," the insiders, and "them," the outsiders. The manipulation of loyalty boundaries often extends beyond state borders to include diaspora members who may be discredited as outsiders, or may alternatively be considered as insiders in accordance with the home government's changing view of them.[sup5]

While some states have defined national membership based on the formality of holding citizenship, other states have defined their nationality to include kindred populations outside their territorial confines--even if they never resided, intended to reside, or held citizenship status in the home country. Such states, by their own ideological definition, may be considered "diasporic entities." Germany is a classic case of this, though it is beginning to change. A law passed in 1999 allows foreign-born residents to apply for German citizenship after eight years (a shorter wait than the previous fifteen) and enables German-born children of foreign-born parents to gain citizenship if they have at least one parent who has lived in Germany for eight years. They may also maintain dual citizenship until the age of 23, when they must choose between German and their parents' original citizenship.[sup6]

Diasporic states tend to perceive national life outside the homeland as abnormal, transitory, or even theoretically impossible. Israel approximates the prototype of such a case. It calls itself a Jewish state. By including every Jew, irrespective of his or her place of residence or citizenship, as a part of its national community, the state of Israel was unable to define nationality solely in territorial terms or to create a new nationality detached from Jewish diasporic life. By the Law of Return (1950), which sets down the legal foundations for Jewish immigration into Israel, every Jew is automatically entitled to Israeli citizenship.

Moreover, since Zionism is based on the idea of Shlilat ha'golah (the negation of diaspora) the state of Israel has long perceived emigration from the Jewish state as a national calamity that threatens the national sovereignty of the Jewish people. The Israeli treatment of emigration "has been saturated with profound emotional and ideological weight, which is given symbolic expression by the accepted use of the term yeridah (descent), rather than the universal and neutral word 'emigration.'"[sup7] In 1976, the late Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin used the expression "the fallout of the weaklings" to describe Israeli contempt for emigrants. By the following decade, however, as individualism and materialism dissipated the strong sense of social solidarity that had characterized Israeli society in its earlier years, public and official perceptions of emigration and diasporic life in general began to change. As Israel evolved into a more pluralistic society, and with the decline of the hegemonic ideology of the state's early years, more Israelis began considering emigration as an action of "normal" free choice and less and less as an act of treason.[sup8] Ephraim Ya'ar, an Israeli sociologist, has written that, in view of the phenomenal economic success of Israelis in the United States, Israel "must seek to preserve and strengthen the network of connection between the emigres and Israeli society, both because the emigres of today might be the immigrants of tomorrow and because they might be able to help the State of Israel, just as the American Jewish community traditionally has helped. ... More advantage will be gained by encouraging their link to Israel than by making life difficult for them and calling them names."[sup9]

A recent proposal to extend voting rights to Israeli emigrants would, if implemented, reinforce this trend of widening the transnational scope of electoral campaigns, with the votes of citizens living overseas potentially rivaling diasporic financial contributions as a factor in Israeli elections. Changing perceptions of emigration may result in different postures toward mobilizing or ignoring a diaspora, a policy that in turn impacts on the home-country perception of itself and its internal politics. Israel is a good example of the flexibility of membership and loyalty in countries with a history of entrenched ideological opposition to emigration. Many other countries with kin diasporas in the United States have also reversed their positions vis-a-vis their expatriates, because of the changing circumstances of the transnational world, economic and political expedience, or dramatic shifts in domestic society. Such changes in the concept of membership tend to manifest themselves in legal changes to citizenship status and political rights such as voting.

Citizenship and Consular Involvement Abroad

A growing number of states regard the acquisition of American citizenship in purely practical terms. They recognize that immigrants are simply trying to improve their economic and professional prospects, and they therefore accept such behavior with few qualms over issues of loyalty. This is a significant departure from a more traditional viewpoint still found in many countries where the acquisition of nationality through naturalization is considered to be an indication of shifting allegiances "imposing on the individual the obligation to refrain not only from acts directed specifically against his country of adoption, but also from such acts as prove his firm attachment and loyalty toward his country of origin."[sup10]

Some countries that consider their diaspora populations in the United States to be integral parts of their own nations may treat diaspora members as regular citizens, regardless of their residential or citizenship status abroad. From the home country's point of view--even if only rhetorically--such members of their diaspora are only waiting to return home. Ideological, political, and economic factors may be intertwined in the decision of how to approach the diaspora. Such decisions may vary dramatically over time according to conditions inside the homeland and the international standing of the home government, primarily vis-a-vis the United States.

The fact that home regimes tend to manipulate citizenship as a carrot-and-stick mechanism means that naturalization and denaturalization are not always final acts: "all patriots are potential traitors" and vice versa.[sup11] Changes in regime are particularly critical to the approach of homelands toward their kindred communities abroad. A diasporic community consisting of refugees and exiles may at one point be considered enemies of a dictatorial home regime and as a result suffer from "blackmail, surveillance, threats and other intimidations abroad."[sup12] This has happened to Iranians, Chileans, Filipinos, and Koreans in the United States. Over time, however, the same diaspora may come to be considered by a new regime as the key population for domestic transformation. On several occasions, emigrants and political emigres residing in the United States who were attacked by home country agents later became important players in the campaign to dislodge dictatorial home regimes and establish democracies.[sup13]

The Cuban diaspora, which for the most part has undergone a transition from exiles to immigrants, is now perceived as a major source of financial impetus toward democratization in the homeland. In January 1999, President Bill Clinton, with the backing of many Cuban-Americans and even hardline Republican Senator Jesse Helms, modified anti-Cuba legislation in an effort to strengthen and use Cuban civil society to undermine the Castro government. The initiatives increased the number of Americans permitted to send money to Cubans, expanded cultural and sport exchanges, and allowed the sale of food and agricultural products to nongovernmental organizations in Cuba. The Cuban government, very much aware of Washington's intentions, referred to the measures as "a subversive and counterrevolutionary ploy, a tool for bribery to buy people's consciences.'" Nevertheless, Fidel Castro's regime permitted some of these measures over which Cuba had some control to take effect, anxious for the infusion of cash they would bring into the island's economy.[sup14]

While some countries consider emigration a national tragedy, others may promote it to ease domestic economic pressures or as a means of building economic outposts abroad in the hope of enjoying the flow of remittances back home. For example, the South Korean government has sponsored programs for professional emigrants seeking to build businesses abroad, with the expectation of direct financial benefits to Korea.[sup15] Once South Korean communities emerged in the United States, the South Korean government treated them as a "supervised colony" and used its consulates in New York and Los Angeles to monitor and control their activities in order to further Korea's economic and political goals. "The immigrants responded positively, partly out of nationalism and partly out of economic interests, with the result that their principal organizations became subordinate to home government agencies."[sup16] One scholar of Korean Americans has written that "it is no exaggeration to say that the Korean Consulate General is the informal government of New York's Korean community and that the consul general is its mayor."[sup17]

The formal and informal control of the diasporic community by the South Korean state contributed to the diaspora's failure to build overseas institutions and create authentic leadership in the United States. This failure prevented an effective South Korean community response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots and necessitated the financial and political intervention of the South Korean government to deal with the aftermath. Although local Koreans appreciated this assistance, they recognized the limits of this kind of help, as well as its potential negative effects on their efforts to integrate into American society. While demonstrating the strength of Korean power over its diaspora, the riots also led to diasporic reevaluation of ties with the home country. No doubt, a bear hug may provide emotional and practical protection to a diaspora, yet subordination to a distant government may also generate hostility, antagonism, and charges of foreign loyalties.[sup18]

The Economic Dimension

The size of a diasporic community and the affluence of its members may transform U.S.-based diasporas into a major force in the economics and politics of their countries of origin. The Greek-American diaspora, for example, has had a great impact on the evolution of the Greek state.[sup19] More recently, newly democratized countries in Eastern Europe have looked to their U.S.-based diasporas as an important source of economic investment and as important players in mediating and improving relations between the United States and the homeland. Remittances sent by U.S.-based diasporas are in some cases the most important factor in a home country's economy.

Diaspora investment and remittances are particularly strong forces in changing the home country perception of its diaspora. Diasporic funds have been used to promote struggles for self-determination and state and/or nation building in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the Indian subcontinent. They were crucial in the establishment of the state of Israel and are currently playing an important role in an emerging Palestinian state. In some Central American countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, remittances and financial investments by kincommunities resident in the United States have been among the most important factors in shaping the conduct of many aspects of day-to-day life--including the character of political organizations and state institutions. In China, the financial flows from expatriate residents abroad, which in recent decades have generated much of the volume of foreign investment, have brought about significant changes in the perception of the national status of Chinese diasporic communities both inside China and in their countries of domicile--especially in southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In Israel, where in the past diasporic money was a major influence on the general economy, today partisan flows to political and cultural factions have a substantial impact on the conduct of the public debate and perceptions of national identity. Conversely, some home countries are investing directly in kin-communities abroad to enhance sentiments of national affinity, with the purpose of creating a bridgehead for the promotion of commercial and political activities in their host countries. These examples constitute only a limited sample of a far more pervasive and complex phenomenon.

The economic power of diaspora members has also become a critical factor in running democratic political campaigns inside homelands. Political candidates of many countries finance their domestic activities from diasporic sources--for example by channeling funds to so-called voluntary associations that endorse political parties or oppose their rivals. The heated conflict of recent years between the Israeli Left and Right has been fueled not only by ideological tensions and domestic rivalries and cleavages, but also by the vast investment and political contribution of diasporic Jews, which has significant impact on political results. One of Israel's most respected senior journalists wrote in the wake of the violent aftermath of the Jerusalem tunnel opening in 1996 (the opening was attributed by some commentators to U.S.-Orthodox pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) that Netanyahu's political reliance on the money of religious rightwing Jews abroad made diaspora sources more critical than his domestic constituency in terms of his frame of reference and his accountability. These diasporic factors were also clearly in evidence during the 1999 Israeli election campaign.[sup20]

Diasporic influence has gone to the very heart of Israeli debates over the intertwined issues of religious and national identity. An effort in the late 1980s by the Israeli ultra-Orthodox to amend that country's laws to delegitimize non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism performed outside of Israel failed in large part because of sharp and vociferous disapproval from leaders of the overwhelmingly non-Orthodox Jewish-American mainstream. Such a law would by extension challenge the legitimacy of non-Orthodox rabbis and call into question the identity of large numbers of American converts. "The outcry in America, including the overt threat to withhold contributions, was sufficiently loud that the amendment did not pass."[sup21]

The political strength of diasporic communities in the United States has also been reflected recently in the growing phenomenon of home country candidates running elaborate American political campaigns in the hopes of benefiting from diasporic economic weight, prestige, and political influence. In some cases where diasporic political clout and money may be critical in determining electoral results at home, candidates may even run on platforms empowering diaspora members politically in ways that may compromise the very sovereignty of the home state. This was demonstrated during the 1996 presidential election campaign in the Dominican Republic, where the two main contenders, Jose Francisco Pena Gomez and Leonel Fernandez Peyma, targeted the Dominican community in New York City as a critical voting bloc, even though Dominican emigrants can only vote at home. In their rush to gain the financial, organizational, and political support of the diaspora, which sends home over $1 billion a year in remittances (the Dominican Republic's largest single source of foreign exchange), the two candidates went to the extent of endorsing special legislation that would enable Dominican expatriates to vote in consulates abroad. Candidate Pena also announced that he would sponsor legislation enabling the election of congressional deputies as direct representatives of the New York-based diaspora. Larry Rother of the New York Times wrote that if the plan to allow Dominicans abroad to vote is implemented, the proposal would immediately "transform the New York City metropolitan area into the second largest concentration of votes in future Dominican presidential elections, exceeded only by the Capital."[sup22] Within weeks of taking over as president, Fernandez delivered a speech (later televised in New York) explicitly calling upon Dominicans in the United States to adopt U.S. citizenship in response to tough new federal legislation denying or severely cutting various social benefits to noncitizens: "If you, young mother, or you, elderly gentleman, or you, young student, feel the need to adopt the nationality of the United States in order to confront the vicissitudes of that society ... do not feel tormented by this. Do it with a peaceful conscience, for you will continue being Dominicans, and we will welcome you as such when you set foot on the soil of our republic." Fernandez himself had grown up in New York City.[sup23] These innovations "are signaling a dramatic reversal of both the Dominican state's neglect of migrants and the disdain of Dominican elites toward migrants."[sup24] The one restriction on dual citizens' political rights is that they cannot be elected president or vice-president.[sup25]

The complex historical relationship between Mexico and its large diaspora in the United States illustrates many of the theoretical points made above. Mexican attitudes toward conationals living in the United States have undergone several transformations since the 1840s, when the cession of half of Mexico's territory resulted in a substantial number of Mexicans suddenly becoming residents of the United States. Subsequent waves of migration increased Mexican numbers north of the border, a phenomenon alternatively regarded in Mexico with dread or optimism, or on occasion indifference. Mexico's political and economic advances and setbacks over the last 150 years have been paralleled by equally dramatic changes within Mexican-American communities and have been reflected in Mexico's position towards its diaspora, with each side displaying profound ambivalence toward the other. Over the last two decades, this relationship has continued to evolve as both sides reassess the meaning of the other group to their identity and culture, their economic status, and their political future. In light of the growing interdependence of the Mexican and American economies, which deeply affects Mexican society, the Mexican government in particular has made a concerted effort to build a new relationship with its diaspora, leading to a significant reimagination of the idea of Mexican national identity.

Mexicans in The United States

For years, scholars have given limited attention to relations between the Mexican-Americans and Mexico, and have downplayed the role of official Mexico in shaping the identity and loyalty of Mexico's U.S.-based diaspora. Many writers have stressed the disaffection of Mexican Americans with their troubled homeland or have underscored Mexico's indifference (even animosity) toward its kindred population across the border. Certainly, both official Mexico and many Mexicans have long considered Mexican Americans as deserters who have "forsaken their impoverished homeland for capitalistic U.S. comforts."[sup26]

Since the early 1980s, the growing rapprochement between Mexico and its diaspora has led to a reexamination and slight modification of the historical portrait of mutual rejection.[sup27] In the process of rediscovering the Mexico-diaspora affinity, observers have often overstated the political significance and intensity of the transborder connection and at times even romanticized the strength of the cultural bond. For example, sociologist Morris Janowitz has developed a plot-like portrait of a Mexico/Mexican-American alliance. He has depicted Mexican Americans as colonizers who are resisting acculturation inside the United States, undermining America's Anglo-Saxon heritage and plotting irredentism. According to his account, the Mexican Americans have been sent by the Mexican government into the southwestern United States as part of Mexico's long-term scheme to recover lands that were in the past part of Mexico.[sup28]

Richard Rodriguez, a more astute observer of Mexican-American relations and an advocate of Mexican-American integration into the mainstream of American society, has also overstated Mexico's attachment to its kindred population. This leading Mexican-American essayist has written that like "a true mother, Mexico would not distinguish among her children. Her protective arm extended not only to the Mexican nationals working in the United States, but to the larger number of Mexican-Americans as well. Mexico was not interested in passports; Mexico was interested in blood. No matter how far away you moved, you were still related to her."[sup29]

The portrayal of Mexico as an agent of Mexican-American separatism is by all accounts unfounded. "By the late 1980s, even the most extreme elements among Mexican Americans had abandoned [separatist rhetoric]."[sup30] Similarly, the description of Mexico as an affectionate parent extending its hand to its lost children is also quite misleading, distorting the reality of a more practical and calculating approach evident on both sides of the border. While official Mexico has always manipulated its relations with the diaspora to suit its domestic goals, Mexican diasporic elites have at various times strengthened or weakened their ties to Mexico, depending on the ways they define the needs of their own communities.

The relationship between Mexicans on either side of the border can best be characterized as ambivalent. Although the two groups share strong connections based on family ties, history, and culture, Mexico's domestic upheavals and the experiences of Mexicans in the United States have had a distancing effect, both politically and emotionally, which is not a monolithic phenomenon on the Mexican side of the border. It becomes more pronounced the further one moves away from the American border toward Mexico City.

While Mexico has usually looked down at the diasporic existence of its kindred population, it nevertheless hurried to intervene on its behalf whenever it felt that mistreatment inside the United States represented a direct assault on Mexico's national pride and culture. Likewise, people of Mexican origin in the United States have often felt stigmatized by the impoverishment of their homeland and embarrassed by Mexico's political and socioeconomic failures. Although many have sought to conceal or even erase their ancestral identity, the majority have nonetheless retained homeland affinities. The discovery that their ethnocultural heritage inhibited their integration into American society helped cultivate Mexican-American ethnic pride and reinforced home-country sympathy. Thus, many Mexican Americans have looked to their mother country for emotional and cultural solace while at the same time harboring great animosity toward the Mexican state that failed them.

From the late 1970s, under President Luis Echeverria Alvarez, and during the presidency of Miguel de la Madrid (1982-1988), Mexico began to display a growing interest in its kin diaspora, hoping to utilize the increasing empowerment of the Mexican-American community economically and politically. This new Mexican posture of rapprochement (acercamiento) intensified under President Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), who negotiated NAFTA with the United States and Canada. In the context of Mexico's attempt to extricate itself from its economic problems through growing integration with the United States, and in view of Mexico's economic reliance on huge remittances sent by workers abroad, the Mexican government sought to position itself in a way that it could reap the benefits "from improving its channels of communication with the increasingly powerful Mexican-American community."[sup31] In order to institutionalize its relations with its U.S.-based diaspora, Mexico's Foreign Affairs Ministry established the Directorate General of Mexican Communities Abroad (DGMCA) and the Program for Mexican Communities Abroad (PCME) in 1990.[sup32] In a September 1995 Program report, the authors commented that in the next decade U.S.-Mexico relations are likely to be deeply affected by the Mexican diasporic community.[sup33] One of the important roles of the PCME has been to improve the image of Mexican Americans inside Mexico, above all "burying" the image of the pocho--a derogatory term used to question the loyalty of diasporic Mexicans and ridicule their inferior culture.[sup34]

Mexican policy also led to efforts to make Mexicans in the United States (los Mexicanos "de afuera") nationals of Mexico once again, a status entitling emigres to most social, economic, and civil rights enjoyed by citizens, including the right to carry a Mexican passport, while withholding from them the formal political rights accorded to citizens.[sup35] As part of the 1995-2000 Mexican National Development Plan, President Ernesto Zedillo launched the Nacion Mexicana (Mexican Nation) initiative, "which includes a wide and complex array of (neo)nationalistic economic, cultural and political programs intended to formalize the inclusion of migrants and people of Mexican origin [abroad] into a grand Mexican transnational project," discarding "the idea that Mexican 'history, values and traditions' belong exclusively within Mexican borders."[sup36] Legal changes conferring greater rights on emigrants in accordance with this vision were passed with the consent of all parties in the Mexican Congress.[sup37]

Mexican Americans have responded to these overtures with great interest but also with suspicion. First, their deep mistrust of Mexico's political system and its corrupt bureaucracy has inhibited their relations with official Mexico. A 1989-1990 survey found that 85.1 percent of Mexican Americans saw Mexican corruption as the major cause of problems in Mexico, as opposed to U.S. policy toward Mexico, with 9.4 percent perceiving a combination of both to be responsible.[sup38] Second, while community leaders have welcomed the opportunity to have connections on both sides of the border, they have feared becoming pawns in the bilateral relations of their old and new countries. Above all, Mexican Americans are wary of any action which "might raise the specter of disloyalty, and the legitimacy of their new-found status [as pro-Mexican lobbyists] would be questioned."[sup39] To avert such a danger, Mexican-American leaders who interact with Mexico always stress their American identity. Some of them have demanded that Mexican officials take time to better understand Mexican-American culture and the diaspora's interests as citizens of the United States.[sup40]

The Formative Years and the Elusive Boundary

Mexico's conflicting relationships with Mexican Americans have been closely linked to the general state of relations between the United States and Mexico, which to some extent have been shaped by the Mexican diaspora's experience inside the United States. Mexico lost half of its national territory in the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848, and Mexicans who remained were quickly disenfranchised and dispossessed by Anglo-Americans who overwhelmed the new diaspora in numbers and marginalized the Mexicans politically and economically through tax laws and extralegal means.[sup41]

In 1877, a long period of national upheaval in Mexico was brought to an end by the rise to power of General Porfirio Diaz, a leader with strong connections to business interests in the United States. As a result of Diaz's policies, "by 1910, foreigners--mostly Americans--owned about one-seventh of the land surface of Mexico," much of it located along the U.S.-Mexican border.[sup42] Those Americans who benefited from Diaz's economic policy became strong supporters of the Mexican leader. They lobbied on his behalf in Washington and used their connections to curb anti-Diaz forces who at the time were agitating against the aging president from their exile bases in the American Southwest. American capitalists, some of whom were the most influential Los Angeles business leaders, became involved in Diaz's efforts to suppress his exiled revolutionary opponents, most notably the Flores Magon brothers.[sup43] Yet over the years, United States territory remained a staging ground for Mexican opposition activists, some of whom succeeded in capturing power in Mexico City.

Until the early 1920s, the southern U.S. border was more theoretical than real in terms of migration control. In the absence of an "authentic concept of a boundary between two nations,"[sup44] Mexicans entered and left the United States at will, without passports. The events of World War I and the general American anxiety regarding the alleged threat to America's national identity by ethnic groups with dual allegiances[sup45] sparked opposition to the influx of Mexican migrants. The fear of a potential fifth column among the large German settlement in Texas (suspected of collaboration with Mexicans) was heightened in 1917, when it was revealed that German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann had offered assistance to Mexican Chief Venustianto Carranza in a war to free Mexican territory lost to the United States in 1848.[sup46] In the wake of the Zimmermann Telegram, with northern Mexico becoming a base for raids across the border resulting in the death of American citizens, Mexicans in the United States came under suspicion and were the targets of racist violence. Peter Skerry, a student of Mexican Americans, has written that the memory of violent attacks that took thousands of Mexican lives in the Rio Grande led many Mexican Americans to conceal their origins by referring to themselves as "Latin Americans" or "Spanish-speaking Americans."[sup47]

The Great Depression and the Consolidation of Postrevolutionary Mexico

At many junctures in their relationship, both Mexico and the United States have used the Mexican Americans as pawns or even hostages in the service of their domestic and bilateral agendas. The Mexican diaspora was mobilized or abandoned periodically to fit the economic and political goals of both countries. Thus while Mexico campaigned against abuses of Mexican workers inside the United States and even helped them to receive "unemployment compensation, severance pay and death benefits,"[sup48] the Mexican government went on collaborating with the United States in encouraging the repatriation of its kindred communities when it served its needs.

American attitudes toward Mexicans in the United States were also inconsistent, a function of differing political, cultural, and economic considerations. In the late 1910s and 1920s, American anxieties about U.S. ability to assimilate new immigrants intensified. "'Americanization' efforts concentrated mainly on Southern and Eastern Europeans," while "the easy racial distinctions Americans made with regard to Chinese and Mexican immigrants often precluded them from considering these groups as capable of being assimilated."[sup49] Despite its concern over the large influx of Mexican immigrants escaping the turmoil of the Mexican revolution, America was apparently unable to give up on this cheap "flexible and temporary supply of labor."[sup50]

American-Mexican collaboration on the use of the Mexican immigrant community in the service of their respective needs became particularly pronounced after the Mexican revolution, when Mexico began to recognize potential cultural and economic benefits in the return of Mexican Americans. Mexican activist intellectuals of this era worked to establish a national identity that elevated the Mestizos as the dominant ethnic element. Mexican returnees who were "modernized" in the United States could help in this task[sup51] while becoming the basis of a Mexican middle class, a pool of people that would help modernize and transform the country and the nation.[sup52] "In this fashion, the largely rural migrants that made their way to Los Angeles became part of a larger mission of the nationalization of the 'Indian' launched by the Mexican government during the 1920s."[sup53] When Americanization programs seemed to threaten these plans--"steal[ing] away [Mexico's] most potentially productive nationals"--Mexico became eager to collaborate with the American government in repatriating its people.[sup54]

In 1920, Mexican President Alvaro Obregon ordered the consulate offices in American cities to expand relations with the community and instructed them to preserve "the cultural integrity of Mexican emigrants through the establishment of institutions to foster Mexican patriotism."[sup55] In this context the Mexican government organized Honorary Commissions made up of diasporic notables who worked in conjunction with the consulate office to foster loyalty to the motherland. The emphasis was on preserving the Spanish language of Mexico abroad by supporting Mexican schools and the publication of Spanish newspapers. The diaspora was perceived to be an important ingredient in instilling a new sense of "unifying nationalism among the diverse and often unwieldy population,"[sup56] a forerunner of Mexican efforts to relegitimize the diaspora in the 1990s.

The Great Depression contributed to Mexican repatriation efforts, as a U.S. government concerned over high unemployment asserted greater control over the country's southern border. In 1930, when President Herbert Hoover declared that Mexicans were a major source of the economic crisis--"they took jobs away from American citizens"--the gate for large-scale deportation was opened. Deportation served the interests of both Anglo-American racist sentiment and Mexico's ambitious modernization plans. In the early 1930s, one-third of Los Angeles's 150,000 Mexican residents was repatriated, among them many American citizens.[sup57]

The depopulation of the Mexican diaspora during the years of the Great Depression generated a change in Mexican-American leadership. In Los Angeles, American-born Mexican-American leaders established a strong partnership with organized labor. Their fury about Mexico's cynical manipulation of them and their indignation at America's contempt for the Mexican peasant produced a dual strategy: while struggling inside the United States to protect the community's hard-won economic gains, the diaspora leaders called on their compatriots to retain their Mexican national pride. In other words, while Mexican workers organized in the United States to demand civil rights and political empowerment, they still ventured to preserve their "Mexican soul."[sup58]

In 1929 in south Texas, middle class Mexican Americans founded The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the first ethnic organization to differentiate Mexican Americans from Mexican immigrants. Lawrence Fuchs has written that "more than any other Mexican organization, [LULAC] was typical of the immigrant-settler voluntary organizations of the 1920s, which emphasized hyphenated Americanism, combining a love and admiration for ancestral culture with commitment to American citizenship."[sup59] Although LULAC's members sought to disassociate themselves from native-country culture and citizenry, they still engaged Mexican consuls in redressing Mexican grievances with American local authorities. LULAC's connection with Mexico led to Anglo-American charges of dual loyalty and prompted U.S. government surveillance of the Mexican-American community.[sup60]

Like many other ethnic Americans, Mexicans have often found themselves entangled by the question of their allegiance. Loyalty to either side--old and new country--threatens to compromise credibility in the eyes of the other. Thus Mexicans in the United States have often found it hard to rid themselves of the stigma of their national origin. Even when they displayed their ultimate loyalty to their new country, as they did through their participation in the American army during World War II, some Americans still regarded Mexican Americans as enemy aliens. On the other hand, elements in Mexico could too easily label them as traitors. LULAC's credo of combining "Mexican in culture and social activity, but American in philosophy and politics" defined this problematic duality in Mexican-American ethnic life that would eventually come to dominate diaspora politics.[sup61]

Both the creation of LULAC, representing the integrationist middle class, and the emergence of an American-born Mexican-American leadership among the working-class population--distrustful of both American and Mexican officials--signaled the decline of the Mexican government's presence in the life of the diaspora. Mexico continued to protest abuses of its compatriots in the decades ahead. In June 1943, after months of exaggerated reports of youth delinquency, violent clashes erupted between Mexican-American youths and Anglo servicemen and soon developed into full-blown riots.[sup62] Until the late 1920s, Mexico "did not distinguish between Mexicanos and Mexican-Americans on the strict basis of citizenship."[sup63] But by the late 1930s, Mexico had already established a clear distinction between Mexican immigrant workers and American citizens. In addition, Mexico's internal political and social consolidation and the pursuit of an independent foreign policy allowed it to focus on national development without reference to Mexicans living beyond its borders. Mexico's pride in its perceived postrevolutionary conversion into a "modern nation" without having to "betray" itself, in the words of renowned Mexican author Octavio Paz, was matched by an equally strong contempt for the desolate existence of Mexicans in the United States.[sup64] Paz, who lived in Los Angeles for two years during the mid-1940s, expressed his country's new national ethos in his description of Mexican Americans as empty and culturally bereft pachucos: "[The pachuco's] whole being is sheer negative impulse. ... [He] has lost his whole inheritance: language, religion, customs, beliefs. He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements, defenseless against the stares of everyone."[sup65]

Mexican contempt for Mexican Americans was made clear in the 1940s by the popularization of the derogatory term, el pocho, used to describe those Mexicans born or raised de aca de este lado (north of the Mexican border), "whose Mexicanness was suspect."[sup66] Jorge Bustamante, Mexico's leading expert on Mexican Americans, has written that after World War II, "there was a continual decrease in contact between organizations on both sides of the border to the point where they virtually disappeared in the 50s and 60s."[sup67]

El Pocho

Earl Shorris, in his book Latinos, describes the pocho as an individual of Mexican descent, residing in the United States (usually as a full-fledged citizen), "who has traded his language and culture for the illusory blandishments of life in the U.S."[sup68] Shorris expands the definition stating that, "the pocho lives on the cultural and racial line ... utterly unprotected, [and] despised on every side: too Mexican for the Anglos and too agringado [assimilated into America] for the Mexicans."[sup69] The pocho, therefore, has a "doubly marginalized" status.[sup70] His new country has not afforded him the equal economic and political opportunity that he believed he was guaranteed; and the country he has left has disowned him, considers him a traitor, and looks down at him disparagingly as culturally inferior. As Shorris explains, "No amount of success will change the situation for the pocho on either side of the border."[sup71] The concept of the pocho extends into Mexico itself, where those living in the center (mainly Mexico City) have often stereotyped residents of the northern regions as overly Anglicized or denationalized, as evidenced by the widespread inclusion of American vocabulary in their language. For Mexican Americans proper, the stereotype was even stronger.[sup72] Rodolfo O. de la Garza, a leading scholar of Mexican Americans, has written how he was rebuffed by high Mexican officials when he requested an interview in 1971. "[He told me that] I was a traitor to Mexico and other harsh criticism about the fact that I was not really a Mexican."[sup73] Defamation and excommunication, along with a strong burden of guilt, were often the costs of leaving one's country.[sup74]

For many years, Mexicans taking American citizenship were seen quite simply as collaborators with the enemy. This accusation constituted a psychological hindrance impeding integration into American society. When Richard Rodriguez's father decided to apply for American citizenship, "he told no one, none of his friends, those men with whom he had come to this country looking for work. American citizenship would have seemed a betrayal of Mexico, a sin against memory. One afternoon, like a man with something to hide, my father slipped away. He went downtown to the Federal Building in Sacramento and disappeared into America. Now memory takes her revenge on the son."[sup75] Furthermore, in imposing penalties, Mexico sought to warn its citizens against the perils of departing their native country and forsaking their culture in search of a better life in the Unitea States. It also wished to reassure Mexicans that they were making the proper choice by remaining at home and that they would benefit from their loyalty. A Mexican may not have the material possessions of el pocho, but he is guaranteed the pride of belonging to a national community and the national-cultural coherence and peace of mind that are the rewards of faithful citizens.

Ironically, el pocho internalized the negative characterization assigned to a person and reinforced it through behavior, especially with reference to alienation from Mexico.[sup76] Thus, los pochos living along the border tend to mistreat newcomers, especially those who come without papers. This can best be explained by the fear of many Mexican Americans that their status in the United States is threatened by the presence of undocumented Mexican immigrants. They also fear that new Mexican immigrants will reinforce popular anti-Mexican stereotypes and result in lower social economic mobility for themselves.[sup77]

Revolving Relations

Mexico's fear that American politics and economics would dominate or even totally absorb their culture and government has contributed to Mexico's reluctance to interact with its brethren. This inhibition was reinforced by high economic growth, from the 1930s to the 1970s (averaging 6 percent per year) and with strengthened national self-confidence, as manifested in Mexico's identification with Third World causes and in foreign policy differences with the United States.[sup78] During this period, the diaspora itself was not politically empowered and was therefore not in a position to challenge negative Mexican assumptions about its potential usefulness. All of these elements contributed to Mexico's condescending and detached attitude toward the U.S.-based diaspora. In addition, Mexican elites wanted to avoid provoking retaliatory U.S. intervention by becoming too involved in the affairs of pochos, for whom they had little regard in any event.[sup79]

In the 1980s and 1990s, however, a turnaround has occurred in Mexico's attitudes toward its U.S.-based diaspora. In the early 1970s, the Mexican Left's support for the struggle of the Mexican-American movimiento sparked mainstream interest in the fate of Mexican Americans. This manifested itself in the form of scholarly meetings, articles, television programs, and attention to Mexican-American-related movies.[sup80] External forces, including the global trend toward economic liberalization and the growing political power and organizational sophistication of the diaspora in the United States, combined with internal Mexican factors such as economic decline, political turmoil, and increased dependence on the U.S. economy (and on remittances from Mexicans across the border in particular) to contribute to the gradual rehabilitation of the diaspora within Mexico. A potentially destabilizing aspect of this dependence on the U.S. economy is the divide that has opened up within Mexican society between those who benefit from the American connection and those who do not.[sup81]

The impact of an amended U.S. Voting Rights Act (VRA)[sup82] on Mexican-American political opportunities and social mobility became clear in the 1980s, as the number of Mexican-American voters grew significantly , resulting in a sharp increase in the number of Mexican Americans elected to local and federal positions. This phenomenon accelerated after the 1986 enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which facilitated the rapid naturalization of 2.5 million Mexicans. The IRCA represented another important turning point in Mexican-American political involvement, helping to diminish the distance previously felt between native and foreign-born Mexican Americans and leading to an increase in Mexico's attention to the Mexican-American agenda. Mexican-American leaders began to take advantage of their newfound power and have used their positions to defend community interests, resulting in a reduction in discrimination and the expansion of educational, employment, and political opportunities for Mexican Americans. Today, 150 years after half of Mexico's territory was annexed by the United States, Mexican Americans are being incorporated into mainstream American institutions like European immigrants before them.[sup83]

Mexican-American political efforts were not, however, confined within the borders of the United States. Abandoning the ambivalence and political timidity of earlier years, some Mexican-American leaders began to advocate closer political cooperation between Mexico and its U.S.-based diaspora. As early as 1978, after a meeting with Mexican President Lopez Portillo, LULAC Chairman Eduardo Morga told reporters that Mexican Americans "are all ready to help Mexico in the United States. ... We feel that in the future Mexico can use us as Israel uses American Jews, as Italy uses Italian-Americans, and so on."[sup84] Mexican Americans have also used their increased political power to work toward achieving a greater say for Mexican Americans inside Mexico. In particular, Mexican Americans who have resided in the United States for more than one generation have discovered the political and economic power of the Latino community inside the United States and its potential for doing business with Mexico.

The hope in Mexico that it could channel the voting clout and economic power of Mexican Americans to serve Mexican domestic and foreign interests was translated into action when the Salinas government made a concerted effort to systematically transform Mexico's political presence in the United States. The Mexican desire to build a continental free trade zone required greater political and economic freedom, as well as greater responsiveness to demands made by American environmental, labor, and human rights groups.[sup85]

In an effort to mobilize the diaspora and change its image at home, the Mexican government took steps to change the abusive behavior of Mexican border officials toward returning Mexicans. It issued a special brochure entitled Cartilla de paisano (brotherly document) informing diaspora members of their rights and responsibilities when interacting with hostile officials at the border.[sup86] In addition, Mexico began to try to influence its American neighbors to be more welcoming of Mexican immigrants and their culture.[sup87] Finally, those who administered the program "have undertaken the dual tasks of 'educating' ... the members of the Mexican state and elite about how to think about the Mexicans residing in the United States, and of advocating on their behalf in Mexico. Through these two tasks, the Program is attempting to teach the other part of the state and the elite surrounding it to re-imagine the Mexicans in the United States as part of the Mexican nation."[sup88]

The Mexican government has revived the role of its consulates as an important link between Mexican immigrants and the homeland, and Mexican consulates strive to reach all Mexican Americans to remind them of Mother Mexico's message, "Vete pero no me olvides" ("Go, but do not forget me"), through the promotion of educational and cultural programs as well as consular involvement in Mexican-American community affairs. For instance, Mexican consulates are responsible for the organization of Mexican immigrants into regional clubs (Comites de apoyo a compatriotas), which serve as institutional mechanisms to build the social networks necessary for massive migration. The clubs also help build bonds of mutual assistance among paisanos (brothers) in a "hostile" land and strengthen their self-imposed duty to help the communities they left behind.[sup89] The Mexican government may have an interest in its stated goal of improving the Mexican-American quality of life, but primarily it wants to improve Mexico's own political and economic power.

The 1988 Mexican Elections and Mexican-American Relations

An apparent paradox of the Mexican-American situation is that as the American government tried to integrate Mexican immigrants by assuring them of their right to participate in political processes, the empowered Mexican elites became more interested in their ancestral country, mainly as a reinforcement of their identity as ethnic Americans. What may at first glance appear to be a Mexican-American rejection of the United States is in fact an indication of the Mexican-American community's integration into American politics and culture.[sup90] One 1989-1990 poll indicated that 89.5 percent of Mexican Americans surveyed were concerned more with U.S. than with Mexican politics.[sup91] As Chicano (Mexican-American) cultural and political self-confidence grows, interest and direct activity in Mexican affairs is less inhibited by self-doubt or external accusations of disloyalty. Mexican-American elites realize that they can wear two hats without compromising their ancestral ties or their American identity, a reality that Mexico itself, in a departure from its historic inclination, has begun to recognize and now interpret as a positive development.

The new political status enjoyed by Mexican Americans was particularly evident during the 1988 Mexican presidential campaign between Carlos Salinas of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) and Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, leader of the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution). For different reasons and opposite goals, they looked to Mexican Americans in California and Texas for support, hoping that their clout would influence Mexican voter behavior. The need to get Mexican-American approval or support meant recasting Mexican domestic concerns for a U.S. audience, which in turn had important effects on the Mexican domestic agenda.

Prior to the 1988 elections, Mexico's political system was known for the virtual monopoly of the PRI over political power, regularly rigged elections, and fragmented, politically timid opposition parties with little electoral support; an ubiquitous state ruled over a mixed and underdeveloped economy. However, by 1988, a new opposition had developed into a full-fledged political party under the leadership of Cuauhtemoc Cardenas.[sup92] He advocated state intervention in the economy, vowed to defend small and medium-sized firms, demanded the immediate suspension of debt payment, and promised to rescue privatized firms that had been sold by a "treacherous regime and its party that defends foreign interests."[sup93] Accordingly, the PRD found support among groups that had traditionally organized themselves outside of the PRI's corporatist agenda and among the sectors that had borne the brunt of the 1982 economic crisis. Cardenas also spoke to the frustrations of Mexican Americans who felt disenfranchised in the United States and disregarded by Mexico. As one of his deputies explained in California, Cardenismo would allow people to recover their Mexican roots and at the same time live their reality in the United States.[sup94] The diasporic community, which until then had experienced Mexico's government as a unified entity with clear policies, was now confronted with a choice between the PRI and the PRD. The majority of those who paid attention to Mexican domestic affairs opted to support Cardenas.

Salinas's controversial victory over Cardenas, marred by widespread irregularities and accusations that the election had been stolen outright, could easily have led to a diminishment in the Mexican government's political influence in the United States. The new president, aware of this danger, adopted a new attitude toward the diaspora, attempting to redirect its energies toward the advancement of the Mexican economy and away from political issues that threatened the PRI's hegemony. The implicit bargain offered by Salinas (and accepted by many Mexican Americans) was that political reform would come, but only after sufficient progress had been made in reforming and modernizing the Mexican economy. Asking for support, Salinas stated: "They [political and economic reform] are linked, but we ought to consider the priority that economic reform has, without excluding political reform. We need to consolidate our economic reform. That demands the consensus that makes possible the decisions we have been adopting."[sup95]

Many of Salinas's efforts were directed at establishing a free trade agreement with the United States, and in 1992, Salinas undertook a major effort to court Mexican Americans and American government support, visiting major U.S. cities on a speaking tour. In addition, Mexican government officials and an array of top Washington lobbyists converged on Washington, repeatedly contacting a wide variety of politicians and congressional staff in "the most elaborate, expensive lobbying campaign ever conducted in Washington by a foreign interest."[sup96] The Mexican-American community was also the focus of Mexican lobbying. Hispanic members of Congress were targeted and "pro-NAFTA businesses and organizations ... played a key role in various states to Cardenas and the Rise of Transborder Politics," in Gil, ed., Hope and Frustration: Interviews with Leaders of Mexico's Political Opposition (Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1992), 291-97. rally support for the agreement."[sup97] However, the importance and the strength of the Mexican government's political influence on Mexican-American leaders and the general community should not be overstated. The fact that all but one Hispanic member of Congress voted for NAFTA is not directly indicative of Mexican success in enlisting Mexican-American support on behalf of Mexican political goals. Hispanic congressional votes for NAFTA were conditional on the satisfaction of certain domestic requirements, including program funding for residents of border regions largely populated by Mexican Americans. The NAFTA campaign made it clear that Mexico still had a long way to go in its efforts to reincorporate Mexican Americans into its political and economic spheres and that in many ways, Mexico needed its diaspora more than the diaspora needed its homeland.[sup98]

Cultural Transformation

Since the War of 1846-1848, Mexico has feared losing its sense of sovereignty as a result of "the imperialist tendencies of el Coloso del Norte, or the colossus to the north, Mexico's term for the United States."[sup99] Mexico is wary of the United States, but in many ways it cannot do without it. The growing cross-border interaction of capital and labor in the NAFTA era has revived Mexican fears over identity loss and the risk of bicultural fusion. Not surprisingly in this context, Mexico has begun to redefine its diaspora, a cultural and economic bridge between the two countries, not as a liability or as a sign of weak national character, but rather as evidence of Mexico's uniqueness, deep cultural roots, and strong hold over its compatriots. Mexico has tried to convince itself and the outside world that not only is Mexican-American culture not degrading to the motherland, it is to be celebrated as evidence of the strength and breadth of Mexican culture.

The notion that Mexican culture is not monolithic and can be divided into subidentities has been propagated within Mexico itself by people such as Jorge A. Bustamante, president of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. Bustamante has argued that the fact that many in Mexico's north have developed "cosmopolitan, individualistic" leanings does not make them less Mexican. His survey data show that such an identity is also prevalent among the middle class of Mexico City, where supposedly the tenacity of "Mexicaness" is greater.[sup100] The new Mexican ideology holds that by creating and maintaining a distinct ethnic identity within the United States, albeit different from Mexico's indigenous culture, Mexican Americans are preserving their national heritage and proving that Latino roots are much deeper than Anglo-American influences. When asked about the risk of cultural spillovers, Andres Rozental, one of Mexico's highest ranking Foreign Ministry officials and an architect of Mexico's new policy towards the U.S.-based diaspora, expressed his belief that there was little need to worry: "There's an inherent difference between our two cultures, and that is that the Mexican culture is more profoundly rooted than the American culture. ... You don't have these 30 centuries of history and of cultural assimilation in America."[sup101] Similar views have been expressed (albeit with different nuances) by Jorge Alberto Lozoya, who worked on Mexican-Mexican-American relations under Presidents Echevarria and Salinas.[sup102]

Mexico has begun to publicly acknowledge the value of diasporic culture and reward Mexican-American intellectuals and activists as its guardians. In 1991, Antonia Hernandez of the human rights protection group MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) was awarded one of Mexico's highest honors, the Aztec Eagle medal;[sup103] and in 1993, an Aztec Eagle medal went to Raul Yzaguirre, president of the National Council of La Raza. Yzaguirre's comments at the time clearly demonstrate the cultural duality embraced by Mexican-Americans. He supported NAFTA, "but pretty much down the lines of what President Bill Clinton wants--with protection for [American] workers and environmental concerns."[sup104] In 1995, Mexican-American poet and author Jose Antonia Burciaga was given the Premio Nacional de Patrimonio Hispanico, in recognition of his literary efforts. He also emphasized his dual identity as a Mexican-American: "I would like to stress that I always felt Mexican and always American. I was never ashamed of my Mexican identity. But I am also an American."[sup105]

The Mexican attempt to relegitimize the U.S.-based diaspora as an integral part of the Mexican nation includes important economic and political dimensions, such as economic globalization, the improvement of U.S.-Mexico relations in general, and a reconceptualizatin of membership in the Mexican nation. In this regard, Mexico legally accepted dual citizenship in early 1997, so that those who become naturalized in the United States continue to retain Mexican citizenship. Those who advocated this departure from Mexico's traditional exclusionary policy promoted it as another way to recover and sustain diasporic loyalty and attachment. Through its Program for Mexican Communities Abroad (PCME) and its other U.S.-based representatives, the Mexican Foreign Ministry seeks to convey the message to Mexicans living north of the border that acquisition of American citizenship is no longer viewed in Mexico as treasonous or as incompatible with the retention of Mexican cultural identity. On the contrary, greater Mexican participation in American society is seen to be of great value to the motherland. Consequently, Mexico's government has declared its support for American multiculturalism as an indication of the Mexican-American community's determination to preserve its culture. American citizenship is intended to empower Mexican Americans not only as individuals, but also as members of an interest group able to lobby American politicians on behalf of Mexico.[sup106]

In this context, Mexican government condemnation of the 1994 passage of California's Proposition 187, a measure intended to deny "non-emergency health care, schooling and social services to illegal immigrants," was to be expected.[sup107] California's Hispanic voters were, however, less inclined to echo the Mexican government's criticisms, with 31 percent actually voting in favor of Proposition 187. Even the figure of 69 percent opposing the measure is deceptive as an indication of majority Hispanic support for the rights of illegal immigrants, as most eligible Hispanic voters in California failed to cast ballots.[sup108] While according to recent surveys, a majority of U.S. Latinos oppose denying benefits to undocumented immigrants, their support for the continued provision of assistance is based on the expectation that it will be geared toward integrating the newcomers into American society, and not as a means of sustaining a resident "foreign" culture.[sup109] In a press interview, MALDEF's Antonia Hernandez explained this situation to Mexicans by asserting that racism was not a sufficient explanation for the harsh American reaction to illegal immigration. Consideration had to be given to the American belief in the importance of law and the close linkage between American identity and the Constitution.[sup110] Ironically, Hernandez's comment illustrates not only the historic continuity in negative Mexican-American attitudes toward newcomers from south of the border, but also the realization of official Mexico's wish that Mexican Americans assimilate the wisdom and knowledge of America and find a comfortable place within its society, and transmit that knowledge and wisdom back to the homeland.

The Pri Dynasty under Threat

The ability of Mexico to recover its diaspora while presenting itself as a modern and open society has suffered a severe setback, despite Mexico's efforts. It is the discrepancy between the reality illustrated by the common Mexican phrase "todo cambia pero nada cambia" (everything changes but nothing [really] changes) and the way Mexico imagines itself that makes rapprochement an uphill battle.[sup111]

By the mid-1990s, the PRI's credibility had been seriously undermined by several spectacular events. First, in early 1994, Zapatistas in the southern state of Chiapas launched a military and political campaign for native rights and economic redistribution, and against government corruption and human rights abuses. They gained considerable support among the economically marginalized in other regions of the country and won international sympathy.[sup112] Second, the 1994 assassination of PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio, allegedly at the behest of rivals within the PRI, and the postelection disgrace of former President Salinas, now living in Ireland, underlined the extent of corruption within the PRI.[sup113] Third, the collapse of the peso and the subsequent controversial American bailout also dampened Mexican-American enthusiasm and reinforced the image of Mexico as a failure.[sup114] Despite their disappointment, however, Mexican Americans actively encouraged American support for the peso, an effort recognized and appreciated by the Mexican government. Mexican Consul General Luis Ortiz Monasterio in Miami was lavish in his praise for Mexican Americans' loyalty to the motherland and contributions to its well-being: "At this time of difficulties, I render tribute to the Mexico of the diaspora, to the migrants in the United States, to the unredeemed believer, the faithful who under the counter provide our lean finances with 3 billion dollars every year, almost the size of our current reserves in the central bank."[sup115]

In his book La Frontera de Cristal (The Crystal Border), the famous Mexican author Carlos Fuentes describes a dialogue between Mexico and its diaspora across the border:

Mexico asks: "Why did I raise you, nurture you, celebrate you [and] bless you with my sacrifice--so that one day you could come and ask me, why aren't you like your brother, our uncle [the US]? Why did you have to be so poor and disgraced?" Then Mexico follows: "Do not become part of the enemy." But the pocho smiles and answers: "But the other side is worse. Mexico is the place of the enemy. On the Mexican side, there is more injustice, more corruption, more deceit, more poverty. You should thank us for being gringos."[sup116]

For Mexican Americans, whose rapprochement with the motherland had been based on promises of Mexican domestic reform, the dramatic events described above called these ties with the motherland into question. Recent survey data presented by Rodolfo O. de la Garza and Louis DeSipio show that Mexican Americans perceive Mexico as a state beset by major problems, lagging far behind on issues such as democracy, human rights, corruption, drugs, and environmental protection. These data suggest that Mexico's condition further strengthens the "Americaness" of the Mexican Americans; and whatever attachment they may have to their "Mexicaness" is linked to their desire to fully integrate into American society rather than remain a transitional ethnic community caught between two worlds, belonging fully to neither. This has been the case with Mexican Americans' attitude toward immigration, NAFTA, and bilingualism. In the last case, Mexican Americans favor the provision of bilingual services only to the extent that they speed and assist newcomers' integration into American society and not as a means of creating a permanent cultural divide.[sup117]

Many Mexican Americans were particularly upset by the Mexican government's military response to the Zapatista movement, and demonstrations took place at various Mexican consulates in the United States.[sup118] Mexico's efforts to protect Mexican Americans from American mistreatment had the unintended consequence of placing the spotlight on Mexico's own misdeeds toward its own citizens. In response to another outrage--the Mexican police's firing on peasants attending a commemoration of the death of Emiliano Zapata--one protest leader commented: "If the government is going to demand justice for Mexicans in another country, it has to begin by protecting the rights of its own people at home."[sup119] Moreover, although the PRI promised substantive political reform during the 1994 election campaign, progress has been slow under Ernesto Zedillo's leadership. The documented involvement of top Mexican officials with major drug traffickers (which has led to the labeling of Mexico as a "narcodemocracy"),[sup120] the perpetuation of human rights abuses by the government, and severe economic mismanagement have all cast a shadow on Mexican political and economic reform efforts.

Mexican Americans have reacted with disappointment and suspicion about the motherland's future prospects. However, Mexico's failures of the last several years have opened up opportunities for internal political change, which at least one author believes may result in "The Next Mexican Revolution" and an end to the PRI's presidential dynasty.[sup121] The recent emergence as serious competitors for state and national power of various PAN (Party for National Action) and PRD politicians committed to wide-ranging democratic and economic reform holds out the possibility of fundamental political change,[sup122] a trend confirmed by the momentous results of the July 1997 midterm elections in Mexico. For the first time in over seventy years, the PRI lost its majority in the lower house of Congress, with both PAN and the PRD making large gains; and the PRD's Cardenas won the Mexico City mayorality by a landslide. These defeats were the "biggest blow yet to a party [PRI] whose autocratic ways and elaborate network of corruption is an outright embarrassment to Mexicans who like to think of themselves as part of the advanced world."[sup123] Loss of control in the lower house likely means that the PRI will have to compromise on a variety of economic and political issues with one or both of the major opposition parties, a new experience for the PRI leadership.[sup124] Both Cardenas and Guanajuato PAN Governor Vicente Fox have indicated that they will stand as candidates for president in 2000.[sup125] The inroads made by these two parties traditionally viewed by central Mexico as suspect in terms of their "Mexicaness" because of their electoral success in the north, demonstrates the new openness of the Mexican public to changes in national identity.[sup126] The victory of a presidential candidate dedicated to new policies may help lead to a synthesis of the two types of reform encouraged or even demanded by Mexicans living north of the American border--economic and political--and help build Mexican-American faith in Mexico's future.


U.S.-based ethnic diasporas have long been involved in the domestic affairs of their countries of origin or symbolic homelands. Their involvement has been encouraged by elements in home countries for a variety of reasons--political, financial, and cultural. The growing empowerment of ethnicity in the United States and the improved connection of ethnic groups to their ancestral homelands through modern transportation and communication have rendered some diasporas truly transnational. Nativist charges of disloyalty to America no longer have the capacity to inhibit significantly diaspora contacts with home countries, while at the same time, diasporas are less susceptible to charges of desertion by elements in their homelands. To a large extent, their identity is multiple, "invented," or negotiated through changing contexts such as U.S. ethnoracial relations, U.S. relations with the home country, and the homeland's changing definition of itself.

In recent years, with the intensification of the debate over the so-called perils of multiculturalism, the impact of transnationalism and especially ties to the homeland have been perceived by many in the United States as a source of Balkanization. The fear of American disunity has been particularly pronounced in the case of Mexican Americans, the fastest growing diaspora, whose homeland is in America's backyard. Yet very few have recognized that the homeland connection has in fact generated a tendency opposite to the expected one, which works very much in favor of American unity. Many newly empowered diasporas are exhibiting in their ethnic assertiveness their growing Americanization rather than separatist aspirations, which has often been more evident to observers in the homeland than in the United States. Consequently, if elements in countries dependent on diasporic voices inside the United States wish to mobilize their diasporas, they must heed their diasporas' Americaness, including their allegiance to "American values" such as democracy and human rights; they must incorporate diasporic perspectives in a redefinition of the homeland. To a large extent, U.S. diasporas have emerged as the true marketers of the American creed abroad.[sup127] For some countries like Haiti and the Dominican republic, their respective U.S.-based diasporas have such a large economic and political role that they have become major factors in the redefinition of the national ethos. In Mexico, even though the diasporic impact has thus far been less pronounced, the government's decision in late 1996 to legalize dual citizenship will likely further the trend toward increasing diasporic influence on its national identity.

Almost fifty years ago, Octavio Paz's The Labyrinth of Solitude depicted a Mexico on the road to recovery, a newly modern postrevolutionary state with strong national pride and a bright vision of the future. The pachucos, in contrast, had sacrificed their identity for illusory economic gains north of the border, becoming like the yordim of Israel's earlier years, the despised "weaklings," who had given up on the national dream. Fifty years later, Paz's hopeful picture has not materialized. On the other side of the Rio Grande, however, people of Mexican origin have emerged as an important community with distinctive cultural characteristics and growing economic and political power. This discrepancy and the trend towards globalization have contributed to a crisis in Mexican national identity, which Mexico is trying to resolve through a redefinition of what it means to be "Mexican."[sup128]

In the current situation, where large numbers of Mexicans north of the border are recent arrivals who have yet to experience the economic comforts of American life, the newcomers' attachment to Mexico can be reinforced relatively easily through the range of contacts and services provided by the Mexican government. However, large segments of the U.S.-based diaspora have successfully integrated into American society, charting their own future and creating their own identity. Mexico may continue its attempts to reintegrate this community into Mexican national life in some form by building on its concept of a global nation, but these efforts will be limited by the fact that the Mexican Americans have a strong sense of themselves as Americans, and their ethnicity is part of the American ethos. At present, the Americanized diaspora exercises greater cultural and economic influence on Mexico than Mexico does on Mexican Americans, meaning that the homeland's national identity is affected more by its diaspora than the other way around.

Mexican nationalists have great difficulty accepting the notion of cultural fusion with their hated enemy to the north. Yet many intellectuals recognize the inevitability of the Mexican-American-Mexicano acercamiento. They remind themselves that Mexico and its diaspora are bound together by family, cultural, historical, and economic links. Their continued strong impact on one another is a given, but their different environments dictate the continued development of unique and separate identities. Some intellectuals have advocated that the cultural exchange be conducted between the motherland and its diaspora in the spirit of openness to identity transformation in both Mexico and the United States. In this context, relations between the two communities across the border are often presented as an indication of the growing integration of North and South America.[sup129]

The new approach toward the diaspora is often presented in Mexico as criticism of Paz's pachuco characterization. Yet one must remember that even Paz was aware that national character is not immutable and that changes are effected by external circumstances as much as by internal development, if not more so.[sup130]

[sup1] See Yossi Shain, "Ethnic Diasporas and U.S. Foreign Policy," Political Science Quarterly 109 (Winter 1994-95): 811-41. A different version of this essay appeared in Shain, Marketing the American Creed Abroad: Diasporas in the U.S. and Their Homelands (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Greatly increased interest in this subject has been expressed through the publication of several new works, including Luis Eduardo Guarnizo and Michael Peter Smith, eds., Transnationalism from Below (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1998); and Nancy Foner, "What's New About Transnationalism? New York Immigrants Today and at the Turn of the Century," Diaspora 6 (Winter 1997): 355-75.

[sup2] See Alexander DeConde, Ethnicity, Race and American Foreign Policy (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992).

[sup3] See, for example, Shain, "Ethnic Diasporas."

[sup4] See Robert Smith, "De-Territorialized Nation Building: Transnational Migrants and the Re-Imagination of Political Community by Sending States" (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, 2-5 September 1993).

[sup5] See Yossi Shain, The Frontier of Loyalty: Political Exiles in the Age of the Nation-State (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989).

[sup6] Roger Cohen, "Germany Ends Old View of Nationality," International Herald-Tribune, 22-23 May 1999.

[sup7] Ephraim Ya'ar, "Emigration as a Normal Phenomenon," New Outlook, January 1988, 14.

[sup8] Yael Har Even, Hayeridah Keba'aya Hevratit (Hebrew) (MA Thesis, Tel-Aviv University, Department of Sociology, 1989).

[sup9] Ya'ar, "Emigration as a Normal Phenomenon," 17.

[sup10] N. Bar Yaacov, Dual Nationality (London: Stevens & Sons, 1961), 145.

[sup11] Morton Grodzin, The Loyal and the Disloyal: Social Boundaries of Patriotism and Treason (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), 213.

[sup12] See Jack I. Garvey, "Repression of Political Empire--The Underground to International Law: A Proposal for Remedy," Yale Law Journal 90 (1980): 79.

[sup13] Shain, Frontier of Loyalty, 145-62.

[sup14] Lucia Newman, "The Posturing and Potential of Latest U.S. Changes on Cuba," 15 January 1999, http://cnn.com/SPECIALS/views/y/1999/01/newman.cuba.jan15. CNN website (cnn.com).

[sup15] Myron Weiner, The Global Migration Crisis: Challenges to State and to Human Rights (New York: Harper Collins, 1995), 37.

[sup16] Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut, Immigrant America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 110.

[sup17] Cited in ibid., 111.

[sup18] See Nancy Abelmann and John Lie, Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995), 10-35, 184-91.

[sup19] See Alexander Kitroeff, "Continuity and Change in Contemporary Greek Historiography" in Martin Bilinkhorn and Thanos Veremis, eds., Modern Greece: Nationalism and Nationality (Athens: Sage-Eliamep, 1990), 170-71.

[sup20] "Beshem Adonav" [In the Name of His Masters], Ha'aretz, 27 September 1996.

[sup21] Arthur Hertzberg, "Israel and the Diaspora: A Relationship Reexamined," Israel Affairs 2 (Spring/Summer 1996): 177-78.

[sup22] Larry Rothman, New York Times, 29 June 1996.

[sup23] New York Times, 12 October 1996.

[sup24] Luis Eduardo Guarnizo, "The Rise of Transnational Social Formations: Mexican and Dominican State Responses to Transnational Migration," Political Power and Social Theory 12 (1998): 69.

[sup25] Ibid., 74.

[sup26] Dianna Solis, "U.S. Hispanics Flex Political Muscles As Mexico Lobbies for Nafta Support," Wall Street Journal, 3 March 1993, 10.

[sup27] At this time, many studies were produced analyzing the relations of Mexico's border regions with the United States. For a sample work on this subject, see Jorge A. Bustamante, "Frontera Mexico-Estados Unidos; reflexiones para un marco teorico" in J.M. Valuenzela, ed., Decadencia y Auge de las Identidades (Tijuana: E1 Colegio de la Frontera Norte, 1992), 91-118.

[sup28] Morris Janowitz, The Reconstruction of Patriotism: Education for Civic Consciousness (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), 128-138.

[sup29] Richard Rodriguez, Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (New York: Viking, 1992), 57.

[sup30] Peter Skerry, Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority (New York: Free Press, 1993), 43.

[sup31] Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, "The Mexican Diaspora in California: Limits and Possibilities for the Mexican Government" in A. Lowenthal and K. Burgess, eds., The California Mexican Connection (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 230.

[sup32] Ibid., 231.

[sup33] See SRE, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, "Program Para Las Comunidades Mexicanas En El Externjero," September 1995, Mexico.

[sup34] Rodolfo O. de la Garza, "Mexico, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in U.S.-Mexican Relations" (Paper published by the Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1989), 8.

[sup35] Guarnizo, "The Rise of Transnational Social Formations," 72.

[sup36] Ibid., 71-72.

[sup37] Ibid., 72.

[sup38] Rodolfo O. de la Garza et al., Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), 104.

[sup39] Rodolfo O. de la Garza, "Mexican-Americans and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Future of Mexican-American-Mexican Relations," Western Political Quarterly 33 (December 1980): 579.

[sup40] As Antonia Hernandez, human rights group, MALDEF, president stated: "[The Salinas administration] have come a long way to understand first that we are Americans first, of Mexican descent-that we care about democracy and that at times we're very critical of the lack of political openness there [in Mexico]. A relationship as complex as this one is going to have to develop over time. But they are beginning to see that it might be in their self-interest to better understand us." Cited in Tim Golden, "Mexico Is Trying Hard to Lift Its Profile in the U.S.," New York Times, 30 December 1991.

[sup41] Lawrence H. Fuchs, The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity and the Civic Culture (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1990), 110-11.

[sup42] Hall and Coerver, Revolution on the Border, 12.

[sup43] Ibid., 12; also see Takai, A Different Mirror, 313.

[sup44] Cited in ibid., 8.

[sup45] See Randolph Bourne, "Trans-National America," Atlantic Monthly, July 1916, 86-97.

[sup46] Hall and Coerver, Revolution on the Border, 26, 138.

[sup47] Skerry, Mexican Americans, 22.

[sup48] See Fuchs, The American Kaleidoscope, 141.

[sup49] See Noah M. Jedidiah Pickus," 'True Faith and Allegiance': Immigration and the Politics of Citizenship" (Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, November 1995), 86.

[sup50] Calavita, "U.S. Immigration and Policy Responses," 63.

[sup51] See Jorge Hernandez-Diaz, "National Identity and Indigenous Ethnicity in Mexico," Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 21 (1994): 72-73.

[sup52] A latter-day parallel of the Mexican government's endeavors in this regard can be found in recent Irish government efforts to repatriate skilled and successful emigrants from overseas in order to maintain and further Ireland's recent record of rapid growth and modernization. As one member of the Irish Senate commented in March 1997, these returnees "bring back the message that they went abroad and found that the Irish could be competitive." Warren Hoge, "Opportunity Knocks in Ireland, Calling Its Flock Back Home," International Herald-Tribune, 24 March 1997.

[sup53] George J. Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Mexican-American Los Angeles, 1900-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 120.

[sup54] Ibid., 123.

[sup55] Ibid., 113.

[sup56] Ibid., 114.

[sup57] Ibid., 213.

[sup58] de la Garza and Vargas, "The Mexican-Origin Population of the United States as a Political Force in the Borderlands," 91.

[sup59] Fuchs, The American Kaleidoscope, 145. Also see Cynthia E. Orozco, "The Origins of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement in Texas with an Analysis of Women's Political Participation in a Gendered Context, 1910-1929" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1992).

[sup60] See Jose Angel Gutierrez, "The Mexican-American in Mexico -Norte Americano Foreign Relations" in Mindiola and Martinez, eds., Mexican-American-Mexicano Relations, 22.

[sup61] Cited in Sanchez, Becoming Mexican American, 254.

[sup62] Ibid., 124, 267.

[sup63] Gutierrez, "The Mexican-American in Mexico--Norte Americano Foreign Relations," 47.

[sup64] Even at this time, President Lazaro Cardenas understood that stronger economic ties across the border did not necessarily conflict with Mexican nationalist objectives. In an effort to protect Mexico's northern border from perceived American expansionist tendencies, Cardenas encouraged the establishment of a duty-free zone for new Mexican settlers from further south. Jorge A. Bustamante, "Mexico-United States Border: A Line Made Up of Paradoxes" (Unpublished paper, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, 1993), 16.

[sup65] Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude (New York: Grove Press, 1950), 14-15.

[sup66] See Arturo Madrid-Barela, "Pochos: The Different Americans, An Interpretive Essay, Part I," Aztlan 7 (Spring 1976): 52.

[sup67] Jorge A. Bustamante, "Mexican-American-Mexicano Relations: From Practice to Theory" in Mindiola and Martinez, eds., Mexican-American-Mexicano Relations, 9.

[sup68] Earl Shorris, Latinos (New York: W.W. Norton, 1992), 169.

[sup69] Ibid., 170. See also Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory (Boston: Godine Publishing, 1982).

[sup70] See Denise Dresser, "Exporting Conflict: Transboundary Consequences of Mexican Politics" in Lowenthal and Burgess, eds., The California Mexican Connection, 98.

[sup71] Shorris, Latinos, 170.

[sup72] Bustamante, "Mexico-United States Border," 7.

[sup73] de la Garza, "Mexican-Americans and U.S. Foreign Policy," 573, n.8.

[sup74] Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), 96.

[sup75] Rodriguez, Days of Obligation, 50.

[sup76] Arturo Madrid-Barela articulates the internalization of the pocho stereotype in "Pochos, the Different Mexicans," 52: "We either had never or no longer lived the Mexican national experience, had never or no longer shared in the cultural goals of Mexican society. And as our hermanos mexicanos came north to swell the numbers of the mexicanos de aca de este lado, to become Mexican-Americans, they too came to share in our disgrace."

[sup77] Shorris, Latinos, 171. For an excellent discussion on this subject, see also Aida Hurtado and Carlos H. Arce, "Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Mexican Americans, or Pochos ... Que somos? The Impact of Language and Nativity on Ethnic Labelling," Aztlan 17 (Spring 1986): 103-30.

[sup78] Jorge G. Castaneda, "From Mexico Looking Out," in Robert A. Pastor and Jorge G. Castaneda, eds., The United States and Mexico (New York: Knopf, 1988), 58.

[sup79] Armando Gutierrez, "The Mexican-American Elite in Mexican-American-Mexican Relations" in Mindiola and Martinez, eds., Mexican-American-Mexicano Relations, 50-51.

[sup80] See David R. Miciel and Angelica Casillas, "Aztlan en Mexico: Perspectivas Mexicanas sobre el Mexican-American," Aztlan 11 (1980): 133-35.

[sup81] Castaneda, "Mexico's Circle of Misery," 95.

[sup82] A major impetus for change in Mexico was the 1975 amendment of the VRA, enacted in 1965 to ensure that minorities, especially blacks, were no longer denied their right to participate in the electoral process. The 1975 amendments extended the Act's coverage to 375 new jurisdictions and "to four 'language minorities,' including Hispanics, who were granted the right to east ballots printed in their native language." (See Christian Joppke, "Multiculturalism and Immigration: A Comparison of the United States, Germany and Great Britain," Theory and Society 25 (August 1996): 458. The new VRA also improved minority representation in government, mandating "ethnic majority, 'single member electoral districts' that virtually guaranteed ethnic office-holding." (Ibid.). These changes were based on the assumption that individuals vote along racial and ethnic lines, and that racial and ethnic groups share common problems and interests. See de la Garza, "The Effects of Primordial Claims, Immigration and the Voting Rights Act on Mexican Sociopolitical Incorporation" (Paper delivered at the 1994 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, 6-7).

[sup83] Ibid., 8-23.

[sup84] Cited in DeConde, Ethnicity, Race and American Foreign Policy, 160.

[sup85] New York Times, 30 December 1991; 2 January 1992; 4 October 1992.

[sup86] Martin Torres, "Con los mexicanos de alla," Examen 5 (January 1994). See de la Garza, "Mexico, Mexicans, and Mexican-Americans in U.S.-Mexican Relations," 8-9.

[sup87] Mark Fineman, "Mexico Strives to Hold On to Its Past," Los Angeles Times, 27 September 1994.

[sup88] Smith, "De-Territorialized Nation Building," 7.

[sup89] See Gutierrez, "The Mexican Diaspora in California," 226-30.

[sup90] de la Garza et al., "Will the Real Americans Please Stand Up: Anglo and Mexican American Support of Core American Political Values" American Journal of Political Science 40 (1996): 346-51.

[sup91] de la Garza et al., Latino Voices, 1992, 103.

[sup92] Ibid.

[sup93] Ibid., 85. See also Carlos B. Gil, "Cuauhtemoc

[sup94] Dresser, "Exporting Conflict," 98.

[sup95] Cited in ibid., 89.

[sup96] See "The Trading Game: Inside Lobbying for the American Free Trade Agreement" (Center for Public Integrity, Washington, DC, 1993), 17, 26.

[sup97] Ibid., 19, 22, 32.

[sup98] Rodolfo O. de la Garza, "The Domestic and Foreign Policy Consequences of the Program For Mexicans Living in Foreign Countries" (Draft paper, quoted with permission of the author).

[sup99] Silvana Paternostro, "Mexico as a Narco-democracy," World Policy Journal 12 (Spring 1995): 46.

[sup100] Bustamente, "Mexico-United States Border," 16-17.

[sup101] Cited in Fineman, "Mexico Strives to Hold on to Its Past."

[sup102] Jorge Alberto Lozoya, interview with author, 16 June 1997.

[sup103] Examen, Ano 5, No. 52, September 1993.

[sup104] Cited in Diana Solis, "U.S. Hispanics Flex Political Muscles As Mexico Lobbies for Nafta Support," Wall Street Journal, 3 March 1993.

[sup105] La Jornada, 20 October 1995.

[sup106] See Mario Moya Palencia, "La Doble Nacionalidad," Voz de Mexico (31 October 1995).

[sup107] Economist, 12 November 1994, 60, also 51.

[sup108] Time, 21 November 1994, 53.

[sup109] For survey data on this and other matters related to Mexican-American attitudes toward Mexico, see Rodolfo O. de la Garza and Louis DeSipio, "Interests not Passions: Mexican American Attitudes Toward Mexico and Issues Shaping U.S.-Mexico Relations" (Unpublished paper, 1997). The author thanks Rodolfo O. de la Garza for supplying this information during revision of this paper.

[sup110] Examen, Ano 5, No. 52, September 1993.

[sup111] Economist, 19 March 1994, 56.

[sup112] Economist, 19 February 1994, 45.

[sup113] Andrew Reding, "The Next Mexican Revolution," World Policy Journal (Fall 1996): 69.

[sup114] Author's interview with Andres Rozental, 26 May 1995.

[sup115] Cited in La Palarno: Organo de Difusion del Programa para los Communidades Mexicanas en el Extranjero, February 1995, 3. Reproduced from La Jornada, 28 January 1995.

[sup116] Carlos Fuentes, La Frontera de Cristal (Mexico D.F.: Alfaguara, 1995), 115.

[sup117] de la Garza and DeSipio, "Interests not Passions."

[sup118] Los Angeles Times, 21 February 1994.

[sup119] Cited in de la Garza and DeSipio, "Interests not Passions."

[sup120] Paternostro, "Mexico as a Narco-democracy."

[sup121] Reding, "The Mexican Revolution," 61.

[sup122] Ibid.

[sup123] Andrew Phillips, "Change in the Wind: Mexico's Ruling Party Faces a Strong Challenge," Maclean's, 7 July 1997, 35.

[sup124] Alfredo Corchado and Laurence Iliff, "Mexico's Ruling Party Suffers Worst Loss Ever," Dallas Morning News, 8 July 1997. This was the first occasion under PRI rule that the mayor was elected, rather than appointed.

[sup125] Ibid.

[sup126] Bustamante, "Mexico-United States Border," 18-22.

[sup127] I first advanced this argument in "Marketing the American Creed Abroad: U.S. Diasporas in the Era of Multiculturalism," Diaspora 4 (Spring 1994).

[sup128] On the impact of globalization on Mexico's "new nationalism," see Miriam C. Alfie, "El proceso de globalizacion y los nuevos nacionalismos: la herencia del fin de la guerra fria," Sociologica 8 (January-April 1993): 237-54. Other articles in this issue also deal with the redefinition and the changing perceptions of "Mexicanness" in the context of globalization.

[sup129] Enrique R. Lamadrid. "Ariel y Caliban: el reencuentro desdoblado de Mexican-Americans y mexicanos," Cuardenos Americanos -Nueva Epoca 10 (January-February 1996): 108.

[sup130] Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude, 9.

[sup*] I wish to acknowledge the assistance of Shlomo Berman, Alberto Spektorowski, and Christine Dulongue. I am truly indebted to Ambassador Jorge Alberto Lozoya for the critical information and reading he provided and for the assistance given by Rodolfo O. de la Garza and Jorge A. Bustamante. My greatest thanks go to Barry Bristman, who helped through critical reading, editing, and provision of information.


By Yossi Shain

YOSSI SHAIN, who teaches at Tel Aviv University, is currently the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Visiting Professor of Government at Georgetown University. His most recent book is Marketing the American Creed Abroad: Diasporas in the U.S. and Their Homelands (1999).

Copyright of Political Science Quarterly is the property of Academy of Political Science and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
Source: Political Science Quarterly, Winter99/2000, Vol. 114 Issue 4, p661, 31p.
Item Number: 2987521