Skip to main content

tv   Wilson Center on U.S.- Mexico Migration  CSPAN  November 13, 2018 10:57am-1:23pm EST

10:57 am
wolf from the endangered species list. they will they will swear in two members who were elected to fill vacant house seats. at 3:00 p.m. a return for coast guard programs and a nomination for the federal reserve board. see the house live on spann and watch the senate live on c-span 2. sunday on q&a, california democratic congresswoman jackie speier talks about her book >> undaunted. >> i was on an airstrip in the remote youngles of guyana having concluded a delegation tour with then congressman ryan and we were ambushed on that airstrip and shot. congressman ryan was shot 45 times and died on that airstrip. there were members of the press that died. one defector of the people's termle died.
10:58 am
i was shot five times. a bone jutting out of my right arm, a wound in my leg the size of a football. and it was, oh my god, i'm 28 years old. this is it. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. up next, we go to the wilson center in washington for a look at migration flows between the u.s. and mexico. following a brief introduction, we will hear from mexico's ambassador to the u.s. and then several panels on the topic. this is about two and a half hours. good morning from the wilson center in washington, d.c. i would like to welcome all of you here in attendance as well as those participating by i'm c-span. i'm robert li dfa lk, the wilson center's senior vice president. today's event, mexican
10:59 am
migra those those from great wave to gentle stream could not be more i would like to thank topical. i would like to thank the immigration immigration policy institute for co-hosting this eslept. i want to thank everyone for coming out on this soggy day in washington, d.c. it is not lost on us that we are holding this event on midterm election day. but i think having this event on this day in some ways feels appropriate given that the topic of immigration and migration has been at the forefront of america's midterm elections. the flows of migration from mexico have reflected, have reduced from a great wave to a smaller stream. mexican migration to the u.s. is currently at net zero with more mexicans leaving than coming to the u.s. yet many americans have an outdated perception of what a mexican immigra mexican migrant looks like
11:00 am
today. there are there are too few stories in the national conversation about who is coming to the u.s. from mexico, how they bring meaning. contributions and what happens to their relationship with the u.s. if they choose or are forced to return. this event, which is sponsored by -- mexico institute headed by duncan wood as well as by the migration policy institute aims to present information regarding the flows of mexicans to and from the united states as well as to explore the diversity and contributions of a population that has always been deeply a part of the united states. so thank you again for coming. i would like to present our distinguished opening speaker, the honorable ambassador gutierrez, who is a friend of the wilson center. it's a pleasure to william him he he served as mexico's ambassador since 2017, previously served as managing director of the north american development bank,
11:01 am
headquartersed in san antonio, texas, where his professional activity was focused on infrastructure, development and finance along the u.s.-mexican he he served in prominent positions in the areas of trade, finance, diplomacy, national security under four presidents. he has an extraordinary breadth of experience in his career. mr. ambassador, the floor [ applause ] yours. [ applause ] >> >> thank you very much for that very kind introduction. good morning to all of you. allow me first to thank the woodrow wilson's mexico institute and the migration policy institute for organizing this seminar and for inviting me to be a part of it. these two ininstitutions have consistently made very valuable contributions to our shared understanding of the migration phenomenon between mexico and the united states and its implications. more
11:02 am
more importantly, both countries will always benefit from having a more thoughtful, open, and fact-based exchange of ideas about this topic. the seminar comes at a very fitting time. it provides a good opportunity to discuss the changes in migration patterns from mexico to the united states and the diversity of more recent mexican migrants into this country, and also the dynamics and challenges that take place upon their return to mexico. all of these are very relevant topics to the ongoing corporation agenda that mexico and the united states have and must continue to do so with respect to immigration. as i have said before, mexico and the united states have a clear shared interest in working together to make sure that migration is safe, it's orderly,
11:03 am
and it's legal. in my view, the present status quo is clearly and simply unacceptable for everybody. and until we achieve this objective, there will continue toesta huge gap in the expectations and i dare say the hopes that the governments and the people on both sides of the border have about the overall bilateral relationship. let me say this a little bit more bluntly. the status quo affects the tone, the substance, and the perspectives of the overall bilateral relationship. during this morning's first panel we'll hear about the changes in migration patterns. the panelists, i am sure, will give you a far more nuanced view of these changes than i can.
11:04 am
however, let me just highlight what in my view is the single most important change. the sheer reduction in the number of mexicans that migrate to the united states. several studies and surveys, as well as the united states government's own estimates, point to this fact. mexican irregular migration into the united states quite clearly picked precisely at the turn of the century and since then it has been pretty much in decline. today, unfortunately, it is often overlooked that the year 2000 registered 1.6 million apprehensions of mexican nationals by the border patrol in our shared border. 1.6 million. last year, 2017, that figure was
11:05 am
130,000. this this number naturally invite the question of what has happened, what explains the change from a great wave to a gentle stream, to borrow the seminar's title. with respect to migration, as in other complex phenomena, i have learned throughout the years that one must look for multi-factor explanations. without a doubt, increased enforcement by the united states migration authorities is relevant and will continue to be so. but but also, and i think more importantly, mexicans have found better opportunities in mexico during the last 20 years. but these numbers, and at risk of sounding naive, this reduction i believe is also important because it makes more
11:06 am
likely that mexico and the united states could eventually find some form of agreed framework to manage whatever migration and whatever mobility takes place between them. to put things in perspective, when the so-called whole enchilada was being negotiated, or at least discussed 18 years ago, irregular migration from mexicans into the united states was an intractable problem. and i do believe that it's no longer the case. during the second panel, we'll learn about the face of recent mexican migration into the united states. how mexican migration is becoming more diverse. using andrew sealy's term in his book about the forces driving
11:07 am
mexico and the united states together, there is a tsunami of mexican talent coming legally and enriching the united states as well as mexico. from farm workers to engineers, restaurant owners to computer coders, mexican immigrants reflect more and more the diversity and richness of the mexican labor force. as this seminar program rightly points out. let's see these as an opportunity. as as ambassador, recent research suggests we have a skills gap that negatively affect our competitiveness and our economic performance, understanding our as that of the north american region. with with the economy growing as it is, reports already show labor shortages in the u.s. in sectors
11:08 am
such as construction, accommodation, and food services and health care and social assistance, among other. s /* bring the demographics into the mix. the united states is precisely at the point where baby boomers are reaching retirement. the median age of the u.s. is 38 ye ranked ranked around 62 in the world. the mexican median age is 28, ranked about 133 in the world. so, yes, let's make it legal by all means. let's make it safe. let's make it orderly. and let me add let's make it smart by jointly thinking about workforce development for the future. the the last panel will review the challenges and opportunities that return migration percents.
11:09 am
whether voluntarily or involuntarily, a significant number of mexican nationals return every year from the united states. it is important to understand why people return, what programs can be put together to make reintegration better, and how to take advantage of the skills and capital that migrants have acquired. as as a global migration group points out, return migrants are potential drivers of development for their countries of origin if successfully reintegrated into the local society and into the labor market. let me conclude by saying, as i mentioned, this seminar comes at a fitting time. you are all aware ever tof the debate going on about migration between mexico, central america, and the united states.
11:10 am
clearly, there are no easy policy responses to regional migration trends that we're experiencing. that's that's as never before. in my view, we are facing nothing short of a serious humanitarian situation. and it can only be addressed comprehensively and definitely if, a, we continue to talk among the governments of the region and we continue to have cooperation in spite of the dusty tease and the differences. b, if we continue to address development in those countries that are less fortunate and and to be clear, aid from abroad to these countries would only be as useful as those countries are willing to help themselves. and, c, there needs to be enforcement of immigration laws throughout the region and we
11:11 am
must do so humanely and respectful of human rights. but it is only through the combination of those three elements, in my view, that we can address the present regional migration patterns that we are i facing. i want to thank you again for the invitation to join you this morning early. i again thank the migration policy institute and the mexican institute for all, for educating our debate and our exchange of ideas about bilateral relationship overall. it has been, as i mentioned, a consistent and valuable contribution that i have certainly learned to appreciate throughout many years. so i thank you. i wish that you have a very productive seminar. and if it's appropriate, i will be happy to take a few questions if there are. if not, i'll be happy to have my coffee. thank you very much. thank you very much. [ applause ] [ applause ]
11:12 am
>> >> thanks again for being here. i'm rachel schmidke. i'll be introducing the first moderating moderating is julia gellet. she is a senior policy analyst at migration policy institute. she works with the u.s. immigration policy program and her work focuses on legal immigration, demographic trends and u.s. immigration policy. mark hugo lopez, the director of migration at pew research he leads he leads planning of the center's research agenda on international demographic trends, international migration,
11:13 am
u.s. immigration trends and the u.s. latino community. and adiel soto. he the policy analyst at migration policy institute. his research focuses on the impact of u.s. immigration policies on immigrants' experiences of socioeconomic integration across various geographical and political c thank thank y with with that we'll start. >> good morning, everybody. again, good morning. thank you for being here in this what has been a wet start to our kay day. this is a topic that is something that we continue to hopefully engage in. this panel is meant to try to provide a background about what's really the trends and what's changing so we can have an informed discussion let's begin let's begin by -- actually, as
11:14 am
rachel mentioned, i'll be focusing on immigrants in the united states. so let's start by looking into the numbers first. we know that the united states is by far the largest destination for mexican im but but the mexican migration to the united states is undergoing significant change. after four decades of strong growth, the population in the united states has hit a turning point in 2010. overall numbers of immigrants in the country increased between 10 and 2017, the number of mexicans first flatten out and then start to slow down into decline in 201 between between 2016 and 2017, the mexican-american population shrunk by 300,000 from 11.6 million to 11.3 million. what you can see on this chart is that not only the recent trends that i mentioned, but you can go back to 1980 when the mexican population was at the
11:15 am
lowest point at 2.2 million. that increased to 4.3 in 1990, 9.2 in 2000, and then as i mentioned, slowly flattened out until it became to fall to 11.3, which is where we currently st i will i will come back to, at the conclusion, what we will m it's it's important to know that for a long time migration from mexico to the united states has been drivenly low skilled unauthorized workers seeking economic opportunity. in recent years migration patterns have changed due to some factors as the ambassador just mentioned. it include improving mexican economy, stepped up u.s. immigration enforcement and the long-term drop in mexico's birth more mexican rates. more mexican immigran imhavmigre apprehensions returned. apprehensions at the mexico border are at a 40-year low.
11:16 am
in the second slide you can see that even though the numbers have decreased for mexican migration, mexicans are the largest immigrant group in the united states. mexicans comprise 25% of the immigrant population into 2017. this is compared to 29% in 2010. you can also see that for the countries of the triangle, el salvador, guatemala and honduras, 3% for el salvador, guatemala at 2%, honduras 1%. the key is the change has occurred for the mainly for other countries, including countries like china and india who have now increasingly taken shares of the u.s. immigration and again and again this is 25% of the 44.5 million immigrants as 2007 for mexico. where mexicans are residing in the u.s. we know that they have here in
11:17 am
the united states a very long time, which means that they are predominantly located in traditional receiving states. we can think of california, texas, and illinois. in the 2006 period, most immigrants lived in california. 37%. 22% in 22% in texas. and and 6% in illinois. the top five largest metropolitan areas for mexican immigrants are los angeles, which is 1.7 of the total representing 13% of los angeles chicago, population. chicago, which is 650,000 representing 7% of the total houston population. houston at 622,000. dallas at 613,000. the riverside metropolitan area representing 562,000 mexicans. combined, these five metropolitan areas make up about 36% or 37% of the total population of members kixicans united states. more than a third are all
11:18 am
there are there are other regions that maybe not traditionally imgrant receiving states, but for example you have washington state, oregon also in florida and now more recently in the south, with georgia and alabama and other places, losing also louisiana. also an increase in mexican populations. so so let's talk about or at least for now put the total demographic profile, what is similar and different among mexican immigrants compared to other immigrants in the united stat the the first is that mexicans are more likely to be male than others. 48% of 48% of mexican immigrants are female compared to 52% of all immigrants in the united states. mexicans tend to be younger than all immigrants, 43% -- 43 is the median age for mexicans, 45 for all immigrants. also in terms of what we term
11:19 am
limited english proficiency, which is the ability for immigrants who speak english better than well, mexicans are about 63%, 69% of them are identified as limited english proficient compared to 48% of the total population. we can also see that mexicans are 86% of mexicans are within the working age range, which we here call 18 to 64 compared to 79%. this this is key to the next point, which is labor participation from mexicans is 69%. that is compared to 66% of all immigrants. so so mexicans are more likely to be in the labor force. and it is compared to 62% of the native born population. so both mexicans and all immigrants have higher rates of labor force participation. households in mexican immigrants are about four people compared to three in total. the median income for mexicans is $45,000 compared to $56,000,
11:20 am
and the percent of mexicans or mexican families living in poverty is 21% compared to 14% for all immigrants. uninsured rate in terms of health care, 37% of mexican immigrants lack insurance compared to 20% of all immigrants. now, now, i think we've known for a long time that mexicans are an integral part of the labor force in the united states. one thing that we don't always suggest or talk about is what type of work they do. as you can see from this graph, about 29% of mexicans work in service occupations, 26% work in construction and other service occupations, and about 21% work in transportation and material now, another thing that i want to highlight in this graphic specifically is th occupations. now, another thing that i want to highlight in this graphic specifically is the difference between 32% of all immigrants and 12% of mexicans who work in
11:21 am
what we call professional service occupations. now, again, these numbers show that mexicans are not necessarily in this occupation. what they show in this slide is that there is substantial number of mexicans working in this population, in this sector. mexican population, the mexican immigrants are the second largest group after india in working in certain professional service occupations. again, this is something that the ambassador referred to earlier in his remarks. and the reason why this matters is because mexicans are now, even though their education has been lower in the past, are now beginning to catch up with the other countries. what this slide shows is on the left, it shows you the purple bars that talk about all on immigrants. on the right it shows you the mexican immigrant population. within each group i make a specific designation about looking into those mexican immigrants who have been here in the united states in total, but specifically looking at those
11:22 am
who have come in we call recent migrants entering the united states in the last five years. you can see a trend on both all immigrants and mexican immigrants that shows that more of the recent migrants are having more college education than before. you can see in 2005 mexican population in total was 5% had a college degree or more. that was 7% for those who had come in the last five years. you see that the number of mexican education stayed the same in 2010. it increased for those newer flows with 10% and in 201614% of those people who have come in the last five years, which would be 2012 forward, had a college degree or more. this is compared to 47% by all immigrants in the united states. but what these numbers don't show is the increase from 10% to 14% is a higher percent increase
11:23 am
from 38% to 47% in the all immigrant category much these are key to note because one of the key ideas is that the mexican migration is only decreasing in terms, but it's becoming more educated and it is something that i'm sure we will bring up in later conversations. quickly to the other point of this is, something we have known for a while now, is that the mexican population is quite settled in the united states. about 89% of mexican immigrants have been in the united states at least since 2009. again, that's 89% of mexican immigrants in the united states have been in the u.s. since the 2009. the population of mexicans that has come since then is only 11% compared to 21% for the other groups. you can see that there. you can see that there. now, another key piece now, another key piece i'm sure we have received more attention in the media currently is the
11:24 am
idea of how many mexican immigrants are undocumented or unauthorized in the united sta this this is important to note as the ambassador was noting. in 2007, 6.9 million mexicans were here illegally. this is now a difference of 5.9 million in 2016. again that's 6.9 in 2007 compared to 5.9 in 2016. the makeup is important to note. not all, in fact only the majority of mexican immigrants in the united states are legally present. 23% of 23% of them are naturalized. 32% of them are lawfully permanent residents in the united states or have another legal background. this is an idea that not all mexican immigrants here are unlawfully or illegally. only 45% are here in that status. now, now, another thing that may not be surprising but it's important
11:25 am
to know here is that most mexicans who obtain green cards do so through family reunification channels. in 2017, 80% of the 171,000 mexicans who became lawful permanent residents did so either through their immediate relatives or other family members in the u.s., and much higher share than the 66% of new lprs from all other countries. mexican immigrants were much less likely to gain green cards via employment pathways to the overall population of 12%. the last thing in my presentation is this, another big component of the current that's affecting the mexican immigrants is daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals. from this graph we see two-thirds of mexican immigrants who are eligible for daca have applied and received it.
11:26 am
67% of mexicans who are eligible have received it. this is different or compared to 64% of el salvadorans, 59% of hon durans, 57% of brazilians, so forth and so on. the daca program is predominantly or utilized by mexican immigrants. mexicans represent 80% of the 700,000 daca holders in the united states. again that's 80% of the 700,000 daca holders are from mexico. no other country of origin makes up more than 4%. it's 80% mexican. volumes of research have well documented the positive impact that has on these immigrants lives, increasing well being, providing access to employment, access to financial stability, access to better and more high skilled jobs, increased in income, improved college access, specifically for women migrants who are many mexican of course.
11:27 am
so i will leave that conversation there. i think we will be able to go back to some of the questions you may have. but that's it for now. [ applause ] >> thank you. those data give a good base for our conversation moving forward and present an interesting profile in new and surprising in some ways trends. mexican population. mark is next going to give us some context for the trends by showing us some interesting new survey data of mexicans in the united states and in mexico, their perceptions of life in the united states, opportunities, and how that shapes their thinking about migration. >> thank you. would you like me to do it from up there? is it okay if i go up there? >> if you want to. >> great. good morning, everybody. so at the pew research center we have been doing a lot of surveys, both in mexico and in
11:28 am
the united states, of mexican adults, of course, in mexico, and also of u.s. latinos in the united states, which of course mexicans and mix kin immigrants make up a large share. some of the findings of our recent work from 2018. this is praent recent data. i want to give you a sense of what do mexicans think of the united states and particularly about life in the united states and their intent to migrate. i also want to show you what do mexican immigrants in the u.s. think about life in the united states and would they do it again if they could? what do they think about opportunities for their kids? what about just opportunity have have we seen a change in their opinions about the u.s. in recent years? let's get started. mexico first. this is a chart that shows you over time the views that mexicans have had of the u.s. this is a share, the green line is a share that have a favorable view of the united states. and you can see when president
11:29 am
trump became president the share of mexican adults who said they had a favorable view of the u.s. dropped from two-thirds in the last year of obama to, in 2017, 30%, and we're still at around the same number for 2018. so this is a pattern that we've seen happen around the world. you should know that mexico is not unique in this perspective. but you could also see that mexicans have little confidence in the u.s. president. and that particularly with regards to donald trump, just 6% of mexican adults in 2018 unchanged from 2017, they say that they have confidence in president trump. now, obama's years are interesting because you can see there was some variability in both of these measures during the obama years, and president trump is the only president who has had a low level of confidence among mexicans. during bush, there was a low level of confidence. these numbers change and move
11:30 am
around. they they oftentimes reflect various events happening in the u.s. the decline, for example, around 2010 was around the time that arizona had introduced sb 1070. so if you look at the data from 2010, you will notice, for example, that before arizona did this, there was a much more positive view of the united states, and then we were in field when this happened. after the view of the u.s. was substantially lower as a result. so some interesting findings about just what mexicans think about the u.s. of course, we have been asking mexicans about whether or not life is better for those who have moved to the u.s. there, or whether there is really not much difference or whether life is worse for those who have moved you you can see that people, in answer to the question people who moved to the u.s. have a better life. that share has risen in the last year or so. now, this is only through 2017. we don't have 2018 numbers yet available.
11:31 am
but but even so, there is a growing share of mexicans who see life as better for those who have left mexico for the u.s. now, this is in contrast to the decline we saw for a few years, in the last few years of the obama administration. this number has moved around you should you should note that the share that say things are worse is down to 10% in 2017. stay tuned. we plan to have some results for so stay tuned. that's coming. 2018. so stay tuned. that's coming. i i also want to give you a sense though of how many mexicans would like to come to the u.s. if they could. this is a number that we have been following for some time. there has been a decline in the share who say they would like to live and work in the united states. that that share is now down to about it was it was at a high of almost 35%, 36% in 2011. and the share that say they would do so without authorization has dropped sharply. so so there is still many mexicans who say they would like to move if they could. if they had the means and opportunity do so, they would
11:32 am
leave mexico for the united states. but but the share who say they would do so without authorization is lower today than it was just a few years ago. this, too, speaks to the changing nature of mexican who is deciding to migration. who is deciding to potentially leave leave and how might they choose to leave. so there is a number of different trends that are going on that i think are reflected in this particular finding. now, of course, the view from mexico is very interesting. we want to know about mexican immigrants in the united states, and a couple of additional facts about mexican immigrants. as pointed out, the number of new arrivals to the united states for years, for four decades, was dominated by new arrives from mexico. in about 2010, 2011, mexican migration had been dropping for some time and india and china were then the largest single centers of new migrants to the united states. i think that's important to
11:33 am
i note. i want to stress as well that it's not that india and china have surged. they have slowly been rising for a number of years. it's that mexican new arrivals dropped sharply. dropped precipitously all the way since the recession to to to give you some sense of this, china and india might be sitting at about 150,000 new arrives if that given year. mexico is about 110,000, 120,000. there are there are still new mexican immigrants coming to the united now, states. now, when you take a look at the sort of attitudes of mexican immigrants, and we did a survey recently of the u.s. hispanic mexican immigrants mexican immigrants have become more pessimistic about things in the united states, about life in the u.s., about their own lives and they are worried about a number of things. first, more than half say that the situation of latinos in the united states has worsened in the last year. by comparison, among all
11:34 am
hispanics only 49% say that. mexican immigrants are more likely to say things have gotten worse for the group. 61% say they have serious concerns about their place america after trump's election. this is a number that is higher than its for the general hispanic public. only 52% of all hispanics say the same thing. mexicans and particularly mexican immigrants who are in the country without authorization or maybe don't have citizenship, they are the ones who are most concerned about their place in america. 71% say that they worry they, themselves, a family member, or a friend could potentially be this this number for all hispanics is at about 55%. so again mexican immigrants are more concerned about deportation than other groups of hispanics. 64% say that they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the u.s. today. for all hispanics, it's about the same. about 65%.
11:35 am
hispanics generally have turned sour on the direction of the u.s. overall. and 75% of mexican immigrants say that the trump administration's policies have been harmful to hispanics. that is higher than it is for all hispanics among whom two-thirds or 67% say the same. as you can see somewhat of a sense of pessimism, concerned about the direction of the united states, concern about their place in america. there is a lot of pessimism in this particular survey. we also asked mexican immigrants, all immigrants in this survey, if you could do it again, would you come to the u.s. all over again? 82% in 2011 in mexican immigrants and 80%, by the way, of all hispanics said, yes, i would do it again. that number is down to 70% in so we have seen a 2018. so we have seen a decline in the share of mexicans who say they would do it again. largely, more recent arrivals
11:36 am
are the ones most likely to say i wouldn't do it if i had a i choice. i want to stress that the mexican immigrant population has settled. many many of these folks are not recent arrivals who have changed their minds. these are oftentimes people who have been here for 10 or 20 this years. this is not just a new arrivals what what about in terms of how they see the united states? so this is also from our 2018 survey. 85% of immigrants, 85% of immigrants, mexican immigrants, immigrants, say that opportunity is better in the united states than it is in mexico. this is little changed from so so seeing the u.s. as a place of opportunity is just about where it was back in 2011. what what about conditions of three quarters say the u.s. is better than children? three quarters say the u.s. is better than mexico. this, too, is little changed. while the intent to migrate might be changing, the view of the united states as a place to live, for opportunity, and for
11:37 am
raising children is little this this is true, by the way, of all hispanic immigrants. not just the mexican immigrant story. finally, finally, i want to talk soabout some of the patterns of while migration. while i say, yes, mexican immigration is close to net zero, there has been an outflow of mexican immigrants of the u.s. to mexico. if you look at data sources from the u.s., from mexico, this chart shows you over certain periods of the number of mexicans coming to the u.s. and the number of mexicans leaving. you can see the orange bar is the u.s. to membexico flo. between 2009 and 2014. more mexicans left than came to the u.s. now, as many have pointed out, the number of mexican immigrants living in the u.s. has been in decline for some time. so this story of mexican out-migration is really a story of people
11:38 am
when you look when you look as to why people are returning home, the biggest reason they give is to be with family. two-thirds two-thirds of mexican immigrants who return say family. maybe 15% say they were the deported. the biggest reason is to return home. many many are returning home late in so so they have decided to go home after being in the u.s. for many years and perhaps decided to quote/unquote retire by moving back home and also to be with this this is also an interesting part of the story with regards to mexicans because when we talk about mexicans and u.s. citizenship, mexicans have the lowest naturalization rates in the united states of any immigrant group. by our estimate, through 2015, 22% of mexican immigrants who are eligible to naturallize had done so. all other groups, that number was 74%. so the other interesting story about mexican immigrants is that many who can become u.s. citizens actually haven't done
11:39 am
they have so. they have been in the united states for 20 or so years, maybe even more, and still haven't quite become a u.s. citizen. it's an interesting question because, as ariel pointed out with his pie chart showing you the legal status of the mexican immigrant population, there was a lot chunk of people who were lprs. while while many do become a u.s. citizen, frankly, there are millions who haven't done so so yet. so we've asked some of our surveys here are here are the findings for mexican immigrants and why haven't they decided to become a u.s. citizen yet? 90% of them say they want to become a u.s. citizen. it's also true that not everybody who comes to the u.s. as an immigrant necessarily wants to be a u.s. citizen. people come here for various reasons and some people choose to go home after a few years and
11:40 am
never achieve u.s. citizenship. why do -- first, language barri is one of the big barriers. they are worried about taking the test in english. some of them say that they haven't tried yet or have actually told us they are not interested, which i think is also quite interesting. financial barrier. it is expensive to apply. and about 8% at the time we did the survey said they were currently applying for so citizenship. so as you can see, there is a multitude of reasons why people might not have done this just yet, and if you follow the world of the latino vote you'll know that in 2016 there were lots of efforts to get people to naturallize so they could vote. it's no surprise because it's such a large population of people who are eligible to do it right now. many of them just haven't done so. there is there is a lot more to talk about with regards to mexican immigration, mexican immigrants in the u.s. i look forward to our conversation in terms of i am i am going to stop there and look forward to having this thank you. [ applause ] conversation. thank you. [ applause ]
11:41 am
>> thank you, mark. i am going >> thank you, mark. i am going to start off with a few questions and then we will turn it to the audience and give you a chance to ask yours as first, you showed the well. first, you showed the declining immigration from immigration from mexico and the stock of the population has you declined. you mentioned some of the reasons people may be returning from the united states back to but mexico. but could you say, both say a bit more about what are the reason the infloens are down? the ambassador mentioned immigration enforcement from the united states. what are some of the other factors that may be shaping the >> trends? >> one of the big factors that the ambassador -- the ambassador mentioned two of the big ones, which is u.s. enforcement, the mexico mexico has changed. it's a different country in terms of opportunities than it had been in the past. it's also a country whose demographics have changed. when we talk about the potential for immigratimigration, how man
11:42 am
people don't have a job, who might be looking for as mexico has opportunities? as mexico has changed, its economy has improved, young people have opportunities within the country. so you talk to some young people and they'll say they want to become an engineer and decide to stay in mexico rather than going to the united states. so to me it's interesting that the demographics of the country are changing. mexico, by the way, is aging just like the rest of the world, and at some point in the coming decades it will have a higher median age than the united that's states. that's to come. we will see what happens. that's an important part of the >> story. >> and then if i could add just one thing. i think in terms of the influence to the u.s., one of the things that often isn't mentioned is there is different changes in how the mexican migrants have decided to come to the united states. the question you had about legally coming to the u.s. or not coming illegally to the united states is very important. the way to come to the u.s. has become more expensive, more dangerous not only because of the circumstances here, but also
11:43 am
circumstances in mexico. in some cases violence is high in border states and towns, which has made it more difficult to migrants to make the zichlgts also more expensive. in terms of the other factors, i think education has been ski. mexico for a long time focused on primary level education. they have been doing in secondary level education which has given more opportunities to younger people to see if they can stay in their country of origin. it's by no it's by no means perfect. there has been an increase in economic opportunities in mexico. there is also a lot of ther opportunities in the labor market which often do not provide a fulfilling wage. therefore, in the longer term it's not a -- compared to the united states, it's still not a better option. so i think you have a mix of factors. on the on the one hand, you want to stress the economic factors in mexico that have made things better as well as the economic factors have made it more
11:44 am
difficult because of the policies that mexico has had. >> thanks. and then, mark, your data show kind of a conundrum in a way that people -- or a puzzle that people say that the united states is a less -- they may have less opportunities, they are more worried about immigration enforcement. they think the situation for latinos or immigrants has wore others others say it's a better place. there is more economic opportunity here. our economy is booming, we have strong job growth. i am curious if you have thoughts how is this going to play out? they see the opportunity for jobs, you know, what does that imply for what we could except for future migration trends. great trends. in the survey of the latino population we got this interesting pattern of on responses. on the one hand, immediately many latinos say things are w they they say the trump administration's policies are hurting latinos. so they are tying it in many
11:45 am
ways to the current admi but when but when looking to the future, on many different pieces you do see latinos saying that they believe in the united states or they see opportunity here in the united states still, but i would caution that the optimism that we used to see among latinos has somewhat diminished in the most recent surveys and mexicans are no different in it particular for for example, we asked, do you think your children will be better off than you are in the in future? in the past three quarters of latinos say yes. in this current survey, half do. that's true of republican hispanics, democrat hiss, true of mexicans, true of cubans. i want to follow up to see whether or not this feeling co one one other additional piece. when it comes to their own finances, many latinos tell us that things have gotten worse in the last year and they don't expect it to improve, yet that's
11:46 am
counter to the low unemployment rate we are seeing for latino it's workers. it's at the record low. and when it comes to household income, household income for hispanic households have risen factor according to the census bureau. this this sense of the environment of what's happening and the connection to the trump administration is something that is reflected in some of these responses in our survey. and the pessimism reflects a general pessimism about the u.s. >> interesting. i have i have tons of questions. i would like to open it up to all of you and see if anyone in the audience has a question. >> yes. >> hi. i work i work for uscis. mark, i was really interested in your results from the mexican survey. or or surveys over years. i was just wondering if you have done additional analysis on the respondents from traditional sending regions of mexico to know whether those regions in
11:47 am
particular have any trends that would be of interest to us. thank you. >> that's a great question. so the surveys are about a sample size of about 1,000 per it's year. it's hard to do a more detailed regional analysis. so we don't have that in this particular set of surveys. however, we do have a lot of surveys now. so we do have a large sample it size. it would be interesting to take a look at this. it's something that i hope we can do soon. i would say that there are differences in attitudes about the u.s. depending how close you are to the u.s. border. if you are within 400 miles of the border, you have a more favorable view than if you are farther away. that's interesting because on the u.s. side americans who live closer to the border have a less favorable view of mexico, but farther away they have a more favorable view of mexico. so there are some interesting differences regionally. >> other questions? >> thank you.
11:48 am
great talk. ryan becauaugh. the 31% not interested or hadn't applied for citizenship yet, could you illuminate about some of the major reasons within that category, maybe related to perceived value of citizenship? >> that's a great question. in our 2015 survey, we had asked immigrants who were in the country legally, in o we asked questions. you saw the open-ended question. it was an open-ended question. there are so many response, it's hard to remember all the particular specifics. i could point you to the top line for that. these two dcategorizations reflect this category. many people said they just weren't interested. the other component was also a lot of the responses. but i don't remember all of the
11:49 am
details specifically. i'd have to get back to you about that. i would be happy to send you the top line. >> other questions? >> hi. my name is mary gardner. i am with the u.s. hispanic chamber of commerce. i had to ask this question maybe because it's voting day. i was wondering if anyone on the panel had information about the political affiliation of mexican immigrants in the united states that have been naturalized or which policy issues are most motivate to go that community of immigrants. >> so >> so in some of our work we have done we have looked at the political affiliations of mexicans and mexican immigrants. very strongly they identify with orlene towards the democratic so so they are one of the big drivers of that general statistic for the hispanic population overall, and they are one of the more strongly leaning democratic party groups.
11:50 am
when it comes to policy issues, the issues that they tend to point to are economics, health care, and education. immigration, too, is an issue, more so than it is, say, for the general u.s. public. say, for te general u.s. public. but again, since mexican immigrants are such a large part of the population, they're driving the results generally for the hispanic population. this year, though, i will say that the one change we did see was that immigration is now seen as one of the top issues facing the country, just equal to the that's that's something that is reflected for the general u.s. public as well, so it's not unique to hispanics, but it's something that we saw in this survey. thank thank you. >> >> any others?
11:51 am
[ speaking spanish ] [ speaking spanish ]
11:52 am
[ [ speaking foreign language ] [ speaking foreign language ]
11:53 am
[ speaking foreign language ]
11:54 am
[ speaking foreign language ] >> let's stick to english just
11:55 am
in case everyone -- >> my name is alexandra i want i want to speak to the panel later, but i think it's really important to talk conditions of the whole family. right, it's the children who are citizens here or who were brought here at a young age and are doing better educationally. don't have necessarily the support system they need at home because their parents may have undocumented status or a different kind of precarious status that forces them to be working three jobs and living in precarious precarious positions and therefore they can't support the children the way other immigrant families can support them. i think that affects significantly their aspirations as well as the financial support and other resources that they need in order to be able to complete high school and colleg they they also end up working as well while they're studying, and that puts them in very difficult conditions in terms of
11:56 am
completing their studies with the same kind of support system that other groups might have. >> can i say one more thing? >> quickly. [ speaking foreign language ] we have two more great panels coming up, so unfortunately we have to end the
11:57 am
conversation conversation here, but help me thank mark for a great >> >> i would like to invite our second panel to please come up.
11:58 am
he'll be back soon, hopefull first first on the panel we have ramiro, the ceo and president of the spanish chamber of commerce. with his great expertise in economic development, he served as director of economic development for the city of san antonio, among other positions. next we have fey bur man. fey burman is a mexican and
11:59 am
hispanic writer. her work is published in a variety of mexican publications, several which are across the spanish-speaking world. her book was awarded the international latino book award in 2018. and finally, mario hernandez, who will be our moderator today. he's the director of public affairs at western union, and he's responsible for the development and implementation of public affairs strategies to reach western union's various constituencies in the u.s., central america and the carib with with that we'll start. >> great. excellent. good good morning. again, again, my name is mario hernandez. i i work for western union, and one of the things that i like a lot about my job is the opportunity to meet a lot of immigrants across the united states in traditional receiving
12:00 pm
cities like los angeles, chicago, houston, but also in emerging receiving communities, like nashville, tennessee, like places in north carolina, south carolina, et cetera. and for me this issue is very impor and and i think that a little bit personal because i am an immigrant myself. i was born in mexico. thanks to education, i'm here. i became a u.s. citizen recently, so i'm very proud to be an american. and i like the opportunities that this country offers to immigrants. and and right now there is an opportunity to precisely talk about the contributions of mexican immigrants.
12:01 pm
i really liked the previous presentation that provided us the context for this, but now we're going to talk about people that are real immigrants. that's why we have two super families here, and we will start with fey. >> >> well, okay. many years ago, more than a decade ago, i was writing about music and dance in new york, and i was seeing the enormous change of new york becoming a part of the plan and i couldn't lose that opportunity. what i was seeing portrayed in media and what i was seeing with my eyes were very different situations. new new york, like many other metropolitan areas in this country, has mexico represented.
12:02 pm
the elite, cultural, economic, artistically elite, economically elite and the very poor ones. i think because most of the population is from ortega, very poor. and also and also you have superstars that arrive to this country because they want to have a universal projection. it turns out this is now the biggest empire in the universe for the time being. so i started writing about that reality, and what i call mex-america, it talks about a multifaceted, animated identity that i believe destroys the
12:03 pm
prejudices and the stereotypes that are made about mexicans. so i wrote the book about mexicans, mexican immigrants, and sometimes, though that's a small part of my book, of the following generations of people of mexican origin in the arts, in science, in technology, in academia, in business, in diplomacy and in politics. that's one of the themes of five themes in the book. i also speak about language, and i realized touring with the book that a great percentage of the mexican origin population don't speak spanish any longer, to my so so i had to come up with a version for that. but the main idea was to show that we are much more than
12:04 pm
folklore. we are we are very much appreciated for our tequila, our sink cinco de our culture and so much more. i put in the book a slim example of who we are. i want to underline that the mex-american culture is invisi it doesn't it doesn't exist in mexico, it doesn't exist in the united states. why? w one one thing is that although the contributions of mexicans and mex-americans are recognized, we don't see them as representative of a community. number two is justifiably the attention is on the undocumented. however, however, the narrative has been
12:05 pm
doc how many how many are undocumented of the mexicans? mexicans? [ inaudible ] >> i'm not talking about immi that would that would be like sixth. [ inaudible ] >> so that's a small part. pretty significant, but not the most important part. and when you open a newspaper in the u.s. or in mexico, what do you see? the border, drugs, the undocumented, and it's never about the 36.5 million people who are here for decades and decades and who contribute to soc another another thing is that there is a stubborn illusion that mexicans or mexican origin americans are
12:06 pm
mexica nothing nothing happened to them on the jou nothing nothing happened to them by i m immigrating, nothing happened to th they they speak spanish but they try to go by their passport. there is no merging of the mexican and american culture. as if the population of mexican origin lives isolated from european americans, asian americans, african-americans. so those are the main reasons. now let me go through the people which is, you know, i think i only touched on a few people because i live in new york, i'm a freelancer. the sample is, i think, probably very small compared to the
12:07 pm
reality. and and i started with the arts because i think the impact of mexican art in the u.s. has been enorm people people must like talking about it as soft -- soft -- soft i don't think i don't think it's a soft power. i think it's one of the most powerful sources of who we are. the mexican culture is very strong when it comes to its arts. i i didn't know anything about him when i came to this country. he came during [ inaudible ] he immigrated to the u.s. he brought the work of potavia,
12:08 pm
of picasso to the united states. this man, the beginning of modern art in this country. how the el capitan of modern art changed from paris to new york. nickel maruvius. before he was important to all parts of mexico. before his research in bali, he came for about 10 to 12 years in new york. he made very important connections. he he made illustrations that portrayed the elite and the celebrities of this country in a very peculiar way in "vanity fair" and "the new yorker."
12:09 pm
he was fascinated by harlem, which was the birth of jazz, the blues, what's happening, and the white population had no clue about it. he was the first that portrayed it in illustrations. in fact, his work was copied throughout the world and they became emblematic of what harlem was supposed to look like. another important contribution was that he organized one of the most important exhibits of the moment. it was it was called 20 centuries of mexican art. and another important thing is he brought together all kinds of artists that together created what we now call modern art. copeland, martha greyhound, eugene o'neal, nicholas morai --
12:10 pm
who else? andrey sigovia, et cetera, et ce so so he was an important element in the birth of modern art in this country. and, of course, in mexico, too. and then, of course, we had the muralist who left murals all over this country, but not only that, they were pictures of some of the most important painters of the united states. for example, george rule was a student of jivela. this is where the people that made the first murals in this country, no? well, not jasmine porter, jasmine porter is known for something else. then we have people in the present who converted a museum
12:11 pm
that was dedicated, and one of the most important institutions dedicated to the promotion of la tiee latino latino american art, but also underlying the importance of all this that i told you so far about this artist i learned from him. the importance the importance of this artist that came from latin america on the birth of modern art in the united states. there is someone a lot of people don't know about because it is a forgotten art, but sigmund was one of the pioneers of modern dance in this country. he came from the revolution. he really -- the role of males in dance really owes a lot to
12:12 pm
him. he was he was also quite important in portraying narratives to them, using the body as an express sieexpre force. which which sounds like a natural thing, but it's not really the case. what's what's interesting is he usually -- there were universal themes, but also and often with mexican themes, chapters in mexican history or traditions, and, for example, another -- we have a lot of choreographers of mexico and the united states, especially new york. one that comes to mind for me is javier su, whose real name is --
12:13 pm
which means moon ch ee rcherpin. he was able to transform himself into an animal spiritually. but basically he puts on stage the story of my guest or this transformation transformation of being a mayan into a citizen of new york. it's quite fascinating, as an immigrant, as an artist, for anybody to see. and then we have our musicians, which there are tons. chavez made his original work in new york. he was a very good friend of mario copeland. they spoke about classical music of the americas, to get a way of
12:14 pm
the european romanticism to create a modern not natural music, but something that was specific to the new world. we have tons of composers today. z-man is at juilliard, perez, max chimblitz, then we have the latino americans. they are four brothers, one of them is here, but they really introduced to the world contemporary latin american you would have to read music. you would have to read the book to find out why all this happened, but we have, of course, the three amigos in fi of course of course in journalism we have jorge ramos, et cetera, et
12:15 pm
cetera, but we also have people in other areas. for example, in medicine we have a bunch of doctors. an interesting story is one of dr. que. they are now producing a movie about his life. he started as a -- >> we can continue later. we have more opportunity, but now rameyo. [ speaking foreign language ] i'm very honored that our ambassador, ambassador, whose home is still in san antonio, has served both
12:16 pm
nations. i i myself work in washington. my home is in san antonio, and i sleep on planes. and so i just wanted to say that i will do my best to give you a sense of the mexican experience in two parts. the first is my own personal story. my my family, the cavazos family in texas, and then the second part will be more the historical perspective of what mexicans have experienced in the u.s., even though they were here before it became the u.s. and so when we use the word immigrant or migrant, although it's usually attributed to mexicans, it's really not accurate. the the japanese have a saying that when you drink the water, you need to remember who dug the well. and and so for me, perspective is so
12:17 pm
important. so so the first part, and i'll do this within 10 minutes, i promise, and then open it up to questions, is my story. i can trace my personal story, my family, to 1628. this is not the grapes of wrath story or the wrath of demolas story, but my father is a sixth generation texan, and he was born in a county that's 10 miles from the mexican border. it's a small ranching community. my dad was a descendant of el capitan who came from spain and settled in northern mexico. he came to serve castillo in spain as a young adult. he entered in 1628, and in those days it became the state of
12:18 pm
remeon, where he is today. we love ancestry in my family and we wanted to find out where we came from, and boy, did we get to figure it out. more than a century after the spanish came here, they didn't go north of the rio grande, because in those days there were many native americans, and the spanish did not move or the mexicans of the river because of these fierce warriors at that time who did not want to give up their lands. at the time these were all invaders coming from the south. in the 1700s, spain decided to divide the land north of the rio grande in texas into large land gran there was there was no risk to the spanish crown, but it was certainly a hazardous risk to the people living there. in 1781, my ancestor, my father's grandfather, received
12:19 pm
600,000 acres. it was a spanish land grant with 900 head of cattle. it's in what today is kingsville, the king ranch. and it was a vast acreage, and at the time it was known as ce and as and as most families in those days, they were pretty prolific. they had 10, 12, 14 kids. so over the years they lived under the crown of the spain -- the nation of spain, mexico, the republic of texas, the u.s., the confederacy, the south and again the united states. he received the largest land grant in that area, and it's now known as kennedy counties. over the years the land grant was divided by the family, and we still have a little bit of property, but over years, they sold it or it was lost or traded off as other parts were given up. my my grandfather was born in 1890
12:20 pm
and he helped co-found the small town of weslovo. my dad was the first cabinet appointee appointed biron ay ro reagan in 1988, the first latino of history in the u.s. and then richard cavacos, my brother, was a retired four-star general who was the highest ranking latino of mexican heritage to achieve that rank. so let me give you the story of why we're here today. a friend of mine, pedro garza, drafted a piece of why mexicans emigrated to america. we've always been here. if someone chased me down the street and said, what's your name, i imagine if that person resides in the white house, he
12:21 pm
might question my heritage. we've lived in the u.s. before it was the u.s., and quite frankly, we're not going away. the chatter of building a wall is very disappointing. more than anything, it's insulting, and these accusations that mexicans are criminals or rapists is really unfair. the century's long record of anti-mexican sentiment has really affected the questions latinos are asking, is ascendancy and achievement, especially if people over time keep pushing you down, but we will persevere. i'm an optimist, and i know we're going, as fey has mentioned, this is a very proud group of people. but in the early 1800s, expansionism in this country was fueled by the phrase manifest desti as you as you know by now, i love h the the u.s. wanted to go to the
12:22 pm
pacific ocean and hit asia. guess who was in the way? mexico was inconveniently in the the the u.s. invaded and the treaty ended a two-year mexican-american war in 1848. but guess what mexico lost? texas, new mexico, arizona, california, nevada, utah, colorado and wyoming to the u.s. the u.s. inherited hundreds of thousands of native americans and millions of mexicans who had long lived on the land. the u.s. army responded by dealing with the native americans by walking them 450 miles to eastern new mexico, and many of them died before they were sent back to what were internment camps or reservations, as they're called today, with beautiful casinos. dealing with a much larger group of mexicans, many of our ancestors were land owners, office holders, entrepreneurs, lawyers, bankers and members of the clergy with more complex. it relates to my story of
12:23 pm
earlier achievement. the government could not assign mexicans to reservations. our customs, our language, our tradition, our values, our food, our communities have all become part of what america is today. we're a nation that is already very mexican, whether the u.s. government has liked it over the years or not. still, the u.s. government has done its best to make these citizens, foreigners, in their own land and made them feel unwelcome in their own country over the years. congress passed in 1862 the homestead act, allowing americans once they had passage to the west, the manifest destiny, to apply for western land in exchange for farming it. guess who they took the land from? they they took it from the mexicans who had already lived there. but laws and even the way those laws were interpreted, if they were written in spanish and the folks in control said, only
12:24 pm
genuine contracts can be in english, then that contract is no longer legal. during the great depression, many of you know that the u.s. deported 2 million mexicans. more than half of those were u.s. citizens. and they were deported to a country that they did not know. so the history of bigotry, discrimination and exclusion doesn't mean anything. we're still here. they're seeking to close the stable door a century and a half later after the horse has bolted, as we say in texas. so we are part of americans' fabric and society. latinos today contribute $1.5 trillion in purchasing power with the tenth largest economy in the world. latinos -- this relates to the u.s.-spanish chamber of congress, my day-to-day work.
12:25 pm
this is why i'm an optimist, because we control the future work force in this country, we control the vendors and people who do business in this country, and we are obviously the largest and fastest growing consumer base for this country. latino businesses, 86% of small business growth between 2007 and the present are contributed by mexicans. the the jobs were created for latinos and non-latinos. there is no wall high enough or long enough to exclude us in this country in the future. one in four americans will be hisp we are we are not confined to our ancestral geography in the great southwest. north north dakota, alabama, georgia, pennsylvania, louisiana, south dakota and utah. there is a reason why montana is named montana, because mexicans live there, too. it's really montana.
12:26 pm
mexicans are here in our homestead and homeland to stay. 13 million latinos were born in the u.s. a fence will only keep us in, not keep us out. and so i just wanted to conclude by sharing with you that as we look to the future and open it up to questions, 80% of the daca recipients are mexican. two out of every three hispanics in the u.s. is mexican. and of the three richest people in the world, two of them are latino, jeff bezos and cablo slim. economic economic development relates to our future, and mexicans who live abroad, both in the u.s. and elsewhere, spend billions of dollars back to mexico, and it is about economic development that immigration from mexico has actually gone in reverse. more americans are moving to mexico than are moving from mexico here. so with that, i just want to
12:27 pm
thank everyone for your faith and your optimism. today is election day. and we need to go out to vote. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> i have some questions of you, however, we are kind of short of time so i'm going to go straight to the questions from the audie if there are if there are any questions, please raise your hand and there is a microphone there. >> thanks. i guess i start the questioning round. i was i was just curious to hear the panel's impressions. i'm also from texas, and i think there is -- there are few non-mexican latinos there who haven't been insulted by being called mexican, not because being called mexican is insulting, but it's not pleasant to be called something you're not and not be treated like an individual. however,
12:28 pm
however, i think it goes the other way as well. so mexicans in the united states, the impressions of other latino groups, particularly countries in the northern triangle and immigrants from those countries do affect how people are are perceiving all latinos in the united states, and of course mexicans being the bulk of them. so i wonder if you have any thoughts to share on, as the first panel went into, you know, how mexican immigrants in the united states are becoming more diversified, and there are many accomplishments of mexican immigrants and mexican americans, but do you have any thoughts to share on how to -- how the community can sort of distance itself from these other groups, if that's even beneficial to anyone? >> >> i think, you know, in places like new york or l.a., especially new york where mexicans are the minority within
12:29 pm
hispan not for not for long, but it's been very convenient to label them latino. i think we use it whenever it's convenient, and whenever it's not convenient, no, and sometimes it's harmful. you know, when -- for example, speaking about the latino voice, people say, why is not the main concern immigration? well, for some people it's not. cuban americans have other concerns where puerto rican americans have other concerns. i was in texas last week. also i think it's texas that i guess if i went 3 kilometers out of austin, it would be a different world, because everybody has their
12:30 pm
beto t-shirts. if you didn't have one, it's because you had a sweater on. it's very mexican american, and it's very close to the border, and the presence has been there for a long time. but you go to other places, you go to miami or you go to new york, and reality of the latinos is different. also, for example, the label chicano. you you say that to someone of mexican origin in new york, your chicano culture, i don't recognize that in myself because i don't belong to that history, that time period, but in texas, sometimes it's synonymous with mexican american, with latinos. so that's my answer. >> the only thing i would add to that is that i remember a gentleman who used to be the ceo in the late '80s.
12:31 pm
he said something that stayed with me forever, and it's that being hispanic is a state of when when you think about it, latinos are hispanic, it's not a race. we could be cameron diaz and be part cuban and blond-haired and blue- you could you could be brazilian and speak portuguese and be dark-skinned and beautiful. and you could be asian and latino if you're filipino and speak tagoligue, and all of us whether it's chicano or latino or whatever it is, i meet hispanics who don't care they were given a label. they could be someone like jorge
12:32 pm
gallegos, but they're part of that diversity of being american i think i think at a certain point as we move forward, we won't have as many labels as we have today, because i think labels tend to be counter-productive. and so anybody who wants to be latino, you're welcome to be. >> we have a question. laura? >> >> as a non-mexican latina, i think the good thing is that -- and we have to be very careful in how we divide ourselves, because at the end when we're here, we're more similar than not, right? we're all immigrants and we're all the others, to put it someho and i think and i think there is a lot more in common in that experience than even where you come from sometimes. so, so, yeah, i think you have to be careful about dividing more instead of bringing together, because there is a lot of fights, and we might fight about
12:33 pm
a bunch of things, but there's a lot of fights we have to fight together. >> >> you are a seventh generation texan and your personal history is really fascinating. i think that precisely providing all this information to the stories. very, very, very, very interesting. we need to know more because -- especially in this environment that is hostile for immigrants to acquire the recognition and how how we can do to promote -- fey, for example, you say in your book that mexican americans are in mexico. how can we expand the knowledge for the mexican community, and
12:34 pm
how can we have better communication with seven generations and recent arrivals? >> the only thing i would say is that as -- whether you're first or seventh generation, thinking like an immigrant is the mindset that my family has maintained. even after having been here so long, they still are very passionate about being latino and they feel, as was stated earlier, that we're all together in this whether we're cuban or puerto rican or columbian or venezuelan or seventh generation or first generation mexican. it really doesn't matter. i think we should not allow anyone to divide us, that we need to be united, and that's why i'm very excited to be the ceo of the united states hispanic chamber of commerce, because the worst kind of discrimination, i think, is financial or economic d it's it's the color green.
12:35 pm
it's the companies that i represent that don't get contracts with the u.s. department of defense and that's the largest buying service in the world. so for me if we're going to be successful, it's through education, it's through financial strength and it's through nafta and it's through agreements that give us, as a north american continent, the ability to compete in a global economy using mexico, canada and the u.s. as a fantastic economic bridge for our jobs. and so -- in our companies. that's why i mentioned cavlo slim and jeff bezos, and in the businesses we represent, that's really our focus. our focus should not be on whether we're cuban or mexican or texan or coloradan, it's am i
12:36 pm
producing jobs for my family? my father had a saying -- [ speaking foreign language ] we don't want any limitations because we're going to compete and win. >> actually, i have a story. i hope that, you know, this dream of being integrated happens. however, however, mexicans have always been second class in this coun and and the mexicans themselves don't help. i was speaking a month ago with an important leader of human rights in chicago, and he was telling me one of the reasons why things didn't advance was that everybody wants to take the credit of advancing human rights causes. so so casas don't want to speak to
12:37 pm
each other, et cetera. that's a problem, i think. the other thing is owning who you are. i was in the panel with writers last week, and both of them were dreamers, and i'm blond. i look very different than them. we come from a completely different social educational backgr their their parents never went to scho and and one of them said she really suffered, she was not considered a mexican writer. and i said, precisely, you're not. and and she was not happy, but she's she's she's a mex-american. she has nothing to do with the experience of mexico. she has the experience of being a child of an immigrant in this country. the the biggest thing perhaps in the universe has been discriminated since the beginning, especially in texas.
12:38 pm
so i think it's not like dividing yourself, but i think to underlie the great successes, which i think many groups are doing especially now, is very important because i think there is a lot of stereotypes in this country. we are we are all undocumented workers, we are all one, we all have a sixth grade education. we're all like this image that's stuck. i i really think we have to fight that that's not the case, because it's not just meeting one person who defies that ster there are there are so many more, so i think there really has to be a movement, and i think there are many groups, say, new groups that are really trying to encourage them. >> thank you, fey. and you mentioned that there are
12:39 pm
relationships and many national decisions that are trying to increase this understanding, and one of them is the american mexican association that is an initiative that is emerging, and we are hearing more from this organization on wh organization, and what they would like to do is hear the voice of the mexican american community here. i think there are probably more questions, however, we've reached our time limit. so i would like to thank the centers of the mexico institute, the immigration policy institute for convening this important discussi how about how about a round of applause for our panel. [ applause ]
12:40 pm
thank you for your wonderful we'll we'll go ahead and get started with our third panel if you would like to come up now. i'm rachel schmidtke, i'm program organizer for the center. i want i want to thank everyone for
12:41 pm
being here with the rain and the elections and everything. i think these panels are important as we saw, that more mexicans are returning here than are leaving. i would like to introduce our panel here. the chair of global studies at the new school and current holder of the eugene m. lane for excellence. maggie maggie was born in mexico. she emigrated undocumented with her family at the age of two. maggie has been living in mexico for the last decade, and in 2014 she contributed her experience to a book called "dreamers" and it turned into an organization of which she is a part of. >> thank you for permission to participate in this space.
12:42 pm
i want to start talking about what happens in the aftermath of deportation and return. i appreciated everything, but i heard -- that i heard in the previous panel, but i think it's important now to focus the direction of what happens in the aftermath of deportation and i wanted i wanted to share a little bit. i work with an organization, a grassroots organization by and for the community, that we were born in mexico, grew up in the united states or lived in the u.s. and have been back to mexico because of deportation, the deportation of our family members or forced return, which at the end of the day, it's also a systemic way of having to leave the country. i wanted to talk a little bit about our community and of the increasing numbers of deportations that have been occurring to many countries, but in this case, mexico, of people
12:43 pm
that get deported or people that have to sign voluntary departures which at the end of the day is basically the same thing as being deported. but also it's important to think about all the people who are returning with the people who get deported. we don't have numbers a lot about that, about all the people that get deported with their families, and it's the policy that we're living now, it's a policy of separating families. and also the diversity. i think it's very important to talk about the diversity and the people that are returning and being deported. it's important to not categorize only one sort of face of deportation and return. i think it's very important to have in consideration the experiences, the places where people are returning within mex i think i think that's very important. it's not the same thing returning to mexico city than returning to other places where people are having to migrate again because of the violence and the situations. it's important to take into
12:44 pm
consideration the gender, the needs, and also the age. it's very important. many people are returning who are now 35 and 40 and mexico discriminates a lot in terms of the labor and the ages, and it makes it hard for people to get inserted into the labor market again in mexico. the language is also very important, the level of education and the health cond as well, as well, what does it mean to return to mexico or this sort of welcome back to mexico by the it's it's funny, but many of us are undocumented once we arrive to mexico because it's very difficult to get access to an identity document. that's something we've been seeing and talking a lot about. mexico makes it really complicated to have access to an identity document and that's very -- it's terrible because that also makes -- the rest of the rights get violated because you don't have an identity, so it's more complicated to get access to health, get access to
12:45 pm
a job, get access to even renting a room or a house or anyt it's it's very hard. in terms of mexico city, there are no shelters for people who get deported. people, when they get deported after living 20, 30 years in the u.s. arrive and they have to go to the shelters that are for the homeless people. and that's not the same profile and many times it makes it a lot worse for people. the low wages and poor working conditions is also something that is affecting the families that are returning. in terms of revalidation of u.s. degrees, it's also been very hard in the last years. all the other organizations were part of the changes to the norms, the 286 norms which now it makes it easier to be able to revalidate u.s. studies in but but now the biggest challenge is actually implementing. mexico has a lot of nice laws
12:46 pm
and the challenges of reimplementing them at the local state level. the programs in mexico, there really aren't many programs that are specifically for the needs of the community. that's been very challenging because they start to insert programs that are already existing, but it's a very different profile so it makes it challenging to get into the programs currently. a strategy was implemented by the mexican government. we have seen day by day that is not very efficient. there is no follow-up on cases. they give you pamphlets or flyers or something, but there is not a real follow-up in the process of a person when they get deported or returned. and also there needs to be evaluations if the programs are efficient or not, so it's important to have that in consideration. there there needs to be
12:47 pm
inter-institutional education, which there isn't among the institutions in mexico, which that also makes it very ch and and i think there needs to be political wealth overall. it has to be seen as an experience of deportation and return, not something immediate or that's urgent. we need to receive them, yes, that's important, but it needs to be seen as a long-term process for families and it's not seen that way right now, and i think we need to start changing that narrative. although we do accompaniment to people when they get deported or they arrive, we have been able to trace different routes to support people to get access to the different identity documents that there are and to have access to health care and even if they need a place to stay, we are -- we work in collaboration with other organizations who we're trying to support people at least for a few nights until they get their documents and they start to get a job. but it's important the
12:48 pm
accompaniment that we do provide, it's a big part of our work. family family reunification. it's it's important as well. and it's something that's not really talked about in many of the families. i mean, when they get deported, they also don't talk a lot about it because it's the most important thing, but it's the thing that it's harder to achieve, to be able to go back to be with your families, i think. that is that is the most difficult thing, and currently mexico is not talking about it, either. the u.s. is not talking about it, either, about what happens when those families that are separated from their children, from their spouses, from their siblings, and it's very importa we're we're working on a program internally to do crowd funding to support people, but at the same time to advocate so that there can be policies to talk about this topic. in terms of mobility as well, the community, as it was mentioned, a lot of people don't want to come back undocumented to the u.s. i think in our community most of us are fighting and will continue to fight for mobility.
12:49 pm
i would say i gained my mobility three years ago after applying for a b1-b2 tourist visa. in this way we want to support more and more people who have established in mexico but are separated from their families, but they also want to have the mobility to go back between their country, their communities, their states. i think it's more and more important, because everyone i've talked to and met in the last four or five years, they all say they want to have their mob not everybody not everybody say they want to live in the u.s. again. others may, others may not, but it's very important to have the mobility and this sort of feeling of -- not feeling, it's a reality -- of being in exile in one place. we recently naug rated p--
12:50 pm
inaugerated pocha house. it's a safe place where people can speak spanish, english, any language they speak, it's a space for that. it's a space to be able to talk and action of resistance and of naming this community that we have been living in mexico for many years. and through deportation, are and and also trans-national organizin i think i think it's very important, more and more. and every time i come to the u.s., after i was able to get my visa, it's surprising how when i talk to grassroots organizations, activists, or allies, anybody, they get surprised about, there are deportees in mexico? there have been deportees in and and i think we need to start talking more about it here. i can understand the fear of getting deported and we don't want to talk about it, but i think it's very crucial to start working together and not be divided or let this border divide us. but instead, working together on
12:51 pm
people on this side lifting our demands in mexico, but as well, we get to support and receive all the people that get deported or return to mexico and support them so they don't go through the same experiences as we did. so i think it's very important to start organizing transnationally and collaborate in favorite of that family reunification and mobility. and, well, thank you very much. >> okay. >> thank you, maggie. now, professor de la no. >> thank you very much for hosting this event. i agree with the ambassador this morning who pointed out the importance of this conversation and how timely it is. but i want to emphasize that it's not just because of the political context in the u.s. and how much it matters right now in the elections we're holding today and in the general debate around this, since the
12:52 pm
trump election, but also because there has been a change in government in mexico, with the elections that took place in july. and and that has also opened up a new kind of conversation around the need for a change in mexico's migration policies, as well, and its approach to these issues. so so i want to start also by addressing the topic of the panel, which is this idea of a change in mexican migration f but but it doesn't just mean that we're talking about a decrease in emigration to the u.s., for all the reasons that we're explaining this morning. but also that more and more in the last 20 years, mexico has been recognized not just as a country of emigration, but also as a country of transit, as a country of asylum and immigration, of return and deportation. and also of and also of internal displacement. i'm i'm addressing the idea of gentle stream that's in that title. many
12:53 pm
many of these movements are not gentle at all. and that has to do with the context of violence in mexico, that has coincided with some of the change s mentioned this morning. that that mention movements that tapes in much more whether conditions. whether it's emigration or asylum or even return. and that creates very difficult conditions that need to be addressed from a holistic perspective. and and that means looking at all of these movements as a whole rather than as unidirectional movements, where a program that is supporting a migrant in the u.s. through a consulate has to have a match with a program in mexico in order to continue this process of support and access to rights and equally, for asylum seekers in mexico. i think that is one of the main challenges and that's what civil society in mexico has been pushing for. because we have had a development in mexico of a vision and policies and laws that reflect this reality in the d we we talk very much about a
12:54 pm
comprehensive or holistic policy to approach migration. and important legislation and programs have been developed. from this perspective. but the implementation of that vision is where there has been a huge gap. and part of that has to do with some of the issues that maggie already mentioned, which is, for example, the lack of interinstitutional collaboration and political will. so differently from the u.s., our institutions that deal with immigration in mexico are very much separated between the foreign ministry, the ministry of the interior, the secretary of labor, the secretary of development, and it's very difficult to really have an intersection and a holistic approach in practice, to the development of these policies and the implementation of them. there's also a very significant lack of infrastructure and resources to really devote to the programs that, as i said, have a very progressive vision, and are founded on ideas around
12:55 pm
access to rights rather than on a vision of security. but in practice, they are becoming security focused programs, because the resources that are available are mostly focused on that area with support from the u.s., rather than on the vision that they supposedly represent. so there's a huge need for infrastructure and resources on issues like return, asylum, and i and and also support for populations in transit. another aspect of this is the fact that there are very limited channels for migrants in civil society to fully participate in the process of design, implementation, and as maggie said, evaluation of the programs. there are there are -- there has been an opening in mexico in the last civil society years. civil society has become much stronger in addressing these issues and having a voice, and that has led to the changes in policies and a different discourse around migration issues in mexico, focusing more towards human rights, but the reality of the ability of civil
12:56 pm
society to actually participate in the implementation of these programs and the evaluation is very limited. and there are very few channels for that. and there's a significant need for more spaces to open up in this regard. and finally, the issue of stigmaization and discrimination. so so many of the exclusions that migrants face in this country and that we've talked about earlier in terms of their perceptions of their lives here and the kinds of challenges that they face, the barriers they face in the u.s. are very much present in mexico. maggie has talked about the experience of return and how returnees are very much excluded, not just institutionally, but from their society, itself. from mexican citizens who see them as not mexican enough or discriminate them because of the accent or the way that they dress or the fact that they just look different. and it's a very similar discourse to the one that is used against central american migrants and migrants from the caribbean and other places that
12:57 pm
are seen as criminals and as not deserving opportunities to be in the country, because they, you know, take our jobs and replicating very much the discourse that takes place in the united states. so there's a fundamental need for societal change in mexico, as well, in terms of how you view migrants coming to the country, but also those that are abroad and that are returning. oh, what did i do? so to sort of support that and look at opportunities for change, i want to talk about some of the examples that have been developed in the context of emigration here in the u.s. through the network of consulates, that can serve as an example of these type of holistic and collaborative so so to be clear, that we're not just starting from nothing and that we have created programs that demonstrate the ability for shared collaboration across the two countries and across a different set of actors that include civil society, public, and private institutions in the u.s. and mexico.
12:58 pm
and these are programs that are focused on access to social rights within the consulates that are mostly addressing the population with precarious status, but that also talk about with other groups within that diaspe aaspra that fey was talk about earlier, that address other groups that have legal status or have been here for second, third generation. but also the migrants that are arriving and that need to understand how institutions work in the united states and how to access educational programs, health programs, how to get an insurance, even if you're undocumented, what options are available to you for health care at a low cost. how to fight for labor rights and organize and join a union. how to be able to join a bank and have credit and be able to save in order to send your child to college or naturalization programs, where the consulate
12:59 pm
supports you in filing your application or even gaining applications to courses for learning english or learning how to take the citizenship tests. so all of these programs that i can discuss further in the q&a are programs that are available through the consulates, but that build on initiatives that were developed by migrant organizations and that are a result of partnerships between various institutions that share resources and the consulate here becomes a really important bridge and a space that provides this cultural linguistic sensitivity where migrants feel more comfortable and at ease in reaching out to different organizations that are present and participating from osha or the department of labor or the uscis in terms of access to naturalization, where normally there is perhaps fear or concern that they don't speak english well enough or that that might compromise the status of a family member, but the consulate provides this space, where these
1:00 pm
interactions are possible and that address not just the immediate urgent problems that a migrant might face, but a broader sense of the need for access to social, economic, and political rights in the country. and i just want to give a quick example of a quote from our former mexican ambassador to the u.s., where he's basically talking about this idea of how consulates have become immigration centers. so they're focusing more on this access to opportunity within the u.s. for migrants regardless of their status. and also joining mexicans and latinos in this purpose, building on what has been discussed before, that it's not just a mexican issue, but a shared issue among other populations and with a focus of gaining access to all these different rights and not just protection and immediate urgent c some of some of the opportunities and of course, this is great and can be an example of something positive and a move in a different
1:01 pm
direction in how we normally talk about these issues and how they play out in the bilateral relationship, but they also present challenges and contradictions. on the on the one hand, it's a more tangible example of what shared responsibility and governance actually looks like, beyond the macrolevel of creating an agreement, as the ambassador said, but more of the day-to-day collaboration that can help support the actual need of migrants migrants in this country and prepare them if they return or at least have the option of returning, but they will also have stronger tools in terms of health and education that they then they bring back to their countries of origin. and also it's a collaboration that is not just mexico/u.s., but it's regional, because it includes central american migrants and other latin american countries that participate in the health fairs and share resource for these purposes, or the mexican consulates provide access for immigrants from any nationality
1:02 pm
to come to a daca workshop in order to fill out their application or to participate in getting vaccines or testing for hiv or other issues. so it becomes an issue of a regional collaboration, rather than just a bilateral program. and it's clear that that's where the reality is today. if we're just, you know, thinking very immediately about the caravan from honduras and what tells us about the context in the whole region. at the same time, this has left behind other issues. there's been very much a focus on the meergts that are abroad and how great they are and how they can be a contribution to the u.s. and a contribution to mexico through their remittances, through their schools -- i mean, through their but but when that same person that has been lauded as a hero and as deserving of all of these services and support, when that person crosses the border back to mexico, whether voluntarily or as a result of the deportation, there is none of that. none that. none of that discourse, none of that support, none of that
1:03 pm
i this is this is an historical issue where even there's been a discourse of supporting immigrants returned to your motherland, the reality is that there is no support system. so a history of policies of return that have failed and that have also sort of had an underlying goal of, it's better if they remain in the u.s. rather than coming back, because that's a potential political and economic gain for the country, but also, it's a liability if they're back in mexico, because of the strains that they can put on the economic or the political so so that's part of what forms the lack of response and the lack of circularity of these flows. so there's exclusion, lack of institutional development in mexico, and structural conditions of poverty and violence and other issues that don't just affect the returning migrants, but the whole of the population and that are very clearly exposed to when deportees and returnees came back, because the same conditions that they left are there or worse. and create these many other
1:04 pm
forms of exclusion. at the same time, these services and programs that i talked about are not really well known. neither in the u.s. nor in m so the so the public discussion and debate around what are the possible ways to address this issue are very much still limited within a framework of security, control, and bilateral collaboration at a high level, rather than looking at these more local examples of day-to-day collaborations that are more about the daily reality of access to rights that migrants face. and another aspect of opportunity, i think, is very clearly manifested in the work that maggie and other organizations of migrant youth have developed in recent years. very much informed, i think, by their activism here in the u.s. so to know what transfers back and forth is not just economic skills but also political and social skills. and the fact that they have been mobilized at such a high level here in the u.s. and really developed new vocabularies and strategies to participate politically has also informed
1:05 pm
the -- their work in mexico and their ability to organize and begin forming new kinds of coalitions and work to address the realities that they're facing in mexico, also with a vision of, you know, addressing from a transnational perspective, and saying, we're not just fighting for our rights here, but we're also fighting for our rights there and our communities here and there. so that slogan, from here and and and addressing these broader challenges, structural challenges of not just the reality of the migrant that's arriving in this particular moment, but the whole process of what return means, that includes mental health, access to education, so a long-term vision that is not just about the migrant, but about the communities that they are embedded in, that also are facing similar challenges and barriers in access to education, health, and political participation. but, but, of course, one of the huge challenges and i think we're just experiencing this reality.
1:06 pm
it's a gradual process of political participation and influence in mexican political discourse. and i think and i think there's a -- there's been a lot of learning, because it's not just adapting their skills, you know, from that dreamers movement, it's learning about a whole new political structure and system and society, institutional practices, how to participate in them. how how to learn how they work and what is effective or not as a strategy for change. and i think that's what is happening now. but that has a huge potential, not just in mexico, but to transfer between the two c so so i want to end on this note thank you very much. hope. thank you very much. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> i want >> i want to thank you both. i'll ask just one question and then we'll open it up to the you have you have both spoken about the challenges that returnees face when coming back to mexico and some of strategies that are so so i'm wondering if all of these strategies were implemented
1:07 pm
correctly, what kind of opportunities and contributions do you think this population could give to mexico, given their unique, bi-cultural, bi-lingual, bi-national >> >> well, i'm just trying to imagine what would it be if they were all implemented. i think, i mean, as i said, i mean, acknowledging it as a process and as not only maybe re-asserting or re-integration, but more as acknowledging the process and experience that we have, it could definitely create not only implementing in mexico everything we learned, but also working with the communities already in mexico, who have been struggling, but also have been part of social movements and part of a lot of things in i think i think we would be able to be better with a -- i mean, in a job and be able to contribute more in maybe businesses and maybe strengthening also the
1:08 pm
e i i mean, there's a lot that we can contribute, but i think it's not just us. it needs to be everyone. something greater than just us, and not -- maybe switching the narrative of what we're going to contribute to mexico or maybe all this talent and save the economy of mexico. instead, we need to look at it as being part of something more that's already existing. >> mm-hmm. >> i see -- i see a lot of potential. i think i agree with maggie, that we need to shift it from just the economic contributions part, which sort of creates these+++q
1:09 pm
1:10 pm
1:11 pm
1:12 pm
>> can give them more time with their children and support systems. so it gives them access to literacy programs and the opportunity to complete their studies in mexico, in spanish, and that gives them a very stronger sense of identity on the one hand. it's the most important part that they respond to, when they say, what did you gain as a result of participating, is a community. i just felt supported, i felt that i had -- i learned to -- about people's experiences that are similar to my own. and we were all building something together.
1:13 pm
and that's something that we don't have in mexico. and it's a place -- it's a place that is built around a government support system that offers a program, but then you have the schools and community organizations that participate nit. and so it really builds this space that is not just top down, but also bottom up. and i think that that -- that those are the spaces where you can build something and also -- they also offer mental health support and other health systems. and what that is doing, i think, for example, by giving returnees the opportunity to teach english to people in the community, is another example of these beautiful processes that where education meets community building and gives people a stronger sense of belonging and also makes a very concrete contribution in terms of skills and growth and improving lives. >> yeah. and i would just -- yeah, i think that's a great example, but also, we're working on group sessions, where we're addressing the issue of mental health and it's very important, because it's hard, in mexico, i mean,
1:14 pm
when the experience that we've had is, well, get over it, you're in mexico already, but i think it needs to be more of addressing and acknowledging the experience that we have. and not only as accepting. i think we're never going to accept that we're in mexico and only mexico and that's it. i think, as we say, we are from here and we're from there and that's what we're fighting for or working on a lot and mentioning it. and, yeah, i think just -- and also, to acknowledge that the accompaniment -- i mean, meeting -- in the case of mexico, meeting another deportee or returnee is a way of healing, because just the fact that you meet someone else and it should be acknowledged that when you meet someone else that you relate to can also be a way of continuing, whether your situation and in your process, i think it's very important to acknowledge it that way. and yes, it's something that we have in common with people on this side, as well, who are also living in exile, who also do not have this ability and are
1:15 pm
supporting each other. >> we have time for one more question. >> good afternoon. my name is jasmine romero latin. for the commissioner, my question is, for example, mexico and central americans suffer a lot in this country, especially with the people without legal documents. how you support the central american in mexico, but they have the same situation. we fight a lot with united states, but what happens about my people? i'm salvadoran. they have the same problem. also, they suffer more in mexico when they came to this country. they look to this country for more opportunities, more jobs. we have a lot of violence, a lot of things in my country. this i want to know, okay, i'm supporting the mexican people,
1:16 pm
everything, but how do you support the central american people? thank you. or another people came from -- oth other -- >> other countries? >> other countries in america. thank you. >> yeah, king thati think that' important and we've been talking about it a lot in my community in mexico, especially because we have a lot of things in common. one of the things is, we were undocumented in another country. our parents had to flee countries, had to flee in this case mexico and go to the u.s. and i think that's something that we're thinking about every day. and now that ef-this other position in mexico as being sort of citizen with documents in mexico, what does that mean? and i think that means that we -- we are there to keep an eye on what's happening and we're there to tell the mexican government that we're paying attention and that we're not going to let or allow the rights be violated of the people that are going through mexico, that
1:17 pm
are fleeing and they're fleeing because of poverty, because of violence, because of structural things that are occurring in their countries of original, but as being part and being in that position of demanding, i think that's something that we're doing and participating in mexico city right now, we're working with the human rights commission in mexico city, in their response, going every day to support in our community right now is in active mode, just working with the caravan and the exodus of migrants, in collaboration with all the other organizations, and as, i said, the human rights commission. and i think we have that dish mean, we don't have an option. we need to be there and we need to support in every way possible. there are many people that grew up other lives here in the u.s. and got deported to central america and they joined the caravan. so a lot of people are in this because of people federatisepard
1:18 pm
they're wanting to come back to their families in the u.s. and i think there's no difference between us and them. we don't want to have labels, we know that we're humongoans and want to be together. >> i think it's clear most of the support of the real day-to-day challenges have come from community organizations and from a very strong network of shelters that has developed since the late 1990s across the whole migration route. so they -- you know, they're the ones that are providing the immediate assistance, but also doing a lot of the advocacy work. so that policies can change and that resources can be provided. we do have a strong legal framework that supports this. our migration law and our refugee and asylum law that was reformed or created in 2011 and subsequent reforms to our legal system, but the problem, as i said earlier, is implementation. there are very limited resources for our commission for our refugees, so there's a huge backlog of asylum applications
1:19 pm
and therefore a lot of people give up or return to their countries or leave the shelters and the places where they're at, which are not really adequate. that's where resources need to be put in, in order to really make these available, as well as other kinds of mechanisms that have been created like temporary visa programs, so they can stay in the country temporarily and work temporarily under positive conditions and then make a decision about whether to continue their journey or return to their countries. all of this already exists, but we are in a tecontext where there's a lot of corruption, impunity, and a large presence of criminal organizations that include the police and immigration authorities, and therefore that creates a lot of barriers to really respond with a -- in a humanitarian way to this issue. the new government has proposed an alternative, which focuses largely on development, focusing
1:20 pm
on economic development in mexico but also in the region and promising that migrants who come through will have access to jobs, jobs created for both mexicans and central americans. the challenge is, when will we see the effects of these policies. and we're still going to need immediate responses that really reflect this more human rights-focused framework, while we wait for development and economic programs to address the structural conditions that are making -- creating these conditions for movement from central america and from within mexico. >> okay. and i think with that, we'll conclude the panel. i want to thank everyone for coming out today. it's been an illuminating conversation. and for those of you voting, best of luck. and thank you, again. [ applause ] [ applause ]
1:21 pm
c-span, where history unfolds daily. c-span was created by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite
1:22 pm
provider. on c-span3 now, live outside the marriott hotel in washington, d.c.'s navy yard neighborhood, where orientation for the 116th congress is underway today, as newly elected members arrive, some have been speaking with reporters, including democrat mary gay scanlon from pennsylvania's 5th congressional district. first your name. >> mary gay scanlon, pennsylvania. >> how are you feel iing being sworn in today? >> well, it's really exciting, obviously. it's a bit of a fire drill with just having won two elections on tuesday. and now here we go, getting sworn in in about five hours. >> what's the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on