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A Century of TransnationalismImmigrants and Their Homeland Connections$
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Nancy L Green and Roger Waldinger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040443

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040443.001.0001

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150 Years of Transborder Politics

150 Years of Transborder Politics

Mexico and Mexicans Abroad

(p.106) Chapter 4 150 Years of Transborder Politics
A Century of Transnationalism

David FitzGerald

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the broad range of Mexican transborder politics to uncover lapsed practices, continuities, and novelties with an eye toward explaining those patterns. Transborder political activities of Mexicans in the United States have included projects that ignore U.S. politics, such as agitation for the right to vote in Mexican elections by absentee ballot, as well as activities that engage U.S. politics as a means to accomplish an end in Mexico, such as lobbying in Washington. It is argued that emigrants and exiles have been involved in every major violent conflict and political transformation in Mexico since the 1860s. The changes since the 1920s are the new institutions and pacific goals of transborder politics. At the elite level, technocrats returning from the United States have played an underappreciated role in transforming Mexico since the 1980s. At the level of mass politics, the major shift in the 1990s and 2000s was to institutionalize the promotion of dual loyalty and long-distance engagement through a dual nationality law, extending suffrage abroad, and establishing multiple government agencies to forge ties with migrants sharing a town of origin.

Keywords:   Mexico, United States, transborder politics, political engagement, dual nationality law, immigration policy, dual citizenship

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