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    Mexico works to deepen links with diaspora

    By Noreen Bowden | November 24, 2008

    The Associated Press has an interesting report on Mexico’s preparations to solidify its ties with its diaspora. Mexico’s emigrants are responsible for the second-largest source of foreign income after oil exports through their remitances. The Mexican government has long expected the remittance stream from its emigrants in the US to dry up someday, so they began to take a more pro-active stance in the relationship with their diaspora in the early 1980s.

    The Mexican government set up the “Institute of Mexicans Abroad” in 2003. Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the executive director says, “They’ve tried to take a much more proactive stance with these communities, with the recognition that they might not be coming back”.

    The article says:

    The institute supports education and cultural programs for Mexican immigrants and their families in the U.S., including Spanish classes, a program that sends Mexican teachers to U.S. districts with a shortage of bilingual educators, donations of Spanish language materials to U.S. schools and libraries, and literacy initiatives for adult immigrants in the U.S.

    Other programs are aimed at the children of immigrants – many whom may have been to Mexico – that include sponsoring soccer tournaments, cultural programs, youth exchanges and academic scholarships.

    Gutierrez said the Mexican government wants to emphasize to immigrants that it doesn’t just view them as revenue streams for the estimated $23 billion they have pumped into the economy yearly over the past few years.

    The Mexican government has also expanded consular services, extending hours and adding mobile services. It has also made changes to allow for dual citizenship and emigrant voting rights.

    Further reading:

    Topics: Diaspora policy, Latest News | Comments Off on Mexico works to deepen links with diaspora

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