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Results 461 to 469 of 469


  1. #461

    Illegal immigration bill moves forward to punish employers

    By Bill Ruthhart
    12:04 PM February 18, 2008

    The Indiana House Public Policy Committee voted this morning to approve one of the nation's toughest illegal immigration bills, but only after making a number of changes to the legislation.

    The committee voted 7-4 to pass SB 335, which would punish employers for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

    Among the changes made by the committee was the addition of $1.5 million in funding to help the Attorney General's office and the State Police enforce the legislation. Previously, SB 335 included no money to fund enforcement.

    Because the committee added a fiscal impact to the bill, it is now expected to move before the House Ways and Means committee for approval.

    Lawmakers also changed SB 335 to apply to all employees. As previously written, the bill only would have applied to workers who worked a certain number of hours within a 12-month period.

    The committee also changed the bill to place the responsibility of prosecuting employers from county prosecutor to administrative law judges in the state department of labor.

    The bill also would require all employers to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm whether a potential employee is a legal citizen.

    Under another change made to SB 335 this morning, the governor would be given the ability to review an administrative law judge's decision to revoke an employer's state license.

    As previously written, if an employer was found guilty of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants three times within a 10-year period, the business would lose its state license. Under changes made today, that period was reduced to five years.

    While Democrats argued the changes approved this morning made the bill stronger, Republicans pointed to other alterations they say made the bill weaker.

    Among those was a change that allowed the State Police Department to choose whether to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with the federal government to enforce federal immigration law. As previously written, the bill required State Police to enter the agreement.

    Democrats argued the State Police Department needed the option in case the terms of the agreement weren't favorable.

    Another change in the bill dictated that the attorney general "may" inform the department of labor's administrative law judges about possible violations while the legislation previously required the attorney general to refer all cases to local prosecutors.

    The bill's author, Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, did not attend the hearing. But its sponsor in the House, Rep. Vern Tincher, D-Riley, said he was optimistic the bill would move through the House Ways and Means committee and then pass the full House.

  2. #462

    Bill would let police seize vehicles driven by illegal immigrants

    If bill was passed, police could take vehicle if it was involved in a traffic accident and driven by an illegal immigrant

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 02/18/08

    A _proposal_ to allow police to seize cars from illegal immigrants prompted an emotional public hearing before a legislative committee Monday.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. James Mills (R-Gainesville), would allow police to seize any vehicle involved in a traffic violation or accident if it's driven by an illegal immigrant. That includes rented and leased vehicles if the owner should have known the driver was an illegal immigrant.

    Stacey Malegni, a Cherokee County woman, spoke in favor of the bill, recounting through her tears the loss of her 5-year-old son and mother-in-law in a car accident in 2004. An 18-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant with no license plowed into the car Malegni's mother-in-law was driving.

    Malegni argued the bill should be passed for safety reasons.

    "I'm putting the memory of my son in your hands," Malegni told the House Special Rules Committee.

    Other witnesses agreed, arguing that people can't violate traffic laws repeatedly if they don't have a car.

    A spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the bill, saying it would create an atmosphere of "seize first and ask questions later." It could also create an atmosphere for racial profiling in traffic stops, the spokesman said.

    The racial profiling argument drew a strong denial from committee chairman Calvin Hill (R-Woodstock), who asked witnesses to stay on point. "I don't want misinterpretation . . . that this is about racial profiling," Hill said.

    Opponents say the measure is unconstitutional because it doesn't provide due process for taking the car. Under the proposal, the vehicle seizure would work similar to property seizure in drug cases.

    "This legislation is opening up a slippery slope to where the state is taking private property," said Jerry Gonza***, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. "Where do we stop? Next, should we take their homes, their businesses? If there's an immigration raid in a poultry plant, should we seize that?" Gonza*** asked.

    Opponents say it would be difficult for a police officer to correctly ascertain a driver's legal status during a traffic stop.

    The legislation is part of a package of proposals introduced this legislative session aimed at punishing illegal immigration in Georgia.

  3. #463
    Originally posted by Beverly:
    We might as well since all of our troops and national guards are stuck in Iran and Iraq.

    With the numbers of illegals being what they are, we could feed the crocs for decades and still have some body parts to put in the freezer for future border feedings.

    Take care

    I knew you were ignorant, but please, please try to inform yourself. Thanks for proving my point: most bigots are blind, obsessed idiots...
    Posts: 211 | Registered: 01-20-2006

    Ignored post by whknapp posted 02-18-2008 05:51 PM Show Post

    Power Member

    Posted 02-18-2008 06:18 PM Hide Post
    Wooooooo I made a mistake. I was typing so fast I said Iran instead of AFGHANISTAN.

    Good catch Explora aka KNAPP um . . . not

    STFU you stalking, sniveling, whiney crybaby. YOU LOSE AGAIN . . . .

    Posted 02-03-2008 08:54 AM Hide Post

    spam (v)

    espamear, amorcillar, amorongar


    un bombardeo (m) de grandes cantidades de correo con el propósito de bloquear el servidor, espam (m), morcilla (f), moronga (f)

    Please don't spam!
    °No spam por favor!

    Don't be a spammer!
    °No seas un spammer!

    Please don't duplicate newspaper articles into various threads of our ilw discussion board.
    No dupliques por favor los art√*culos period√*sticos en los varios hilos de rosca de nuestro tablero de la discusi√≥n del ilw.
    Wolves Travel In Packs

  4. #464

    I will suspend posting until Sam reaches a decision regarding the username of Beverly.

  5. #465
    New Ariz. Law Pressures Migrants to Move

    By JACQUES BILLEAUD | Associated Press, Feb 29

    PHOENIX -- Parents are pulling students out of school. Construction workers are abandoning their jobs. Families are hastily moving out of apartments.

    Two months after Arizona enacted a law punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants, the law is already achieving one of its goals: Scores of immigrants are fleeing to other states or back to their Latin American homelands.

    Gaby Espinoza, who has been unemployed since November, is among those affected. She gave up looking for a job because of the law and may have to return to Mexico.

    Espinoza's husband works here legally, but the law means that employers must ask her for papers, and she faces the daily fear of being deported.

    "There's no work over there in Mexico," said Espinoza, who has three U.S.-born children. "People there live so poorly. Here, my kids have health insurance and Medicare. Over there, there's nothing."

    Jose Perez Leon, a laborer in Phoenix who wants to return to his home in Mexico City, said jobs were plentiful when he came to Arizona about 18 months ago but began to dry up in the last three months.

    "I don't like it here anymore because of everything that's happening," he said. "There's no work."

    The Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano approved the law last summer out of frustration with federal efforts to curb illegal immigration. It took effect Jan. 1.

    The law suspends or revokes the business licenses of violators and was intended to reduce the economic incentive for immigrants to sneak across the border. Illegal immigrants account for an estimated one in 10 workers in Arizona, which is the nation's busiest gateway for illegal immigration.

    Business groups have challenged the law. While awaiting a ruling, prosecutors agreed to hold off bringing cases to court until at least March 1.

    Republican state Rep. Russell Pearce designed the law to reduce spending on educating and providing health care for illegal immigrants and their families, and to encourage them to leave Arizona.

    "Why in the world do (illegal immigrants) think they have a right to break the law? And we are the bad guys for insisting that the law be enforced? The public doesn't agree with that," Pearce said.

    Many school officials believe the law has played a role in falling enrollment. The state's struggling economy and slumping housing market are other factors. Several districts reported losing more than 100 students at least in part because of the law.

    The Isaac School District in central Phoenix, with a student body that is 96 percent Hispanic, lost 500 students, said district spokesman Abedon Fimbres.

    The departure of so many students upsets people like Jackie Doerr, who is principal at Andalucia Primary School, which is in a separate district in west Phoenix. She said teachers had made progress teaching English to many of the children.

    "They have to leave and start all over again. It's just so frustrating when you see how far they have come," Doerr said. "They are probably going to lose it, especially if they go back to Mexico. They are definitely going to have problems."

    The law has also contributed to rising vacancies in Phoenix. The slow economy and a market overloaded with rental homes have exacerbated the problem, said Terry Feinberg, president of the Arizona Multihousing Association, a rental housing industry group.

    Even so, property managers have reported that the law has also driven away Hispanics who are legally in the country, Feinberg said.

    The construction industry says some of its workers are leaving, too, for California, Nevada, Colorado or Texas.

    Veronica Avalos, an illegal immigrant who has lived in Arizona for 13 years, has been caring for her three children alone since January. Her husband's Arizona employer closed its doors. He now works in San Antonio building swimming pool decks.

    Avalos and her children plan to join him in the coming months, but she worries how the move will affect her 11-year-old son, who is partially blind and has mild mental disabilities.

    "We need to look for a school, services and programs for him. He has all those things right now," Avalos said. "But I don't know what will happen in Texas."

  6. #466
    Activists, lawmakers seeking tough immigration measures

    By Alyson Raletz/St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.
    Monday, March 3, 2008 8:30 AM CST

    Other states that have cracked the whip on illegal immigration are invading Missouri discussions on a solution.

    For good reason, said Carol Helm, founder of the grassroots citizens group, IRON (Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now), out of Tulsa.

    A strict immigration law went into effect there in November that she credits for quieter Tulsa neighborhoods and less strain on state resources.

    "In October, we saw a real exodus out of Oklahoma," she said, noting many of the illegal immigrants moved north, with many recently spotted in Wichita, Kan.

    "So, they're headed your way," she told the News-Press.

    The Oklahoma law prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining government-issued driver's licenses or public assistance. Police can run immigration status checks on anyone they arrest. Also, the law makes it a crime to house or employ illegal immigrants.

    Arizona is another state to recently crack down on illegal immigrants. English is the official state language there, and if employers hire undocumented workers, they lose their business licenses.

    They're all ideas Missouri lawmakers have pitched this session, where the debate on illegal immigration has peaked.

    Gov. Matt Blunt has pushed an effort to keep driver's licenses out of the hands of illegal immigrants.

    A member of a House of Representatives immigration committee, Rep. Ed Wildberger, D-St. Joseph, said many legislators are modeling their legislation after Arizona and Oklahoma laws, including some of his own proposals.

    "I don't think we're copycatting," Mr. Wildberger said. "I think we're just trying to come up with a bill that will be fair to taxpayers and help to secure jobs."

    Mr. Wildberger recently filed HB 2179, which would revoke the business licenses of employers who hired illegal immigrants without checking their legal status on two available federal systems.

    His bill also rewards whistle blowers with up to 10 percent of any money recovered by the state for violations.

    Suspected illegal immigrants who can't prove their status when they appear in court for unrelated state or municipal violations would be held in jail until they are reported to federal authorities, under his HB 1767.

    "All I want to do is to make it so people take the proper legislative steps to become citizens," he said.

    Rep. Jim Guest, R-King City, is taking a slightly different approach. To take some of the burden off employers, he's requiring non-citizens to register with the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, under HB 2151, also called the Missouri Immigration Act.

    The Labor Department then would issue photo IDs to immigrants once their status is deemed legal and create an online database for employers to cross-reference when hiring. Employers wouldn't be able to hire noncitizen workers who don't possess the card.

    Also similar to other states, the act creates the crime of being an illegal immigrant in Missouri, which would be a Class D felony.

    "Basically, the federal government has dropped the ball and kicked it to the states to handle it," he said of the recent strengthening of immigration law nationwide.

    Rep. Jason Brown, R-Platte City, a co-sponsor of several bills involving illegal immigration, said that lawmakers have yet to identify one piece of Missouri legislation as the key solution. He said to expect an upcoming omnibus bill late in the session.

    "I believe we ought to utilize and model what we do after the existing Oklahoma legislation," he said. "It's extremely comprehensive. I think that's where we're all headed."

    Alyson E. Raletz can be reached at
    Wolves Travel In Packs

  7. #467
    we need to stop illegal immigration to this country,We need to make it legal.Lets give them work permits and SSN,it a about time we open the borders.

  8. #468
    Main article: Toponymy of Mexico
    After winning independence from Spain, it was decided that the new country would be named after its capital city, whose original name of foundation was México-Tenochtitlan, in reference to the Mexica tribe, the main group of people of what came to be known as the Aztec civilization. The origin of the name of the Mexica is obscure and subject to diverse interpretations. Some[10] argue that it derives from the Nahuatl Mexitl or Mexitli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Aztecs, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mexico means "Place where Mexitli lives". Another hypothesis is that the word Mexiko derives from the metztli ("moon"), xictli ("navel", "center" or "son"), and the suffix -co (place), in which case it means "Place at the center of the moon" or "Place at the center of the Lake Moon", in reference to Lake Texcoco. The system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco was at the center, had the form of a rabbit, the same image that the Aztecs saw in the moon. Tenochtitlan was located at the center (or navel) of the lake (or rabbit/moon).[11] Still another hypothesis suggests that it is derived from Mectli, the goddess of maguey.[11]

    The name of the city was transliterated to Spanish as M√©xico with the phonetic value of the x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative / É/. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative / í/, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative /x/ during the sixteenth century.[12] This led to the use of the variant M√©jico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and some other SpanishĖspeaking countries M√©xico was the preferred spelling. In recent years the Real Academia Espa√Īola, which regulates the Spanish language, determined that both variants are acceptable in Spanish but that the normative recommended spelling is M√©xico.[13] The majority of publications in all Spanish-speaking countries now adhere to the new norm, even though the alternative variant is still occasionally used.[14] In English, the x in Mexico represents neither the original nor the current sound, but the consonant cluster /ks/.

    Geography and climate

    A picture of Mexico seen from space.Main article: Geography of Mexico
    Situated in southern North America[15][16] at about 23? N and 102? W,[17] Mexico comprises much of Middle America.[18][19] Physiographically, the lands east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec including the Yucat√°n Peninsula (which together comprise around 12% of the country's area) lie within Central America; geologically, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt delimits the region on the north.[20] Geopolitically, however, Mexico is commonly not considered a Central American country.

    Mexico's total area is 1,972,550 km¬≤, making it the world's 14th largest country by total area, and includes approximately 6,000 km¬≤ of islands in the Pacific Ocean (including the remote Guadalupe Island and the Islas Revillagigedo), Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of California. On its north, Mexico shares a 3,141 km border with the United States. The meandering R√*o Bravo del Norte (known as the Rio Grande in the United States) defines the border from Ciudad Ju√°rez east to the Gulf of Mexico. A series of natural and artificial markers delineate the United States-Mexican border west from Ciudad Ju√°rez to the Pacific Ocean. On its south, Mexico shares an 871 km border with Guatemala and a 251 km border with Belize.


    Topographic map of Mexico.Mexico is crossed from north to south by two mountain ranges known as Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental, which are the extension of the Rocky Mountains from northern North America. From east to west at the center, the country is crossed by the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt also known as the Sierra Nevada. A fourth mountain range, the Sierra Madre del Sur, runs from Michoac√°n to Oaxaca. As such, the majority of the Mexican central and northern territories are located at high altitudes, and the highest elevations are found at the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt: Pico de Orizaba (5,700 m), Popocat√©petl (5,462 m) and Iztacc√*huatl (5,286 m) and the Nevado de Toluca (4,577 m). Three major urban agglomerations are located in the valleys between these four elevations: Toluca, Greater Mexico City and Puebla.


    Annual snowfall in Chihuahua and an isolated beach in Cabo San Lucas.
    Map of climates in MexicoThe Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Land north of the twenty-fourth parallel experiences cooler temperatures during the winter months. South of the twenty-fourth parallel, temperatures are fairly constant year round and vary solely as a function of elevation.

    Areas south of the twenty-fourth parallel with elevations up to 1,000 meters (the southern parts of both coastal plains as well as the Yucat√°n Peninsula), have a yearly median temperature between 24 and 28 ?C. Temperatures here remain high throughout the year, with only a 5 ?C difference between winter and summer median temperatures. Although low-lying areas north of the twentieth-fourth parallel are hot and humid during the summer, they generally have lower yearly temperature averages (from 20 to 24 ?C) because of more moderate conditions during the winter.

    Many large cities in Mexico are located in the Valley of Mexico or in adjacent valleys with altitudes generally above 2,000 m, this gives them a year-round temperate climate with yearly temperature averages (from 16 to 18 ?C) and cool nighttime temperatures throughout the year. Many parts of Mexico, particularly the north have a dry climate with sporadic rainfall while parts of the tropical lowlands in the south average more than 200 cm of annual precipitation.


    A Lepisosteus, one of the endemic species of Mexico.Mexico is one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world. With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home of 10Ė12% of the world's biodiversity.[21] Mexico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 known species, second in mammals with 438 species, fourth in amphibians with 290 species, and fourth in flora, with 26,000 different species.[22] Mexico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species.[23] Approximately 2,500 species are protected by Mexican legislations.[23] The Mexican government created the National System of Information about Biodiversity, in order to study and promote the sustainable use of ecosystems.

    In Mexico, 170,000 square kilometres are considered "Protected Natural Areas." These include 34 reserve biospheres (unaltered ecosystems), 64 national parks, 4 natural monuments (protected in perpetuity for their aesthetic, scientific or historical value), 26 areas of protected flora and fauna, 4 areas for natural resource protection (conservation of soil, hydrological basins and forests) and 17 sanctuaries (zones rich in diverse species).[21]

    Main article: History of Mexico

    Pre-Columbian civilizations

    "The Castle" of Chichén-Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders.Human presence in Mexico has been shown to date back 40,000 years based upon ancient human footprints discovered in the Valley of Mexico (previous evidence substantiated indigenous inhabitants at 12,500 years ago). For thousands of years, Mexico was a land of hunter-gatherers. Around 9,000 years ago, ancient Mexicans domesticated corn and initiated an agricultural revolution, leading to the formation of many complex civilizations.

    These civilizations revolved around cities with writing, monumental architecture, astronomical studies, mathematics, and militaries. For almost three thousand years, Aridoamerica (northern Mexico)[24] and Mesoamerica (central and southern Mexico)[25] were the site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations, among them the Olmecs, the Mayas and the Aztecs.

    In 1519, the native civilizations of what is now Mexico were invaded by Spain;[26] this was one of the most important conquest campaigns in America. Two years later, in 1521, the Aztec capital and metropolis of Tenochtitlan was conquered by an alliance between Spanish and Tlaxcaltecs, the main enemies of the Aztecs, setting up a three-century colonial rule in Mexico. The viceroyalty of New Spain became the first and largest provider of resources for the Spanish Empire, and the most populated of all Spanish colonies.

    After the independence of the vice-royalty of New Spain, it was decided to name the country after its capital, Mexico City. The city's original name was Mexico-Tenochtitlan, in reference to the name of the Nahua Aztec tribe, the Mexica.

    Colonial era and independence

    Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the founder of the Mexican independence movement.On September 16, 1810, independence from Spain was declared by Priest Miguel Hidalgo in the small town of Dolores, Guanajuato state.[27] This was the catalyst for a long war that eventually led to recognized independence in 1821 and the creation of an ephemeral First Mexican Empire. Agust√*n de Iturbide was the first and only emperor. Two years later, he was deposed by the republican forces. In 1824, a republican constitution was drafted creating the United Mexican States with Guadalupe Victoria as its first President.

    The first four decades of independent Mexico were marked by a constant strife between liberales (those who supported the federal form of government stipulated in the 1824 constitution) and conservadores (who proposed a hierarchical form of government in which all local authorities were appointed and subject to a central authority).[28] General Antonio López de Santa Anna was a strong influence in Mexican politics, a centralist and a two-time dictator. In 1836, he approved the Siete Leyes, a radical amendment to the constitution that institutionalized the centralized form of government, after which Texas declared independence from Mexico, obtained in 1836. The annexation of Texas by the United States created a border dispute that would cause the Mexican-American War. Santa Anna played a big role in trying to muster Mexican forces but this war resulted in the resolute defeat of Mexico and as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico lost one third of its surface area to the United States.

    Evolution of the Mexican territory.Dissatisfaction with Santa Anna's return to power, and his unconstitutional rule, led to the liberal Revolution of Ayutla, which initiated an era of liberal reforms, known as La Reforma, after which a new constitution was drafted that reestablished federalism as the form of government and first introduced freedom of religion. In the 1860s the country again underwent a military occupation, this time by France, which established the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria on the Mexican throne as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico with support from the Catholic clergy and the conservative Mexicans. This Second Mexican Empire was victorious for only a few years, when the previous president of the Republic, the Zapotec Indian Benito Ju√°rez, managed to restore the republic in 1867.

    20th and 21st centuries

    Venustiano Carranza, former president and supporter of the 1917 constitution.Porfirio D√*az, a republican general during the French intervention, ruled Mexico from 1876Ė1880 and then from 1880Ė1911 in five consecutive reelections. The period of his rule is known as the Porfiriato, which was characterized by remarkable economic achievements, investments in art and sciences, but also of huge economic inequality and political repression.[29] An obvious and preposterous electoral fraud that led to his fifth reelection sparked the Mexican Revolution of 1910, initially led by Francisco I. Madero. D√*az resigned in 1911 and Madero was elected president but overthrown and murdered in a coup d'√©tat in 1913 led by a conservative general named Victoriano Huerta after a secret council held with the U.S. ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. This re-ignited the civil war, with participants such as Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata who formed their own forces. A third force, the constitutional army led by Venustiano Carranza, managed to bring an end to the war, and radically amended the 1857 Constitution to include many of the social premises and demands of the revolutionaries into what was eventually called the 1917 Constitution. Carranza was killed in 1920 and succeeded by another revolutionary hero, √Ālvaro Obreg√≥n, who in turn was succeeded by Plutarco El√*as Calles. Obreg√≥n was reelected in 1928 but assassinated before he could assume power. In 1929, Calles founded the National Revolutionary Party (PNR), later renamed the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which became the most influential party during the next 70 years.

    Between 1940 en 1980, Mexico experienced substantial economic growth that some historians call "El Milagro Mexicano", the Mexican Miracle.[30] The assumption of mineral rights by the government, and the subsequent nationalization of the oil industry into PEMEX during the presidency of L√°zaro C√°rdenas del R√*o (1938) was a popular move, but sparked a diplomatic crisis with those countries whose citizens had lost businesses expropriated by the C√°rdenas government.

    Although the economy continued to flourish, social inequality remained a factor of discontent. Moreover, the PRI rule became increasingly authoritarian and at times oppressive.[31] An example of this is the Tlatelolco Massacre [32] of 1968, which according to government officials claimed the life of around 30 protesters, while according to many reputable international accounts around 250 protesters were killed.

    In the 1970s there was extreme dissatisfaction with the administration of Luis Echeverr√*a which took missteps in both the national and international arenas. Nonetheless, it was in this decade that the first substantial changes to electoral law were made, which initiated a movement of democratization of a system that had become electorally authoritarian.[33][34] While the prices of oil were at historically high records and interest rates were low, Mexico made impressive investments in the state-owned oil company, with the intention of revitalizing the economy, but overborrowing and mismanagement of oil revenues led to inflation and exacerbated the crisis of 1982. That year, oil prices plunged, interest rates soared, and the government defaulted on its debt. In an attempt to stabilize the current account balance, and given the reluctance of international lenders to return to Mexico given the previous default, President de la Madrid resorted to currency devaluations which in turn sparked inflation.

    Former President Vicente Fox and U.S. President George Bush at the signature of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.The first small cracks in the political monopolistic position of PRI were seen in the late 1970s with the creation of 100 deputy seats in the Chamber of Deputies assigned through proportional representation with closed party-lists. Even though at the municipal level the first non-PRI mayor was elected in 1947,[35] it was not until 1989 that the first non-PRI governor of a state was elected. However, many sources claimed that in 1988 the party resorted to electoral fraud in order to prevent leftist opposition candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas from winning the national presidential elections who lost to Carlos Salinas, which led to massive protests in the capital.[36] Salinas embarked on a program of neoliberal reforms which fixed the exchange rate, controlled inflation and culminated with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which came into effect in 1994. However, that very same day, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) started a two-week-lived armed rebellion against the federal government, and has continued as a non-violent opposition movement against neoliberalism and globalization. Being an election year, in a process that was then called the most transparent in Mexican history, authorities were reluctant to devalue the peso, a move which caused a rapid depletion of the National Reserves. In December 1994, a month after Salinas was succeeded by Ernesto Zedillo, the Mexican economy collapsed.

    With a rapid rescue packaged authorized by United States President Bill Clinton and major macroeconomic reforms started by president Zedillo, the economy rapidly recovered and growth peaked at almost 7% by the end of 1999.[37] After a comprehensive electoral reform to increase party representation during Zedillo's administration, as well as discontent with PRI after the economic crisis, led the PRI to lose its absolute majority in the Congress in 1997. In 2000, after 71 years the PRI lost a presidential election to Vicente Fox of the opposition National Action Party (PAN). Neither party had absolute majority in the Congress.

    On March 23, 2005, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America was signed by Vicente Fox. During the 2006 elections, the position of PRI in the Congress was further weakened and became the third political force in number of seats in the Chamber of Deputies after PAN and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), even though the party still has the plurality of state governorships. In the concurrent presidential elections, Felipe Calderón, from PAN was declared winner, with a razor-thin margin over Andrés Manuel López Obrador PRD. López Obrador, however, contested the election and pledged to create an "alternative government".[38]

    Government and politics
    Main article: Politics of Mexico

    Palacio de San L√°zaro, Chamber of Deputies, Congress of the Union.
    The National Palace, former seat of the Executive PowerThe United Mexican States are a federation whose government is representative, democratic and republican based on a congressional system according to the 1917 Constitution. The constitution establishes three levels of government: the federal Union, the state governments and the municipal governments. All officials at the three levels are elected by voters through first-past-the-post plurality, proportional representation or are appointed by other elected officials.

    The federal government is constituted by the Powers of the Union, the three separate branches of government:

    Legislative: the bicameral Congress of the Union, composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, which makes federal law, declares war, imposes taxes, approves the national budget and international treaties, and ratifies diplomatic appointments.[39]
    Executive: the President of the United Mexican States, who is the head of state and government, as well as the commander in chief of the Mexican military forces. The President also appoints, with Senate approval, the Cabinet and other officers. The President is responsible for executing and enforcing the law, and has the authority of vetoing bills.[40]
    Judiciary: The Supreme Court of Justice, comprised by eleven judges appointed by the President with Senate approval, who interpret laws and judge cases of federal competency. Other institutions of the judiciary are the Electoral Tribunal, collegiate, unitary and district tribunals, and the Council of the Federal Judiciary.[41]
    All elected executive officials are elected by plurality (first-past-the-post). Seats to the legislature are elected by plurality and proportional representation at the federal and state level.[42] The Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union is conformed by 300 deputies elected by plurality and 200 deputies by proportional representation with closed party lists[43] for which the country is divided into 5 electoral constituencies or circumscriptions.[44] The Senate is conformed by a total of 128 senators: 64 senators, two per state and the Federal District elected by plurality in pairs; 32 senators assigned to the first minority or first-runner up (one per state and the Federal District), and 32 elected by proportional representation with closed party lists for which the country conforms a single electoral constituency.[43]

    According to the constitution, all constituent states must have a republican form of government composed of three branches: the executive, represented by a governor and an appointed cabinet, the legislative branch constituted by a unicameral congress and the judiciary, also called a Supreme Court of Justice. They also have their own civil and judicial codes.

    In the 2006Ė2009 Congress of the Union, eight parties are therein represented; five of them, however, have not received neither in this nor in previous congresses more than 4% of the national votes.[45] The other three parties have historically been the dominant parties in Mexican politics:

    National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional, PAN): a center-right conservative party founded in 1939.
    Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI): a center party that ascribes to social democracy, founded in 1929 to unite all the factions of the Mexican Revolution. Prominent right-wing as well as left-wing Mexican politicians have been members of the party.
    Party of the Democratic Revolution (Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD): a center-left party founded in 1989 by the coalition of socialists and liberal parties, the National Democratic Front which had presented the candidacy of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas in the 1988 elections.
    The PRI held an almost hegemonic power in Mexican politics since 1929. Since 1977 consecutive electoral reforms allowed opposition parties to win more posts at the local and federal level. This process culminated in the 2000 presidential elections in which Vicente Fox, candidate of the PAN, became the first non-PRI president to be elected in 71 years.

    In 2006, Felipe Calderón of the PAN faced Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD in a very close election (0.58% difference), in a system without a second-ballot. On September 6, 2006, Felipe Calderón was declared President-elect by the electoral tribunal. His cabinet was sworn in at midnight on December 1, 2006 and Calderón was handed the presidential band by outgoing Vicente Fox at Los Pinos. He was officially sworn as President on the morning of December 1, 2006 in Congress.

    Foreign relations

    President Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Harper at the 2007 North American Leaders' Summit.Main article: Foreign relations of Mexico
    Traditionally, the Mexican government has sought to maintain its interests abroad and project its influence largely through moral persuasion rather than through political or economical pressure.

    Since the Mexican Revolution, and until the administration of President Ernesto Zedillo, Mexico had been known for its foreign policy or "doctrine" known as the Doctrina Estrada ("Estrada Doctrine", named after its creator Genaro Estrada). The Estrada Doctrine was a foreign policy guideline of an enclosed view of sovereignty. It claimed that foreign governments should not judge, positively or negatively, the governments or changes in government of other nations, in that such action would imply a breach to their sovereignty.[46] This policy was said to be based on the principles of Non-Intervention, Pacific Solution to Controversies, and Self-Determination of all nations.

    During his presidency, Vicente Fox appointed Jorge Casta√Īeda to be his Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Casta√Īeda immediately broke with the Estrada Doctrine, promoting what was called by critics the "Casta√Īeda Doctrine".[47] The new foreign policy called for an openness and an acceptance of criticism from the international community, and the increase of Mexican involvement in foreign affairs.[48]

    In line with this new openness in Mexico's foreign policy, some political parties have proposed an amendment of the Constitution in order to allow the Mexican Army, Air Force or Navy to collaborate with the United Nations in peace-keeping missions, or to provide military help to countries that officially ask for it.

    Main articles: Military of Mexico, Mexican Army, Mexican Air Force, and Mexican Navy

    Mexican troops in Mexico City in the Revolution ParadeMexico has the second largest defence budget ($6.07 billion USD)[49] and armed forces[50] in Latin America. Mexico's military strength includes 503,777 total personnel, of which around 192,770 are active in the frontline.[51] The Mexican Military has three branches; the Mexican Army, the Mexican Air Force, and the Mexican Navy.

    Mexican Army
    There are three main components of the Army: a national headquarters, territorial commands, and independent units. The Minister of Defense commands the Army by means of a very centralized system and a large number of general officers. The Army uses a modified continental staff system in its headquarters. The Army is the largest branch of Mexico's armed services. At present there are 12 "Military Regions", which are further broken down into 44 subordinate "Military Zones".

    Mexican Air Force
    The Air Force national headquarters is embedded in the Army headquarters in Mexico City. It also follows the continental staff system, with the usual A1, A2, A3, and A4 sections. The tactical forces form what is loosely called an Air Division, but it is dispersed in four regions"ĒNortheast, Northwest, Central, and Southern. The Air Force maintains a total of 18 air bases, and has the additional capability of opening temporary forward operating bases in austere conditions for some of the rotary wing and light fixed-wing assets.

    Mexican Navy

    ARM Allende (FF-211)The Ministry of the Navy, the Navy's national headquarters, is located in Veracruz City. The "Junta (or Council) of Admirals"Ě plays a unique consultative and advisory role within the headquarters, an indication of the institutional importance placed on seniority and "year groups"Ě that go back to the admirals' days as cadets in the naval college. They are a very tightly knit group, and great importance is placed on consultation among the factions within these year groups.

    The Navy's operational forces are organized as two independent groups: the Gulf (East) Force and the Pacific (West) Force. Each group has its own headquarters, a destroyer group, an auxiliary vessel group, a Marine Infantry Group, and a Special Forces group. The Navy also has an air arm with troop transport, reconnaissance, and surveillance aircraft.

    The Navy maintains significant infrastructure, including naval dockyards that have the capability of building ships, such as the Holzinger class gunboats. These dockyards have a significant employment and economic impact in the country.

    The federation: States of Mexico and the Federal District
    Main article: Political divisions of Mexico
    See also: Mexican state name etymologies

    Mexico D.F.AgsBaja
    The United Mexican States are a federation of thirty-one free and sovereign states which form a Union that exercises jurisdiction over the Federal District and other territories. Each state has its own constitution and congress, as well as a judiciary, and its citizens elect by direct voting, a governor (gobernador) for a six-year term, as well as representatives (diputados locales) to their respective state congresses, for three-year terms.[52] The 31 states and the Federal District are collectively called "federal entities", and all are equally represented in the Congress of the Union.

    Mexican states are also divided into municipalities (municipios), the smallest official political entity in the country, governed by a mayor or "municipal president" (presidente municipal), elected by its residents by plurality.[53] Municipalities can be further subdivided into non-autonomous boroughs or in semi-autonomous auxiliary presidencies.

    Constitutionally, Mexico City, as the capital of the federation and seat of the powers of the Union, is the Federal District, a special political division in Mexico that belongs to the federation as a whole and not to a particular state, and as such, has more limited local rule than the nation's states.[54] Nonetheless, since 1987 it has progressively gained a greater degree of autonomy, and residents now elect a head of government (Jefe de Gobierno) and representatives of a Legislative Assembly directly. Unlike the states, the Federal District does not have a constitution but a statute of government. Mexico City is conterminous and coextensive with the Federal District.

    The names of the thirty-one states and the Federal district and their official postal abbreviations in parentheses are:

    Aguascalientes (Ags)
    Baja California (BC)
    Baja California Sur (BCS)
    Chihuahua (Chih)
    Colima (Col)
    Campeche (Camp)
    Coahuila (Coah)
    Chiapas (Chis)
    Distrito Federal (DF)
    Durango (Dgo)
    Guerrero (Gro)
    Guanajuato (Gto)
    Hidalgo (Hgo)
    Jalisco (Jal)
    Michoac√°n (Mich)
    Morelos (Mor)
    México (Mex or Edomex)
    Nayarit (Nay)
    Nuevo León (NL)
    Oaxaca (Oax)
    Puebla (Pue)
    Quintana Roo (Q Roo)
    Querétaro (Qro.)
    Sinaloa (Sin)
    San Luis Potos√* (SLP)
    Sonora (Son)
    Tabasco (Tab)
    Tlaxcala (Tlax)
    Tamaulipas (Tamps)
    Veracruz (Ver)
    Yucat√°n (Yuc)
    Zacatecas (Zac)

    Main articles: Economy of Mexico and Economic history of Mexico

    Mexico Stock Market building.
    Mexico City is the largest city in the Americas and the second largest in the WorldMexico has a free market economy, and is firmly established as an upper middle-income country,[55] and it is the 12th largest economy in the world as measured in Gross Domestic Product in purchasing power parity.[56] After the 1994 economic debacle, Mexico has made an impressive recovery, building a modern and diversified economy.[55] Recent administrations have also improved infrastructure and opened competition in seaports, railroads, telecommunications, electricity generation, natural gas distribution and airports. Oil is Mexico's largest source of foreign income.[57]

    According to the director for Mexico at the World Bank, the population in extreme poverty has decreased from 24.2% to 17.6% in the general population and from 42% to 27.9% in rural areas from 2000-2004.[58] Nonetheless, income inequality remains a problem, and huge gaps remain not only between rich and poor but also between the north and the south, and between urban and rural areas. Sharp contrasts in income and Human Development are also a grave problem in Mexico. The 2004 United Nations Human Development Index report for Mexico states that Benito Ju√°rez, a district of the Distrito Federal, and San Pedro Garza Garc√*a, in the State of Nuevo Le√≥n, would have a similar level of economic, educational and life expectancy development to Germany or New Zealand. In contrast, Metlatonoc, in the state of Guerrero, would have an HDI similar to that of Syria.[59][60]

    Many of the positive effects in poverty reduction and the increase in purchasing power of the middle class are attributed to the macroeconomic stability pursued by the last two administrations. GDP annual average growth for the period of 1995Ė2002 was 5.1%.[61] The economic downturn in the United States also caused a similar pattern in Mexico, from which it rapidly recovered to grow 4.1% in 2005 and 3% in 2005. Inflation has reached a record low of 3.3% in 2005, and interest rates are low, which have spurred credit-consumption in the middle class. The Fox administration also provided monetary stability: the budget deficit was further reduced and foreign debt was decreased to less than 20% of GDP.[61] Along with Chile, Mexico has the highest rating of long-term sovereign credit in Latin America. Poverty in Mexico is further reduced by remittances from Mexican citizens working in the United States of America, which reaches US$20 billion dollars per year and is the second largest source of foreign income after oil exports.[62]

    Exports Imports
    Country Percentage Country Percentage
    United States 88.4 % United States 68.4 %
    Canada 2.0 % Japan 4.7 %
    Germany 0.9 % Germany 3.6 %
    Spain 0.8 % Canada 2.5 %
    Netherlands Antilles 0.6 % China 2.2 %
    Japan 0.4 % South Korea 2.1 %
    United Kingdom 0.4 % Taiwan 1.6 %
    Venezuela 0.4 % Italy 1.6 %
    Others 6.1 % Others 13.3 %
    Source: INEGI, 2005
    Approximately 90% of Mexican trade has been put under free trade agreements with over 40 countries, of which the North American Free Trade Agreement remains the most significant. Almost 90% of Mexican exports go to the United States and Canada[63] and close to 65% of its imports come from these two countries.[63] Other major trade agreements have been signed with the European Union, Japan, Israel and many countries in Central and South America. As such, Mexico has become a major player in international trade and an export power. Measured in the dollar value of exports, Mexico was the 15th largest exporter in the world"Ētenth if the European Union is treated as a single entity.[64] Mexican exports roughly equal the total exports of all Mercosur members together, Venezuela inclusive.[64]

    Ongoing economic concerns include the commercial and financial dependence on the US,[65] low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution (the top 20% of income earners account for 55% of income), and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. Lack of structural reform is further exacerbated by an ever increasing outflow of the population into the United States, decreasing domestic pressure for reform.

    Main article: Tourism in Mexico

    Acapulco's skyline.According to the World Tourism Organization, Mexico has one of the largest tourism industries in the world. In 2005 it was the seventh most popular tourist destination worldwide, receiving over 20 million tourists per year; it is the only country in Latin America to be within the top 25. Tourism is also the third largest sector in the country's industrial GDP.[66] The most notable tourist draws are the ancient Meso-American ruins, and popular beach resorts. The coastal climate and unique culture Ė a fusion of European (particularly Spanish) and Meso-American cultures; also make Mexico attractive. The peak tourist seasons in Mexico are during December and during July and August, with brief surges during the week before Easter and during spring break at many of the beach resort sites which are popular among vacationing college students from the United States.

    Mexico's middle/lower class typically take their vacations within Mexico, in contrast to the middle/higher class who travel worldwide, especially to Europe and the United States, and in lesser numbers to Asia and South America. Mexico is the twenty-third highest tourism spender in the world, and the highest in Latin America.


    See also: Electricity sector in Mexico
    Energy production in Mexico is managed by State-owned companies: the Federal Commission of Electricity (Comisión Federal de Electricidad, CFE) and Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). The CFE is in charge of the operation of electricity-generating plants and its distribution all across the territory, with the exception of the states of Morelos, México, Hidalgo and the Federal District, whose distribution of electricity is in charge of the State-owned Luz y Fuerza del Centro. Most of the electricity is generated in thermoelectrical plants, even though CFE operates several hydroelectrical plants, as well as wind power, geothermal and nuclear generators.[67]

    Pemex is in charge of the exploration, extraction, transportation and marketing of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and distribution of petroleum products and petrochemicals. Pemex is the largest company in Latin America,[68] and the ninth-largest oil company in the world.[69] In terms of total output, in 2007 it was the sixth-larger producer in the world[70]"Ēin 2003 it was the third-largest[69]"Ē producing 3.1 million of barrels a day, way above the production of Kuwait or Venezuela.[70]

    Main article: Transportation and Communications in Mexico
    See also: List of Mexican Federal Highways and List of Mexican railroads

    Low-level water bridge, in the state of Chiapas.The paved-roadway network in Mexico is the most extensive in Latin America at 116,802 km in 2005; 10,474 km were multi-lane freeways or expressways,[71] most of which were tollways. Nonetheless, Mexico's diverse orography"Ēmost of the territory is crossed by high-altitude ranges of mountains"Ēas well as economic challenges have led to difficulties in creating an integrated transportation network and even though the network has improved, it still cannot meet national needs adequately.[72]

    Being one of the first Latin American countries to promote railway development,[72] the network, though extensive at 30,952 km,[73] is still inefficient to meet the economic demands of transportation.[72] Most of the rail network is mainly used for merchandise or industrial freight and was mostly operated by National Railway of Mexico (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, FNM), privatized in 1997.

    In 1999, Mexico had 1,806 airports, of which 233 had paved runways; of these, 35 carry 97% of the passenger traffic.[73] The Mexico City International Airport remains the largest in Latin America and the 44th largest in the world[74] transporting 21 million passengers a year.[75] There are more than 70 domestic airline companies of which only two are known internationally: Aeromexico and Mexicana.

    Mass transit in Mexico is modest. Most of the domestic passenger transport needs are served by an extensive bus network[73] with several dozen companies operating by regions. Train passenger transportation between cities is limited. Inner-city rail mass transit is available at Mexico City"Ēwith the operation of the metro, elevated and ground train, as well as a Suburban Train connecting the adjacent municipalities of Greater Mexico City"Ēas well as at Guadalajara and Monterrey, the first served by a commuter rail and the second by an underground and elevated metro.


    A Telmex retail store in Puerto Vallarta.The telecommunications industry is mostly dominated by Telmex (Teléfonos de México), privatized in 1990. As of 2006, Telmex had expanded its operations to Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and the United States. Other players in the domestic industry are Axtel and Maxcom. Due to Mexican orography, providing landline telephone service at remote mountainous areas is expensive, and the penetration of line-phones per capita is low compared to other Latin American countries, at twenty-percent. Mobile telephony has the advantage of reaching all areas at a lower cost, and the total number of mobile lines is almost three times that of landlines, with an estimation of 57 million lines.[76] The telecommunication industry is regulated by the government through Cofetel (Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones).

    Usage of radio, television and Internet in Mexico is prevalent.[73] There are approximately 1410 radio broadcast stations, and 236 television stations (excluding repeaters).[76] Major players in the broadcasting industry are Televisa"Ēthe largest Spanish media company in the Spanish-speaking world[77]"Ē and TV Azteca.

    Main article: Demographics of Mexico
    According to the latest official census, which reported a population of 103 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world.[78] Mexican annual population growth has drastically decreased from a peak of 3.5% in 1965 to 0.99% in 2005. Life expectancy in 2006 was estimated to be at 75.4 years (72.6 male and 78.3 female). The states with the highest life expectancy are Baja California (75.9 years) and Nuevo Leon (75.6 years). The Federal District has a life expectancy of the same level as Baja California. The lowest levels are found in Chiapas (72.9), Oaxaca (73.2) and Guerrero (73.2 years). The mortality rate in 1970 was 9.7 per 1000 people; by 2001, the rate had dropped to 4.9 men per 1000 men and 3.8 women per 1000 women. The most common reasons for death in 2001 were heart problems (14.6% for men 17.6% for women) and cancer (11% for men and 15.8% for women).

    Mexican population is increasingly urban, with close to 75% living in cities. The five largest urban areas in Mexico (Greater Mexico City, Greater Guadalajara, Greater Monterrey, Greater Puebla and Greater Toluca) are home to 30% of the country's population. Migration patterns within the country show positive migration to north-western and south-eastern states, and a negative rate of migration for the Federal District. While the annual population growth is still positive, the national net migration rate is negative (-4.7/1000), attributable to the emigration phenomenon of people from rural communities to the United States.

    The following is a list of the major metropolitan areas of Mexico, as reported in the 2005 census.

    Rank Core City State Pop. Rank Core City State Pop.

    Mexico City


    1 Mexico City DF 19,231,829 11 Queretaro Qro 918,100
    2 Guadalajara Jal 4,095,853 12 Merida Yuc 897,740
    3 Monterrey NL 3,664,331 13 Mexicali BC 855,962
    4 Puebla Pue 2,109,049 14 Aguascalientes Ags 805,666
    5 Toluca Mex 1,610,786 15 Tampico Tamps 803,196
    6 Tijuana BC 1,483,992 16 Culiacan Sin 793,730
    7 Leon Gto 1,425,210 17 Cuernavaca Mor 787,556
    8 Juarez Chih 1,313,338 18 Acapulco Gro 786,830
    9 Torreon Coah 1,110,890 19 Chihuahua Chih 784,882
    10 San Luis Potosi SLP 957,753 20 Morelia Mich 735,624

    Mexico is home to the largest number of U.S. citizens abroad (estimated at one million as of 1999),[80] which represents 1% of the Mexican population and 25% of all U.S. citizens abroad. Other significant communities of foreigners are those of Central and South Americans, most notably from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Belize. Though estimations vary, the Argentinian community is considered to be the second largest foreign community in the country (estimated somewhere between 30,000 and 150,000).[81][82] Throughout the 20th century, the country followed a policy of granting asylum to fellow Latin Americans and Europeans (mostly Spaniards in the 1940s) fleeing political persecution in their home countries.

    Discrepancies between the figures for official legal aliens and those of all foreign-born residents regardless of their immigration status are quite large. The official figure for foreign-born legal residents in Mexico is 493,000 (since 2004), with a majority (86.9%) of these born in the United States (except Chiapas, where the majority of immigrants are from Central America). The five states with the most immigrants are Baja California (12.1% of total immigrants), Mexico City (the Federal District; 11.4%), Jalisco (9.9%), Chihuahua (9%) and Tamaulipas (7.3%). More than 54.6% of the immigrant population are fifteen years old or younger, while 9% are fifty or older.

    See also: Demographics of Mexico and Indigenous peoples in Mexico

    School kids, from Monterrey, Nuevo León.Mexico is ethnically diverse, and the constitution defines the country to be a pluricultural nation.

    Mestizos (those of mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry) form the largest group, comprising up to 60-75% of the total population.[18][83]
    Amerindians called indigenous peoples (ind√*genas) are estimated to be between 12% (pure Amerindian)[84] and 30% (predominantly Amerindian).[18] Indigenous peoples are considered the foundation of the Mexican pluricultural nation and therefore enjoy self-determination in certain areas. Indigenous languages are also considered "national languages" and are protected by law.
    Whites make up 9%-17%[18][83] of the population, mostly descendants of the first Spanish settlers; although there are a minority of French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Irish, Polish, Romanian, Russian and British descents from recent contemporary migration [85][86] after the waves of immigration that brought many Europeans at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, along with some Canadians and Euro-Americans from the United States. Most are found in major cities.
    Mexico also received a large number of Lebanese, Turkish,[87] Chinese, Japanese[85], Koreans[88] and Filipino immigrants.[89]

    Afro-Mexicans, mostly of mixed ancestry, live in the coastal areas of Veracruz, Tabasco and Guerrero.

    Main article: Languages of Mexico
    See also: Mexican Spanish
    There is no de jure constitutional official language at the federal level in Mexico.[90] Spanish, spoken by 97% of the population, is considered a national language by The General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which also grants all indigenous minority languages spoken in Mexico, regardless of the number of speakers, the same validity as Spanish in all territories in which they are spoken, and indigenous peoples are entitled to request some public services and documents in their native languages.[91] Along with Spanish, the law has granted them Ėmore than 60 languagesĖ the status of "national languages". The law includes all Amerindian languages regardless of origin; that is, it includes the Amerindian languages of ethnic groups non-native to the territory. As such the National Commission for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples recognizes the language of the Kickapoo, who immigrated from the United States,[92] and recognizes the languages of the Guatemalan Amerindian refugees.[93] The Mexican government has promoted and established bilingual primary and secondary education in some indigenous rural communities. Approximately 7.1% of the population speaks an indigenous language and 1.2% do not speak Spanish.[94]

    Mexico has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world with more than twice as many as the second largest Spanish-speaking country. Almost a third of all Spanish native speakers in the world live in Mexico.[78] Nahuatl is spoken by 1.5 million people and Yucatec Maya by 800,000. Some of the national languages are in danger of extinction; Lacandon is spoken by fewer than one hundred people.

    English is widely used in business, at the border cities, as well as by the one million U.S. citizens that live in Mexico, mostly retirees in small towns in Baja California, Guanajuato and Chiapas. Other European languages spoken by sizable communities in Mexico are Venetian, Plautdietsch, German, French and Romani.


    Metropolitan Cathedral of Guadalajara, Jalisco.See also: Religion in Mexico, Roman Catholicism in Mexico, and Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Unlike some other Latin American countries, Mexico has no official religion, and the Constitution of 1917 and the anti-clerical laws imposed limitations on the church and sometimes codified state intrusion into church matters. The government does not provide any financial contributions to the church, and the church does not participate in public education.

    The last census reported, by self-ascription, that 95% of the population is Christian. Roman Catholics are 89%[95] of the total population, even though only 47% percent of them attend church services weekly.[96] In absolute terms, Mexico has the second world's largest population of Catholics after Brazil.

    About 6% of the population (more than 4.4 million people) is Protestant,[95] of whom Pentecostals and Charismatics (called Neo-Pentecostals in the census), are the largest group (1.37 million people)[95]. There is also sizeable number of Seventh-day Adventists (0.6 milion people)[97]. The 2000 National census registered more than one million Jehovah's Witnesses.[95] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims one million registered members as of 2006, about 250,000 of whom are active,[98][99] though this is disputed.[100] The presence of Jews in the country dates back to as early as 1521, when Hernando Cortés conquered the Aztecs, accompanied by several Conversos. According to the last national census by the INEGI, there are now more than 45,000 Mexican Jews.[95] Additionally, almost three million people in the 2000 National Census reported having no religion.[95]

    In 1992, Mexico lifted almost all restrictions on the Catholic Church and other religions, including granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country.[101] Until recently, priests did not have the right to vote, and even now, they cannot be elected for public office.


    A type of traditional Mexican dance and costumes.Main article: Culture of Mexico
    Mexican culture reflects the complexity of th

  9. #469
    mexico for everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and yes for open borders

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