By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
DEAR MEXICAN: I know I might sound like a gabacho borracho, but I'm really just a gringo trying to make progress toward getting work legally in Mexico, a side of the immigration debate we rarely hear about. Most gringos who move to Mexico are students at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or retired people who move to gated seaside communities or San Miguel de Allende and help to drive the housing costs up. Others move to Ajijic at Lake Chapala; most of them never learn Spanish and spend the majority of their time going to potluck gatherings with other gringos retirados. Okay, I guess orgullo gringoso has its place. I am a rarity: I'm a gringo who lives and works in Mexico about six months per year. I want to live in Mexico year-round and work legally. There's a system set up for this, sort of . . . It's the FM-3 visa and various other paper-chase BS. Not only does it beg mordida, but it is slow and has many roadblocks.
So far, I have worked under the table in Mexican tourism. Similar to architects from the Distrito Federal (DF) who end up working as waiters in Santa Monica or Seattle, I have had to work in hotels and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, etc. to survive. Selling time-shares is not for me (I am a lousy con artist). I want to work in my chosen profession—movie and TV production—and I want to get the equivalent of a Mexican green card. Do they exist? Is it possible for me to have a card that allows me to apply for work just as Mexican nationals do in Mexico City? I want to pay income taxes in Mexico and contribute to the better future of the country. I speak Spanish well, and if I ever had a chance to talk to ex-prezes Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon, I would say this: "For every 10,000 Mexicans working in the USA, can't you grant one green card to a gringo?" That's not asking a lot, is it?
El Gringo Mojado
DEAR WETBACK GABACHO: You can take steps to become a legal taxpayer—have you applied for the CURC? Gone through SAT? Got your CIEC?—but why bother? As you pointed out, it's a bureaucratic nightmare, and gabacho illegals have lived the good life in Mexico for decades. You're not likely to get deported given Mexico needs every gabacho dollar possible during these dark times of narcowars, and even becoming a legal resident or a naturalized citizen still qualifies you as a second-class person (despite your gabacho status) just above an indio, so you might as well stay illegal. Besides, look on the bright side: Fewer taxes paid to the Mexican government means more money stays in the local economy. You ain't an illegal; as with the Mexi illegals up here, you're a patriot against pendejo borders and antiquated citizenship laws.
DEAR MEXICAN: Why is it our tías y abuelitas are so superstitious and have so many wild stories? The story about a rattlesnake in the lechuga/cilantro/nopales (pick one) biting a mujer in a supermercado (pick your local one) who decides to rest in her carro while esposo finishes the shopping, then dies, is just the latest to circulate the Central and Southern California coast.
Cynthia the Pocha
DEAR POCHA: What you describe sounds like a spin on the classic urban legend of a woman who found a rat in her bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is examined in full in Jan Harold Brunvand's 1981 classic The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings. He noted that the legend was based on truthful accounts of food contamination and theorized its popularity was our collective unconscious projecting fears of "a world of shocking ugliness lying just beneath a surface of tranquility and apparent wholesomeness." Besides, the only Mexican wives' tale I know involving snakes is a supposed 30-foot-long flying snake that lives in the mountains above the rancho of my mami's birth.
gustavo, you're being a dick with gringo mojado. FM3 is similar to H1B visa in US. gringo mojado, if your want to get a FM3 by yourself is going to be a bureaucratic nightmare. if you ask a mexican friend of yours with a business fake a job contract for you....things get easy. you'll be legal in a matter of weeks. benefits? cheaper car insurance as you are a resident of Mexico, police will have one less reason to ask for a bribe, and even better you can do business by yourself without a stupid lazy-ass mexican as an intermediary.
Oh please, gringos aren't required to carry papers in Mexico. They don't even check your passportoryour bags (or your dog's international traveling papers) at the freakin' borders. The police state is the one up north. As for "illegals", I'm not sure murderers and tax cheats and bigamists and pot-smokers in the U.S. need to carry papers.
Hay gringo Mojado, just go to the Court building with a big sign and stand around yelling about how "you deserve your rights". Tell them you'll vote Democratic. Have a bunch of kids and yell about their rights. Wear a White Pride shirt. Stomp on and otherwise desecrate their flag. Oh and don't forget to accuse the Government of Racial Profiling you because you're Caucasian .
Lastly get a Clueless White guy "Journalist" (Ha!) who is actually a citizen there to champion white pride and the rights of the "poor oppressed white people of Mexico.
Seems to be working here.
Why do gabachos like to complicate things with immigration status and all that BS?! I was born in the US and lived in Mexico ilegally for 18 years. My parents never even bother to get me legal status down there. They just got me fake documents and voila!, like any mojado living in the US. I went to school there and had a normal life as any other Mexican. Just do what everybody does, including your gabcho brothers, stay wet, my friend.
@DonAlberto Funny, I had my passport inspected flying from Tijuana to Guadalara two weeks ago. The border zone—which includes the entire state of Baja California, even though technically it's supposed to stop at Maneadero—is a visa-free zone. Beyond that, you have to have an FMM (forma migratoria múltiple), a single-entry, 180-day visa that costs about $23.
If you fly from, say, Tijuana, you have to go through passport control before you can get to the checkin area. When you fly back, there's another passport check in Tijuana. If you drive, there are checkpoints to make sure you have your vehicle importation permit (not necessary on the Baja peninsula) and your FMM.
Technically you have to have an FMM to stay even in the border zone for more than 72 hours, but in the entire time I've been going to Baja I have never seen anyone ask me for an FMM.
I live in México, as a mexican, and I would love to see that happen. Would be a laugh. I´m serious. I would laugh my ass off. Probably even join the gringo´s protest. And as for the kids, he´s free to have as many as he can. We don´t have welfare!!! Hahaha.
@therion7 BUT as a foreigner yo DO have to carry your papers (fake or not) so as not to risk being deported?
I assume you carry yours.
@BillxT its like that here in AZ too.
@mrroach6 they have to legally stop you first and immigration control is a federal thing.
Growing up I used to hear stories about how in the Soviet Union everyone had to carry their documentation, plus travel permits if away from home (it's a slippery slope), and the fact that the papers could be demanded at any time. This was contrasted with our system where papers were not required to be carried by all persons and used to evidence our relative freedom. Welcome to the police state.
Legal or not during an encounter with them (you might have warrants or whatever) The first thing police want to know is who you are. Is it not reasonable if you produce foreign documentation to inquire if you are here (or anywhere for that matter) legally? I carry mt AZ drivers license, my AZ CCW (shows i'm not a felon or crazy) and my US passport card.
@mrroach6 So when some Arizona sherrif stops you and decides you fit the profile of an illegal, what do you tell him when he asks you for your documentation?
@BillxT THE POINT is that illegals here don't feel THEY have to?