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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Immigration To The U.S.: Mexico's Position
Program #

Social Issues
Linda Fregoso
Jorge Bustamante
Dec 1, 1980

Immigration to the U.S.: Mexico's Position

Jorge Bustamante, Special Counsel to the Mexican President, discusses the history of undocumented immigration and its impact on both Mexico and the United States. Bustamante explains that few people in the United States have recognized the benefits of immigrant labor. He points out that under current immigration laws, undocumented workers are extremely profitable for employers. Moreover, U.S. history is a story of immigration, and yet, historically, immigrants have been blamed for economic crises, such as the Great Depression. Bustamante believes that the current outcry over immigration mostly stems from public misperceptions regarding the number of undocumented workers and their families, the duration of their stay and their effects on social service programs.

Bustamante then explains that problem of undocumented immigration also traces to Mexico’s dependent status in the world capitalist system. Mexico has imported labor saving technology from the U.S., which has decreased the number of available jobs. Consequently, immigration to the U.S. has become a safety valve that diffuses the political and economic tensions within Mexico. While in the past, Mexican society largely ignored the effects of immigration, the current administration, under Jose Lopez Portillo, has decided to counter U.S. misconceptions with an extensive research program that will study the cost and benefits of Mexican immigration to the U.S. Moreover, they are also going to begin providing legal services for immigrants in Mexican Consulates.

Bustamante also concludes that temporary worker programs are not the solution because history has shown us that they only maintain the conditions of exploitation.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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