70% of illegals in Mexico are American citizens


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Some 70 percent of legal foreign-born Mexicans come from the U.S. The next largest number, about 5 percent, hail from Guatemala, according to the Global Post.

According to Mexican law, illegal immigrants are “never” arrested and sent to jail unless they have committed a crime in Mexico or in their home countries.

Once foreigners have been living in Mexico legally for five years, they can become citizens.

If it is discovered someone is living in the country without the appropriate documents, as long as they have not committed a crime they are required to pay a fine and then can begin the process of regularization to get on track to citizenship.

“To be undocumented in Mexico is not a criminal offense,” said Jorge Durand, a professor of the study of social movement at the University of Guadalajara and author of more than a dozen books on Mexican migration.

According to Mexico’s immigration law, illegal entry into Mexico, violating terms of a visa or trying to get back into the country after being deported could result in a fine equivalent to 20 to 100 days of minimum wage in Mexico — or between $83.60 and $441.00. (As of January 2010, there were three different minimum wages, the equivalent of $4.41, $4.29 or $4.18 a day depending on place of residence.)

The one violation that may carry a prison sentence is aiding in the transport of illegal immigrants into Mexico. This could result in 12 years in jail and a hefty fine of 10,000 days of minimum wage pay — $41,800 to $44,100.

But, generally, those in the country illegally are fined, told to make their status legal and sent on their way.


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