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Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Expatriate's View from Mexico

Patrick Mullen is an expatriate American who lives near Rosarito, Baja, Mexico. We have become friends, though we have never met, which is a common occurance on the Internet, via email.

What follows is an interesting narrative on a bit different perspective on acquiring legal status as an immigrant. As an immigrant to Mexico, that is:


As of yesterday, I have acquired permanent legal status as a resident in Mexico, thanks to the exhaustive work accomplished by Alejandra Córdova of Rosarito. The scallywags at the immigration office had held up final processing of my "Inmigrado" card because of a nuance in Mexican labor law (I had worked for the Baja Times newspaper in Rosarito and was late declaring my earnings) and were trying to squeeze more fees out of me. This really ticked her off and she sweetly and quite forcefully told them they were not going to get it. This delayed the process by several months, but in the end she won the "Mexican stand-off."

God bless Alejandra!

All this has several personal implications which include:

* I can own and operate my very own taco stand without fear of being deported from Mexico because of illegally operating a business or working.

* The Instituto National de Migración has officially designated me as "Hombre." You may now address me as Señor Patricio, instead of "gringo,", "el mojado, or "güey."

Use of the term "Huero" or "Guero" is somewhat coarse, I prefer "Rubio."

* I really, really need to learn how to speak Spanish better. No more of this stuff with the small Mexican children breaking into polite guffaws when I attempt to pronounce the Spanish "r" or "rr" sound.

* I am the legal owner of my home's real property now, not the bank. I do not have to pay the bank a "fideicomiso" if I choose not to do so, because I am a Mexican citizen and have the right to possess the title of real property. Actually, it is to my advantage if I continue paying it --- another legal nuance.

* I now have every right to mutter and complain about Mexican laws and the disassociated manner in which many Mexican governmental agencies conduct their relationship with the citizenry, just like other Mexicans do.

* I will not bear the cost and inconvenience of having to return to the immigration office every year to renew my visa. Besides, everytime it rains the roof leaks and they close the office.

Acquiring the "Inmigrado" card was cause for a subdued celebration with a couple of my neighbors. I learned that the overall cost of obtaining a permanent residency in the U.S.A. was roughly the same. The time it takes to obtain permanent U.S. residency is apparently 7-14 years. It took me and Anne a little over ten years to obtain our Mexican residency.

A helpful tip for those desirous obtaining legal status in any country:

A neighbor of mine, a Mexican national, had a problem in the U.S. getting his permanent residency after he was arrested for nailing a guy across the nose with a cue stick during a misunderstanding in a Stateside billiards parlor. He pled with the local police chief to allow him to do community service to expunge his record, and he was eventually able to qualify for his U.S. green card after four months of volunteer work. If you want to avoid difficulties such as this, avoid imbibing too many adult beverages whilst visiting a pool hall.



... the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one. -- Dennis Miller

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