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1 SENDING STATE PROTECTION OF EMIGRANTS: A CASE STUDY OF MEXICO'S PROTECTION OF ITS EMIGRANTS IN NORTH CAROLINA By ALYSSA PEAVEY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Alyssa Peavey
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida and the Carol French Doughty Memorial Fund for providing me with the funds that made this research possible. I am also grateful for the guidance and insight provided by my committee members, Dr. Ieva Jusionyte and Dr. Timothy Steigenga, and especially my committe e chair and adviser, Dr. Philip Williams. I am indebted to everyone in North Carolina who assisted me with this project. First, I would like to thank my mom for her constant encouragement and support. I am also grateful to Dr. Altha Cravey for her advic e and her role fostering my inter est in Mexico while I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Most importantly, I would like to thank the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh and all of my informants for participating in this project. A specia l thanks to the NC Dream Team, Legal Aid, the North Carolina Justice Center, the Hispanic Family Center, the NC Council of Churches, the American Civil Liberties Union Jorgelina Araneda, Ann Robertson, Marty Rosenbluth, and all of the other organizations and individuals fighting for immigrant rights in North Carolina.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 7 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 7 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 8 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 8 Organization ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ........................... 14 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 14 Overview of Transnationalism ................................ ................................ ................. 15 Role of the Sending State ................................ ................................ ....................... 17 Extent of Engagement ................................ ................................ ...................... 18 Reasons to Engage ................................ ................................ .......................... 19 Types of Engagement ................................ ................................ ...................... 22 Choosing the Type of Engagement ................................ ................................ .. 25 Protection of Emigrants ................................ ................................ ........................... 26 Why Sending States Protect Emigrants ................................ ........................... 26 Need for t he Prot ection of Migrants in the United States ................................ 28 Consular Protection ................................ ................................ .......................... 32 Influencing Host State Policy ................................ ................................ ............ 34 Mexico's Current Protection of its Emigrants ................................ .................... 38 3 VIOLENT EFFECTS OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: THE EXPERIENCE OF MEXICANS IN NORTH CA ROLINA ................................ .......... 41 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 41 Mexican Migration to North Carolina ................................ ................................ ....... 41 Anti Immigrant Sentiment in North Carolina ................................ ............................ 43 Anti Immigrant Legislation and Programs ................................ ............................... 44 Drivers' Licenses ................................ ................................ .............................. 45 287(g) and Secure Communities ................................ ................................ ...... 47 Racial Profiling ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 50 Fear of Authorities ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 54 Other Problems with the Police ................................ ................................ ............... 56 Legal System ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 58 Detention and Jails ................................ ................................ ................................ 62 Deportation ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 63
5 Challenging Stereotypes ................................ ................................ ......................... 65 Other Ways to Figh t the System ................................ ................................ ............. 68 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 69 4 CONSULAR PROTECTION IN RALEIGH: SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 71 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 71 Mexican Consulate in Raleigh ................................ ................................ ................ 71 What is Protection? ................................ ................................ ................................ 74 Who is Protected ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 74 Types of Protection ................................ ................................ ................................ 75 Active Protection ................................ ................................ .............................. 76 Minors and family integrity ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Other services ................................ ................................ ............................ 80 Preventative Protection ................................ ................................ .................... 81 Issuing IDs ................................ ................................ ................................ 82 Informing Mexicans ................................ ................................ .................... 83 Informing Americans ................................ ................................ .................. 85 Protection as a Responsibility ................................ ................................ ................. 88 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 89 5 CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS TO MEXICO'S PROTECTION OF ITS EMIGRANTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 91 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 91 Sovereignty ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 91 Lack of Communication and Accessibility ................................ ............................... 94 Farm Workers ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 98 Lack of Resources ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 99 Bureaucracy ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 101 Negative Perceptions of Consular Staff ................................ ................................ 102 Negative Views of the Mexican Government ................................ ........................ 106 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 112 6 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 113 Room for Impro vement ................................ ................................ ......................... 113 Diaspora Engagement ................................ ................................ .......................... 115 The Nation State and Transnationalism ................................ ................................ 118 Future Avenues of Research ................................ ................................ ................ 119 The Future of Immigrant Rights in North Carolina ................................ ................ 120 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 122 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 128
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts SENDING STATE PROTECTION OF EMIGRANTS: A CASE STUDY OF MEXICO'S PROTECTION OF ITS EMIGRANTS IN NORTH CAROLINA By Alyssa Peavey May 2013 Chair: Philip Williams Major: Latin American Studies The efforts of sending states t o protect their emigrants, like other forms of transnationalism, have been growing in intensity and importance, but there is scarce literature on this topic. In order to determine what role a sending state can play in the protection of its emigrants, part icularly in the a nti immigrant context of the United States North Carolina was carried out. Interviews with employees of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh, immigrant right s advocates, and Mexican nationals revealed that Mexicans encounter a number of difficulties in their experiences with the legal and judicial systems in North Carolina. Although the Mexican state had limited engagement with its diaspora in the past, it no w embraces Mexican emigrants as part of the nation, and the Raleigh Consulate has implemented a number of active and preventative protection strategies to assist Mexicans in North Carolina. However, the extent to which it can protect Mexicans is limited b y the issue of sovereignty and the lack of resources. In addition, negative views of the Mexican government and the people who work for it may prevent some Mexicans from seeking help from the Consulate.
7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Overview In the past few year s, as deportations have reached record highs and states have passed restrictive immigration laws, it is apparent that the situation for immigrants in the United States has become increasingly precarious. Particularly in many of the new immigrant destinati ons in the South, measures are being taken that make the lives of immigrants, especially unauthorized one s, more difficult and sometimes violate their rights In this context, it is not surprising that a sending country would be concerned about the well be ing of its emigrants. Although Mexico, the country of origin for the majority of Latino immigrants in the U.S., once engaged little with its diaspora, it has recently made public proclamations regarding its commitment to protecting its emigrants. In a pr ess release regarding SB 20, the anti available means and channels in order to protect the fundamental rights of Mexicans, regardless of thei ecretara de R elaciones E xteriores 2011). As U.S. politicians began discussing immigration reform in January 2013, Mexico's new ambassador to the U.S., Eduardo Medina Mora, commented, "[W]e have a ve ry great interest, an unavoidable responsibility to defend the interests of our fellow citizens and to promote an argument that increases opportunities for them" (Rodriguez and Schoichet 2013). However, the extent to which a sending country government can or will protect its citizens that live outside of its territory is not well understood
8 Objectives The case of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh will help to understand the actions a sending country can take in order to protect its emigrants in a new destin ation where protection is greatly needed. In my research, I first address the difficulties, particularly with regards to the legal and judicial systems, that Mexican n ationals face in North Carolina. I demonstrate that Mexicans face racial profiling, dif ficulties related to interior enforcement programs and lack of access to driver's licenses, and other f orms of police abuse. They also often lack access to adequate legal counsel and encounter other problems in the courts, detention centers, and prisons. Some have challenged the discriminatory system, but my findings also show that many want the Mex ican government to protect them. I then address how and to what extent the Mexican government can protect its nationals in the U.S. Although the Mexican gove rnment can and does provide a wide variety of protection services to its emigrants through its consulate in North Carolina it faces challenges and limitations due to the issue of sovereignty, a lack of resources, and negative perceptions of the Mexican go vernment and the people who work for it. Methodology In spring 2011, I had the opportunity to intern in the Department of Protection and Legal Services of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh while co mpleting my last semester at the University of North Carol ina at Chapel Hill. I also had occasion to visit the Consulate several times during that summer while I was working for an immigration lawyer who provides consultations at the Consulate through the Mexican government's External Legal Assistance Program (PA LE). These experiences led me to return to Raleigh in summer 2012 in order to investigate further the legal difficulties that Mexican
9 nationals face in North Carolina and the role of the Mexican government in protecting them. In order to answer my rese arch questions, I decided to interview three different groups of people: Mexican nationals residing in North Carolina (all of whom would be eligible for consular services), employees of the Mexican Consulate, and other individuals working to help migrants. Between May and August 2012, I conducted fifty semi structured interviews in North Carolina. The interviews ranged between fifteen minutes to almost three hours, though most were between thirty and forty minutes. Some were conducted in Spanish and othe rs in English or a combination of the two languages. I allowed the informant to decide which language he or she preferred. Most allowed me to record our conversation, but for those who did not, I took detailed notes. I interviewed thirty Mexican nationa ls about their experiences living in North Carolina, their knowledge of and experience with the Mexican Consulate, and their opinions of the Mexican government. I found thirteen of my informants through acquaintances in the community and the snowball samp ling technique. All of these interviews took place in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Charlotte. I interviewed three more in Raleigh at the Hispanic Family Center, a program of Catholic Charities. I also travelled to rural areas in central North Caroli na with members of the Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina and the Student Action with Farmworkers interns. I interviewed six farm workers at their homes in Wake, Johnston, Sampson, and Harnett counties in central North Carolina. Finally, I in terviewed eight people I met in the waiting room at the Consulate.
10 Altogether, my sample of Mexican nationals in North Carolina included twenty males and ten females. All were of working age; their ages ranged from 18 to 52, with a median age of 33. The most common occupations were agriculture and construction, and the median number of years of schooling was 10.5 1 One informant was born in the U.S. but has Mexican nationality and a mixed status family, and three were H2A workers 2 but the rest were born in Mexico and currently living full time in the U.S. Although I did not ask about legal status, it became obvious during my interviews that most of my informants were unauthorized immigrants. They represent 16 different states of origin in Mexico and 15 counties of residence in North Carolina. They had lived in (or been coming to, in the case of the H2A workers) the U.S. for between 2 and 25 years, and in North Carolina for 2 to 20 years. The median length of time in the U.S. was 13.5 years, and the median length of time in North Carolina was 13 years. Four stated that they were indigenous, though only two were fluent in an indigenous language. I interviewed eleven Consulate employees, including everyone who works in the Department of Protection and Legal Services. I asked them to describe their jobs and the type of cases in which they are able to help Mexicans in North Carolina. Interviews with the Consul and his chief of staff helped me to learn more about the structure of the Consulate and Mexica n government policy regarding protection. I also attended a 1 Although my sample seems to be fairly representative of the Mexican population in North Carol ina in other ways, it is important to note that my informants are on average much more educated. 2 The H2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. for temporary agricultural work. In Fiscal Year 2011, 77,246 H2A positions wer e certified by the Department of Labor, and the top state of employment was North Caroli na, with 9,137 positions The North Carolina Growers' Association manages the recruitment and hiring process of the majority of these workers, and all of the workers it recruits are Mexican.
11 forum at the Mexican Consulate on the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) 3 program, accompanied the Consul to meet with arriving H2A workers recruited by the North Carolina Growers' Association, and had informal conversations with other consular staff. The other nine informants included six lawyers and three others who work for non profit organizations that assist immigrants. Two of the lawyers work at private immigration law firms in Raleigh, and both of them are involved with the Mexican Consulate through the PALE program. The other lawyers work for non profits based in Raleigh or Durham. One specializes in immigration law (particularly deportation defense), one in civil rights, and two in law related to farm workers. I asked all of them about the difficulties faced by the Mexican community, their knowledge of and work with the Mexican Consulate, and what they believe the role of the Mexican government can or should be in protec ting Mexicans in North Carolina. A limitation of my study is the fact that most of these interviews took place in central North Carolina. The experiences of Mexicans in North Carolina vary greatly depending on their location, and I was not able to interv iew anyone from either the most western or the most eastern parts of the state. People living in these areas may also be less likely to know about the Consulate or be able to travel there. Although some of the lawyers and other community members I interv iewed work with clients from other parts 3 DACA, created by an executive order of the Obama Administration, provides a two year work permit to certain unauthorized immigrants. In general, those who came to the U.S. before the age of 16, were under the age of 31 as of June 1 5, 2012, completed high school or a GED, and have not been convicted of a serious crime are eligible to apply.
12 of the state, they generally seemed more knowledgeable about the situation of Mexican migrants in central North Carolina, particularly in the Triangle 4 Organization This thesis is divided into six chapters. The ne xt chapter, Chapter 2, provides a review of the literature relevant to the topic of sending state protection of emigrants. I begin with an overview of transnationalism and then go into more detail about state led transnationalism and protection as a type o f state led transnationalism. I discuss both consular protection and protection through influencing the host state's policies, as well how the construction of Mexicans in the U.S. as "illegals" and "criminals" has led them to have a particular need for pro tection. In Chapter 3, I first give a brief overview of the history of Mexican migration to North Carolina and North Carolinians' reaction to it. I then draw on the data from my interviews to discuss the challenges and difficulties that Mexican nationals face in their encounters with the legal and judicial systems in North Carolina. Although they face numerous problems, several of my informants actively challenged the stereotypes about them and the treatment they received. In Chapter 4, I provide an overv iew of the history and structure of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh and explain the different types of protection it offers. I also consider the opinions of Mexicans in North Carolina as to whether or not the Mexican government has the responsibility to provide protection. In Chapter 5, I discuss my findings regarding the limits of and challenges to Mexico's protection of its emigrants in North Carolina. I argue that the most significant 4 The Triangle is the region anchored by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
13 constraint to protection is the lack of resources the Mexican gove rnment devotes to it, although negative perceptions of the consular staff and the Mexican government may also inhibit the use of consular services. In some situations, the issue of sovereignty may be a limiting factor, but the Mexican Consulate can often s till use indirect methods to achieve its goals. Chapter 6 concludes the thesis with brief recommendations for the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh and a discussion on the relevance of this case study to the literature on transnationalism and diaspora engagem ent. It also includes avenues for future research and predictions related to the future of immigrant rights in North Carolina.
14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction In order to understand the history and theory behind Mexico' s practices and discourse relating to the protection of its emigrants, I will give a brief overview of the transnational perspective wi thin migration studies and then review the literature on the role of the sending state in transnationalism. I will focus on sending state attempts to protect emigrants, both through consular protection and efforts to influenc e host state immigration policy, and I will also address the reasons why Mexican immigrant s in the United States are in particular need of protection. Much of this literature review will focus on the particular case of Mexico. The earlier claims that the Mexican state made limited use of its consulates (Castaeda 1987, in Gonzlez Gutirrez 1997) or provided Mexicans abroad with no more than market membership (Goldring 2002 69 ). Even though there was a need for protection and it has long been an accepted consular activity and permitted by the U S political system, the twentieth century. In a study on the theory and practice of the protection of the human rights of undocumented Mexicans in the U S from 1980 to 1993, Hernndez Castro (2000) found t emigrants was lacking; the entire policy prior to the late 1980s has been called the 65 ). This review
15 will demonstrate how and why that policy changed and how the protection of Mexican migrants became important to the Mexican government. Overview of Transnationalism Steve Vert ovec, a professor of transnational anthropology at the University of Oxford, provides a comprehensive overview of transnationalism and the state of scholarship in the field in his 2009 book Transnationalism Levitt and Jaworsky (2007) also provide a brief er introduction to the field. Peggy Levitt, a professor of sociology at Wellesley College, is herself one of the most prolific and widely cited authors of the field, particularly regarding Latin American migration to the U.S. According to Levitt and Jawor sky, the transnational perspective within the interdisciplinary field of migration studies first gained prominence in the early 1990s and since then has become one of the primary ways of understanding contemporary migrant practices. Until the 1990s, migra tion studies tended to focus on how migrants adapted to the host state society, but scholars then began to pay more attention to the linkages across borders (Vertovec 2009). Vertovec (2009, 2) border relation ships, patterns of exchange, affiliations and social formation s spanning nation states He divides transnationalism into six different conceptual areas: transnationalism as a social morphology, a type of consciousness, a mode of cultural production, an a venue of capital, a site of political engagement, and the (re)construction that span nation states, and one of the ways in which these are understood is through the stu dy of ethnic diasporas The migrants that compose these diasporas are often (but not always) simultaneously embedded in more than one place and can undertake
16 transnational political activities that affect their homeland. Sending states are increasingly rec ognizing their diasporas and granting them dual citizenship and othe r rights and benefits (Vertovec 2009). Levitt and Jaworsky (2007) give several examples of migrant transnational practices, including economic practices like sending remittances or invest ing in the home country or political practices like voting from abroad. Transnational social, cultural, and religious activities also exist, though they are somewhat less discussed in the literature. Although some of these practices existed before the te rm to know what is genu inely new about it, both Levitt and Jaworsky (2007) and Vertovec (2009) suggest that current practices are generally differentiated from past ones due to their increased intensity and institutionalization. New transportation and communication technologies have facilitated these practices. A common debate in the literature is if and how transnational practices challenge the concept of the Guarnizo and Smith (1998, 3) discuss how "transnationalism from above involving transnational capital, supranational institutions, and global media, as well as "transnationalism from below which involves the grassroots and includes tran snational migrant practices, have been viewed as causing a "crisis of the nation state. Other e arlier authors in transnational studies claimed that t he state was losing its importance because of these forces from both "above" and "below." For example, Sas kia Sassen, a sociologist who is well known for her writings about globalization and immigration argued that immigration presents a significant challenge to state sovereignty (1996). Particularly in the case of undocumented immigration, the
17 state no long er has control over its borders, and the rights awarded to immigrants and refugees devalue citizenship. Additionally, Sassen (1996) argues that the emergent international human rights regime can undermine the authority of the state and the principle of na tion based citizenship. More recent authors have come to the conclusion that the nation state has been able to withstand the challenges and will remain important for the foreseeable future. According to Vertovec (2009), the state may be reconfiguring its elf, but it is not disappearing. Although the state may be affected by some of the forces from both above and below, it also has the capacity to affect migrant transnationalism. Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003, 588) major role, along with other civic, religious, and political institutions, in creating and reinforcing lasti ng transnational involvements." Connections between the state and the citizen still exist, and the state can shape transnational practices by enabl ing or constraining the ability of migrants to make political cl aims. In addition, Mattila (2001 ) explains that despite the existence of international conventions on human rights, states are still the primary actors that provide for the protection of these rights. Role of the Sending State This shift in attitude toward the state was also accompanied by an increasing interest among scholars in addressing the role of the state in transnationalism. Earlier literature tended to focus on how migrants engaged in transnational practices and created transnational space, but in the past decade, some authors have begun studying the role of the state in facilitating or hindering transnational practices and creating transnational space. There now tends to be a divi sion in the literature between state led
18 and migrant led transnationalism 5 State led transnationalism is defined as oral regulation to include emigrants 2002, 64). Authors such as Gamlen (2008), Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003), and Smith (2003) explain the extent to which state led transnationalism occurs, the factors that lead states to engage with their diasporas, the forms that this engagement takes, and how states choose a particular type of engagement. Extent of Engagement Most works in the area of state led transnationalism are case studies, which mak es it difficult to know the extent to which states are engaging in transnational practices. Indeed, Vertovec (2009) states that one criticism of transnational studies in general is that scholars tend to sample on transnationalism and therefore may over re present the phenomenon. However, Alan Gamlen, a geographer whose doctoral thesis was supervised by Vertovec at the University of Oxford, tries to respond to this (2008) study of the relations of sixty four st ates with their diasporas shows that institutionalized state diaspora relations are actually quite normal, in contrast to what proponents of the modern geopolitical view of the wo rld would have us believe This view of state diaspora relations as backward or somehow abnormal has been commonly accepted because most studies on sending 5 It is important to note that while scholars tend to separate state led and migrant led transnationalism for analytical purposes, there are not always clear boundaries between the two. Migrants and the state often interact to create transnational space or practices, as discussed in both Goldring (2002) and Flix (2011).
19 America and because the existing literature is very fragmented. However, Gamlen (2008 ) finds that many states devote a portion of the state apparatus to transnational activities and have mechanisms to engage migrants that extend beyond their borders. Reasons to Engage nd vary case by case. Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) conducted a comparative study of Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti and found that the reasons that states engage with their diasporas depend on several factors, including structural imper atives, potential political and economic gains, and emergent international norms. Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) explain that developing countries need foreign exchange and therefore implement policies to capture remittances. The increasingly interdepend ent global economy also leads them to seek closer relations with trade partners, and they see emigrants as potential ambassadors who can foster closer political and economic relations with host states. For example, Mexico found Mexican Americans to be a us eful lobby for the passage of N orth A merican F ree T rade A greement (NAFTA) Leaders at all levels of government in sending states are also increasingly paying attention to the importance of remittances and are taking steps to attract or channel them. Acco rding to Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003, 599) the governor of Zacatecas stated that it was (2003) argue that the sending s incorporation of emigrants as citizens can be seen as an outgrowth of globalization and the trend toward democratization. Democratization is also a factor that Smith (2003) mentions as leading to closer state diaspora relations, and Goldring (200 2) and Rosenblum (2004) both mention
20 Mexican emigrants. During the 1988 presidential election in Mexico, the ruling party, the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI), found that its decades long hold over power was candidate, Cuahtmoc Crdenas, received support from migrants in the U.S. following his campaign tours there. Although the PR I won the election, it was by a very slim margin and probably only accomplished through massive electoral fraud (Massey, Durand, and Malone 2002). This development led the PRI to reach out to migrants, and with the weakening of the PRI and opening up of t he political system, both the PRI and the National Action Party (PAN) were forced to compete for the support of emigrants. Margheritis (2007) also explains that the decision to implement a diaspora engagement policy can be affected by the characteristic s of the emigrants. Argentina was more motivated to reach out to its emigrants in Spain because of their profile (young, educated, employed, with relatives or networks in Spain, and not active in migration as the loss of valuable human capital, and it has recently implemented programs to strengthen relations with Argentine researchers abroad and promote the return migration of Argen tine professionals (Margheritis 2007). Similarly, Itzingsohn (2000 ) found that the location and economic well strategy of diaspora engagement was based on its emigrants in the U.S., not its poorer emigrants in the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries. S engagement with their diasporas in the United States reveal two more factors that lead
21 a sending state to engage or not engage with its diaspora. The geopolitical situation can make a World Wars, the Depression, and the Cold War, and the state also disappeared and reappeared in t his time, hindering the development of a strong connection with the Polish diaspora. Additionally, the comparison of Italy in the period of 1880 to 1930 with perceptions of se nding state diaspora relations at a particular moment in time can affect how or if a sending state tries to engage with its diaspora. In the early 1900s, the U.S. was suspicious of diasporic activities and membership, so the Italian state refrained from e xtending dual citizenship to Italians in the U.S. More recently, the U.S. has had a more neutral attitude toward diasporic activities, which has allowed Mexico to foster closer ties with its diaspora. Alexandra Dlano also acknowledges the importance of host country policy and society. Dlano, like Gamlen, recently received her Ph.D. fr om Oxford, and now she focuses on sending state relations with its diaspora in the case of Mexico. In her 2010 study, she describes how the Mexican government tries to integrate Mexicans into the U.S. with health, education, and leadership development pro grams provided by the Mexican consulates, but it does not publicize its activities widely because it is afraid that the anti immigrant context in the U.S. would cause there to be a backlash to its actions.
22 On the other hand, host country policies can also spur sending states to engage with their diasporas. Goldring (2002) and Dlano (2009a) both note that one of the reasons that Mexico began to take a more active role in engaging with its diaspora in the 1990s was the increasingly hostile attitude toward immigrants in the U.S. Anti immigrant legislation, and therefore the need for protection, began to become more common in the 1990s, and the Mexican government responded by increasing the profile of its c onsuls and consulates (Goldring 2002). In addition, California passed Proposition 187, which would have restricted migrant access to education and other interventionist policy toward i ts migrants had changed (Dlano 2009a). Types of Engagement Gamlen (2008) and Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) outline some of the ways in which sending states can interact with their diasporas. Gamlen discusses how sending states have two major categories of diaspora interaction: diaspora bui lding and diaspora integration. In the diaspora building category, sending states can cultivate their diasporas by celebrating national holidays, recognizing expatriates with awards, issuing special identification cards, providing education about the nati onal language and history, creating a discourse that claims responsibility for the diaspora, and convening diaspora congresses. Sending states can also recognize their diasporas by creating a program or bureaucratic unit devoted to the diaspora, expanding consular units, developing statistics, and commissioning reports. Diaspora integration includes extending political and social rights and extracting obligations by taxing and promoting remittances and investment by emigrants.
23 Levitt and de la Dehesa (2 003) divide the types of sending state engagement into the categories of bureaucratic reforms, investment policies, the provision of state services and protections abroad, symbolic politics, and the extension of political rights. Bureaucratic reforms can i nclude actions such as creating a General Directorate for communities abroad, as both the Mexican and Brazilians governments did. Investment policies can include investment funds that pay higher interest rates or matching funds programs. Mexico has the mo st extensive and successful such program, in which state (HTAs) and match their funds for public works projects in Mexico. The Mexican government has also had some succe ss in lowering the rates of U.S. money transfer companies by publishing reports comparing the rates of different companies and by directly negotiating with the companies. Mexico has also gone the farthest in the area of state services abroad, offering edu cation, health, and other services. In addition, Levitt and de la Dehesa discuss the symbolic measures of Mexico and other countries, similar to many of the diaspora cultivation activities Gamlen (2008) describes. For example, Brazil has awarded its high est civilian honor, the Order of Rio Branco, to a Brazilian in Massachusetts, and Dominican consular officials have sponsored cultural the nation. In the category of polit ical rights, sending states can extend dual citizenship or nationality 6 and the rights to vote and run for office. In the 1990s, several Latin 6 These terms are often used interchangeably, but as Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) point out, there is an important difference in that dual nationality does not necessarily confer all of the rights that citizen ship does, such as voting
24 American countries, including Mexico, began offering dual citizenship or nationality, but extending emigrants th e right to vote or run for office has been somewhat more controversial. Those still living in the sending state's territory may fear that emigrants are not entirely loyal to the sending state and have different interests (Waldinger 2009), so some states h ave been slow to provide for political rights such as expatriate voting. For example, although electoral reforms in 1996 allowed for the possibility of expatriate voting in Mexico, a law was not passed to allow voting abroad until 2005, and the voting proc ess was made difficult. Only 32,632 Mexicans, or about one percent of eligible voters abroad, voted in the 2006 election. Many Mexicans abroad did not have the required electoral ID (available only in Mexico), did not want to or could not pay the certifi ed postage to send the ballot to Mexico, or were unfamiliar with the voting process (Gutierrez et al. 2012). Expatriate voting was still limited in 2012, with 40,714 votes counted ("In Second Mexico Vote" 2012). On the other hand, the Dominican Republic a llowed expatriate voting in the 2012 election and also created seven positions in its Chamber of Deputies for overseas representatives ("Dominicans" 2011). Waldinger (2009) has a very different typology for diaspora engagement from that of Gamlen or Levit t and de la Dehesa. Waldinger divides diaspora engagement policies into two main types: those that reconnect emigrants to their homeland, and those oriented to the immigrant situation abroad. He argues that there is an important difference between the two and that the second type of policy is much more likely to be policies, the vote abroad and the provision of the matrcula consular a consular identification card that is ac cepted by several U.S. municipalities, institutions, and
25 businesses as an official form of identification. He found that intervention on the side of the receiving society, as with the matrcula consular was much more successful in the sense that millions of Mexicans in the U.S. took advantage of the ability to get an identification document, while only a small percentage voted in the 2006 elections. He argues that this difference is due to the fact that emigrants are located outside of the national territ ory and therefore less connected to homeland politics. Choosing the Type of Engagement Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) furthermore elucidate some factors that may lead a sending state to choose a particular type of policy. These factors include the resour ces of sending state, the role of political parties, and the size of the diaspora. All ability to cover the costs. The comparison of Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, and t he Dominican Republic shows that states are likely to converge on low cost policies like symbolic politics, but states with larger budgets, like Brazil and Mexico, are more likely to extend state services to emigrants. Political parties that actively reac h out to emigrants, as size of the emigrant community can affect the cost benefit analysis of political parties when they make the decision to advocate extending rights to emigrants. In both Mexico and the Dominican Republic, the relatively large size of the emigrant community and its potential to decide electoral outcomes made the decision to extend political rights to emigrants much more controversial than in Brazil, wher e the small size of the emigrant community made granting the vote abroad a low cost policy.
26 Protection of Emigrants Waldinger (2009) contend s that consular protection has recently been increasing in intensity and importance, and there is arguably a great need for the protection of migrants, but the literature on the protection of emigrants as a particular type of sending state engagement with its diaspora is still fairly sparse. Some authors, such as Gamlen (2008) mention protection within their works on sending state diaspora relations, and there is some literature about particular consular services 7 especially those offered by the Mexican government, but protection is generally not a focus of those studies. With discussed below, there is also scarce literature that explores the ability of sending states to protect their emigrants through influencing host state immigration policy Why Sending States Protect Emigrants Sending states have economic and political rea sons to be concerned about host country immigration policy and the well being of their emigrants. Emigration can act as a safety valve for sending states, lowering unemployment and raising wages (Rosenblum 2004). Sending states also clearly care about re mittances, which are a scale deportations can threaten remittance flows and lead sending states to ta ke action (Waldinger 2009). As discussed earlier, developing countries that are in a dependent position in the world economy tend to be particularly concerned about remit tances (Levitt and d e la Dehesa 7 Examples include remains by Mexican consulates.
27 2003). Brain drain, the outflow of skilled workers, is also a concern, even in Latin be an important consideration for sending states as well. When the sending state has a large number of emigrants in a vulnerable situati on and there is domestic awareness of (Rosenblum 2004; Waldinger 2009). Sending state protection is important due to widespread violations of migrant rights and the f ailure of receiving states and international treaties to protect them. According to Patrick Taran (2001, 7) a Senior Migration Specialist at the International and commo nplace that they are a defining feature of internat ional migration today Receiving states often see migrants as a cheap, disposable source of labor, easily deportable and not subject to labor and minimum wage standards. Although the Universal Declaratio n of Human Rights asserts that human rights are universal and inalienable, there has been opposition to guaranteeing rights for migrants. Receiving states resist applying human rights standards to migrants, especially undocumented ones, and the provisions included in the 1990 Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families to protect the rights of undocumented migrants have hindered its ratification by receiving states. In receiving states, migrants have even been deliberately associated with criminality by politicians and in everyday discourse in order to justify denying them rights. Taran (2001) argues that the association of migrants with drug trafficking in particular has allowed migration to be viewed wi thin a framework of combating organized crime and led rights to be
28 subordinated to security concerns. After 9/11, migrants also became associated with terrorism, and in the U.S., the creation of a more favorable policy toward migrants became much more dif ficult (Dlano 2009b). Need for the Protection of Migrants in the U nited States Latinos, and especially Mexicans in the U.S., are particularly vulnerable because they have been constructed as "illegals," criminals, and subjects somehow undeserving of righ ts. Leo Chavez (2008) discusses the "Latino Threat Narrative," which posits that Latinos, and particularly Mexicans, are an invasive force who do not want to and are not capable of assimilating to American society. Chavez analyzes media in the U.S. and co ncludes that it objectifies and dehumanizes Latinos, constructing them as a marginalized Other and making it easier to pass laws that prevent them from successfully integrating. As Mae Ngai (2004) demonstrates, over time, U.S. (2005) writes about how Mexicans have been constructed as the iconic "illegal aliens" in the U.S. He argues that it is important not to take the law for granted, since the immigration laws have worked to produce Mexican illegality. As Ngai and De Genova explain, the U.S. government has the power to make and unmake illegal immigrants and has done so at various points during the past century, but this reality generally is not recognized. Along with the stereotype of Mexicans as "illegals" comes the belief that they are also all criminals or prone to criminal behavior, even though unauthorized presence in the U S is not tec hnically a crime; it is a civil infraction. In addition, as De Genova (2005 237 ) points out, unauthorized immigration is a victimless crime; the only "victim"
29 is the sovereign nation state because its authority is transgressed. Unfortunately, there is a long history of associating Mexican immigrants with criminality, despite these facts and the evidence from studies that show that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes. Ngai (2004) shows how the equation of "Mexican" and "illegal" with "cr iminal" was already becoming apparent by the time of the bracero program in the mid 1900s. ther l types from Mexico" (Ngai 2004, 149). Acc ording to a 1951 study by Saunders and Leonard cited b y Ngai (2004, 149) the wetback criminal stereotype was applied to all Mexicans, regardless of their legal status. Furthermore, Kil and Menjvar (2006) explore how the militarization of the U.S. Mexico border has naturalized the construction of Mexicans a s the "enemy," and they mention the perceived association of immigrant smugglers ("coyotes") with drug traffickers. They also discuss how immigrants have been criminalized by the governmental agencies that deal with immigration; this can be seen in the fa ct that since 2003, the Department of Homeland Security has taken over management of immigration issues. 8 Immigrants are now seen by the U.S. government as a security issue, people who are likely to pose a threat to the country. This idea that immigrants, particularly unauthorized ones, pose a threat to the U.S. and are likely to commit crimes 8 Immigration matters were previously handled by the Department of Labor and then the Department of Justice.
30 because they were already criminals in their country of origin or because they already committed the "crime" of crossing the border without the right documents has no w become dominant. However, there has been relatively little research on the actual relationship between immigration and crime. The studies that do exist tend to show that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes. For example, Rumbaut et al (2006) found that the U.S. born were four times more likely to be incarcerated than the foreign born. Of several different groups of Asians and Latin Americans, the lowest incarceration rates were found for the least educated: Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Mexicans. Although the construction of Mexican immigrants as illegal and criminal may not be based on reality, it can have real consequences. As De Genova (2005) argues, Mexican illegality is experienced through a sense of deportability. Most unau thorized immigrants are never deported, but the constant threat of deportation makes them a more vulnerable and tractable workforce that is more easily exploited by U.S. companies. In their study on the criminalization of immigrants at the Mexico U.S. border, Kil and Menjvar (2006) argue that this criminalization is a type of symbolic racism that encourages social polarization in U.S. communities and also hostility and violence against immigrants that cross the border. The state's militarization of the border has constructed them as enemy invaders who are putting the entire nation at risk, and they are also seen to have a particular racial appearance (brownness). Kil and Menjvar explain how, in accordance with the brutalization theory, the public then imitates the state with regard to border policy. Vigilante groups see themselves as aiding the state in
31 protecting the border, and the violence and abuse against immigrants (or those who look like the stereotype of an unauthorized immigrant) continues eve n away from the border. In her work with Abrego, Menjvar further elaborates how the criminalization of immigrants at the federal, state, and local levels has had violent effects for immigrants and their families. Menjvar and Abrego (2012) term this ty pe of violence, which the law creates and normalizes, as "legal violence." Legal violence can affect immigrants in numerous ways, from physical violence to harm to the immigrant in the realms of family, education, and work. Immigration law causes immigrant s to be both outside the law and also accountable to it, so although their rights are not often not protected by the law, they can still be punished for any perceived transgressions. Tanya Golash Boza (2012) expands on how U.S. immigration policy has led t o the violation of several human rights named in treaties that the U.S. has signed and ratified, including the International on Covenant on Civil and Political Rights the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convent ion Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Golash Boza argues that the right to form a family is violated when deportations separate families. Racial profiling violates the right to freedom from discrimination, and the lack of judicial review in removal proceedings violates the right to due process. The mandatory detention of asylum seekers violates the right to freedom from arbitrary detention, and the abuses that many detainees face, such as the withholding of med ical care, amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Golash Boza also emphasizes that raids and deportations not only affect unauthorized workers, but also their U.S. citizen family members and friends.
32 The fact that human rights are generally expected to b e guaranteed by the nation state can be particularly problematic for people who are not citizens of the nation state in which they are residing or are not recognized as such. When individuals are not considered to be part of a nation state, they are essen tially not even considered to be human. Arendt (2009) discusses the problem of stateless people in the aftermath of World War I, when the map of Europe was redrawn and there was an attempt to create new nation states in Eastern Europe. People who found t hemselves living in newly created nation states where they did not belong to the nation in power, or were otherwise persecuted, found themselves without rights. The stateless person was basically not considered to legally exist unless he or she committed a crime, and the police was granted increasing power in order to deal with the problem of the existence of the stateless. It is easy to compare the situation of the stateless people that Arendt studied to that of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. today. Sociologist Philip Kretsedemas (2012) argues that nonimmigrants (people who arrived without permission to stay long term) are de facto stateless. As a consequence of their legal status, they have limited rights and are subject to deportation. Similar t o Menjvar and Abrego (2012), Kretsedemas (2012, 21) states, "effectively, these people are subject to the law bu t not protected by the law Consular Protection Although migrants are not living in their country of citizenship, they are generally not actu ally stateless, and their states of origin have some authority to protect them. Protection of emigrants has long been an accepted function of consulates. States have the right to protect their citizens abroad through consular activities according to the 19 63 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Two of the consular functions
33 Co nsulates can safeguard the interests of vulnerable populations, including minors and others lacking full capacity, and the Convention also provides for the protection of sending state nationals who are imprisoned. If the consular post requests that the re ceiving state notify it of the detention of a sending state national in its jurisdiction, the receiving state is obligated to do so. Consular officers are also allowed to visit their nationals who are in prison or detention and arrange for their legal rep resentation. States vary widely in the consular services that they provide to their diaspora. Some states may not offer any services in a particular region or may offer limited services to a limited group, or they may have palatial compounds that o ffer extensive services (Gamlen 2008). At least among Latin American sending states, Mexico seems to have gone the farthest in providing consular services, and Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003, 591) embassies Acco rding to Carlos Gonzlez Gutirrez (1997) a Mexican diplomat who has also served as head of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), Mexico previously had a policy of nonintervention in U.S. affairs, but in the late 1980s and early 1990s it began increasi ng its outreach to its diaspora, and the consuls were seen as the impleme nters of the new strategy The legalization of millions of Mexicans with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) increased the demand for consular services. The newly lega lized immigrants could now cross the border when they pleased, so they went to the consulates to obtain travel documents, and they also began to demand other services, such as protection for friends or relatives in trouble. In response to this and other
34 de velopments like the desire to promote NAFTA in the U.S., Mexico strengthened its consulates, devoting more resources to them and hiring higher quality staff. The consulates also began to devote more resources to protecti on services (Gonzlez Gutierrez 199 7). Influencing Host State Policy There is little literature on the ability of sending states to influence host country immigration policy, even though intergovernmental cooperation on migration be gan growing in the 1990s (Taran 2000). Nearly all rese arch in this area focuses on case studies, with Cuba over represented. For example, Greenhill argues that Fidel Castro has used mass emigration or the threat of it to successfully influence U.S. migration policy toward Cubans (2010). However, Cuba is not particularly useful as a case study because it is so unique; its controls on emigration, its relatively stable government, and its closeness to the U.S. have allowed it to be successful in a way that other Latin American countries probably cannot be. A m ore useful, representative study of the ability of Latin American sending states to influence U.S. migration policy is Marc restimates sending state influence. Rosenblum, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Orleans, conducted 88 in depth interviews between 1998 and 2001 with elites from Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua on the topics of migrat ion, trade flows, and relevant policies. His respondents suggested that migration was a very important issue, at least as important as trade, but it was also the most difficult bilateral issue. However, interviewees from each of the three countries state d that it was easier to influence U.S.
35 migration policy than trade policy, and Mexico was by far the most optimistic about its ability to influence both U.S. migration and trade policies. In trying to influence U.S. migration policy, respondents wanted to legalize existing migration flows, strengthen migrant rights, and minimize deportations. some ways in which Mexico could influence U.S. policy. First of all, Mexico can lobby U.S. officials at all levels of government. Mexico first employed this technique during the 1992 93 debate on NAFTA, spending $45 million on lobbying firms (Rosenblum 2004, 108) After NAFTA passed, migration became a priority for the Mexican government, and Mexican officials began holding regular meetings with U.S. State and Justice Department officials, the INS, and members of the congressional Foreign Affairs and Justice committees. According to Dlano (2009), the increased stability in the bilateral relationship at this time also diminished Mexican fears that advocating for its migrants would jeopardize its relationship with the U S. With the help of President in challen ging the Gallegly amendment to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1990 (IIRIRA), which would have denied education to the children of undocumented immigrants (R osenblum 2004). According to Gonzlez Gutirrez (1997) the ope nness of the U.S. political system allows for representatives of foreign governments to lobby U.S. officials, and Mexico is willing t o take advantage of that. Rosenblum (2004) also explains how Mexico helped to build bilateral institutions like the Imm igration Working Group. The group released a communiqu in 1995 that committed both sides to protecting the human rights of migrants and recognizing that
36 migration was a bilateral phenomenon that required bilateral policy efforts also led to an agreement on who should be notified about deportations and how the deportations would occur. Rosenblum (2004) also indicates that Mexico has used its consulates as a tool to help influence U.S. policy. The Mexican government has hired consultan ts and migration lawyers to advise consuls on legislative changes, and consulates have helped to challenge certain laws. For example, the consular network led a media campaign strengthen the Mexican community in the U.S. as a political agent through consular programs. Rosenblum briefly describes the Program for Mexican Communities Abroad (PCME), which was established in 1990 and provided educational programs, cultural events, and business networks in order to strengthen the ties among members of the Mexican diaspora and between the diaspora and the state. These efforts seemed to help the Mexican community in the U.S. become more cohesive and politically active. Dlano (2010) Abroad (IME), created in 2003. The IME has fortified links between the state and its diaspora through the creation of an Advisory Council (CCIME), which consists of 125 elected Mexicans and Mexi can Americans in the U S and Canada who organize working groups that make recommendations to the Mexican government. Dlano (2010) reported that o verall, council members said their experience had been positive, especially because they were able to meet o ther Mexican leaders in the U.S. and share experiences with them and develop a common agenda. The skills they learn in the council often transfer to involvement in local politics in the U.S., and the outcome
37 powering Mexicans in the U.S. to defend their own interests and rights. Although Mexico has had some success in influencing U.S. policy, both through direct efforts and by strengthening the Mexican community abroad, Rosenblum (2004) may have been overly o ptimistic about the ability of sending states to influence host state policy. He stated that the negotiations between Mexico and the U.S. on migration policy in 2001 were derailed because of the events of 9/11 and also concluded that the negotiations woul (2009b) study on the stalemate in U.S. Mexico negotiations on migration r eveals a different story According to her, 9/11 was not the only reason that the negotiations ended, and e ven before 9/11, the U.S. was pulling back Dlan o (2009b) argues that it is necessary to look beyond the security context and analyze the underlying structural, domestic, and ideological factors that influenced asymmetry in the U S Mexico relationship, domestic politics, and public perceptions in the U.S. The power asymmetry is important because Mexico is highly dependent on emigration, while the U.S. has historically been able to obtain cheap Mexican labor without assuming the costs of formal cooperation. According to Dlano, Mexico had originally developed a policy of non intervention as a result of its vulnerable position in this asymmetric relationship and therefore found it preferable to ignore abuses of its emigrants in the U.S. rather than to risk destabilizing the relationship. Even when there have been formal agreements like the bracero program, the U.S. has often been able to violate the terms of the agreement without any
38 repercussions. For example, Ngai (2004) describes how t he 1951 Migrant Labor Agreement that governed the importation of agricultural workers from Mexico until the end of the bracero program in 1964 supposedly guaranteed Mexican contract workers transportation, housing, food, repatriation, and a minimum wage at the prevailing domestic rate. Mexico was also granted the power to b l acklist any employers, counties, or states that were violating the terms of the agreement. However, when amendments were made to the agreement in 1954, Mexico lost its p ower to blacklist, and the U.S. did little to address the widespread violations that were occurring. Mexico was unable to do anything because it feared that the program would be cancelled and replaced by unauthorized immigration or a unilateral procurement program, meaning that Mexico would lose the little control it had over migration (Ngai 2004). Dlano (2009b) argues that the political situation in the U.S. also derailed immigration reform and bilateral cooperation on the issue. President Bush faced do mestic political costs to negotiating with Mexico on migration, and the costs increased after public perceptions of migrants and immigration reform became more negative after 9/11. In addition, a nti immigrant groups are generally better organized and have greater access to resources and the media th an pro immigrant groups (Dlano 2009b). Obviously, sending states do face limitations to their ability to protect their emigrants, especially when their diasporas are located in a much more powerful receiving st ate. Mexico's Current Protection of its Emigrants with its diaspora, is a transnational practice with a long history, and like other transnational practices, it has recently inc reased in importance and intensity. Domestic factors in both the U.S. and Mexico, as well as international factors, have all contributed
39 to a change in policy. Many of the factors originally leading Mexico to engage more with its emigrants and provide pr otection services continue to exist or have even intensified. The political and economic power of Mexican migrants has continued to grow and remains an important factor in domestic Mexican policy. The number of people in the U.S. claiming to be Mexican, Mexican American, or Chicano grew from more than 20 million in 2000 to over 31 million in 2010 (U S Census Bureau 2011). Approximately 6.1 million are unauthorized immigrants and 3.9 million are legal perman ent residents (Gonzalez Barrera et al. 2013) me aning that there are at least 10 million Mexicans in the U.S. who do not have U.S. citizenship and are therefore not fully protected by U.S. laws. Remittances to Mexico also increased dramatically between 2000 and 2006, from less than $7 billion to $24 bil lion, though the economic crisis caused the growth to slow after that (Lopez, Livingston, and Kochhar 2009). On an international level, the U.S. Mexico relationship has remained stable and even grown stronger, and Mexico has had more time to learn about ho w to work within the election of the opposition party in 2000, gave Mexico more legitimacy in the eyes of the international community and therefore allowed it to be mo re proactive on issues like immigration (Dlano 2009). On the domestic level in the U.S., anti immigrant policies have increased, and Mexicans have been greatly affected. The failure of federal immigration reform led some states to take immigration polic y into their own hands. In 2010, Arizona passed a harsh anti immigrant law, SB 1070, that received widespread media coverage, and Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, and Utah soon followed suit. In addition to
40 these laws, the past few years have a lso seen increasing numbers of deportations and an expansion of the 287(g) program and Secure Communities, federal programs that help to identify unauthorized immigrants and then detain and deport them. Latino immigrants obviously care about anti immigran t policies in the U.S. This became extremely clear in the first half of 2006, when hundreds of thousands of Latinos took to the streets to protest a 2005 immigration bill passed by the House that included provisions like making unauthorized immigration a felony and building 700 miles of fence on the US As I will demonstrate in the next chapter, the need for protection of Mexican immigrants particularly in new destinations like North Carolina, is clear. However, i t is not obvious to what extent Mexico's protection policy has been successful in protecting migrants and to what lengths the Mexican state can and will go to protect its nationals. I will pursue these qu estions further in Chapter 4.
41 CHAPTER 3 V IOLENT EFFE CTS OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: THE EXPERIENCE OF MEXICANS IN NORTH CAROLINA Introduction The U.S. immigration system has led to violence against immigrants, particularly Mexicans. I will draw from my interviews with thirty Mexica n nationals residing in North Carolina, as well as twelve employees of the Mexican Consulate and eight other immigrant rights advocates in North Carolina, to demonstrate the violent effects of the immigration system. After giving a brief history of Mexica n migration to North Carolina, I will focus on the problems with law enforcement and the legal system that Mexicans have experienced in the state. My informants told stories of racial profiling, other forms of police abuse, and the fear and insecurity that have become a part of everyday life for many migrants in recent years. However, my interviews also revealed that many migrants and others are actively resisting the construction of the Mexican migrant as "illegal" and "criminal." My Mexican informants em phasized that they are not criminals, and several also discussed instances in which they advocated for themselves and tried to fight discrimination and other forms of abuse. They have also found allies in several organizations that fight for immigrant rig hts. Mexican Migration to North Carolina North Carolina is a new destination for immigrants; there were few Mexicans living there before the late 1980s or early 1990s. However, as Gill (2010) explains, growing economic opportunities have led to significan t immigration to the state in recent decades, and restructuring in some industries has led to a demand for cheap migrant labor. The historically strong textile and furniture industries have suffered from competition from China, but cheap migrant labor has allowed some companies to stay
42 afloat. Although tobacco production h as declined, hog farming and poultry processing have expanded, providing employment for many Latino immigrants. North Carolina has historically been a primarily rural state, and agricult ure is still an important part of the economy. According to attorney Mary Lee Hall of Legal Aid's Farmworker Unit, there are between 120,000 and 200,000 farm workers in North Carolina, and the vast majority are of Mexican origin. However, urban areas like Charlotte, a financial center, and the Triangle, the home of Research Triangle Park, have also grown immensely, and with that growth has come the need for labor in the construction and services industries. Furthermore, employers in North Carolina have act ively sought out Mexican labor, advertising in border states like Texas and in Mexican towns (Gill 2010). Of the 30 Mexican immigrants I interviewed, 12 had lived in traditional destinations, including California, Texas, and New York, before hearing about employment opportunities in North Carolina and moving there. Many of them were attracted to the state by employment in agriculture, even if they are no longer working in that area. The Mexican population in North Carolina increased more than 1,800 percent between 1990 and 2000, and by 2000, North Carolina had the eighth largest concentration of Mexicans in the U.S. (Ziga and Hernndez Len 2005). Between 2000 and 2010, North Carolina saw its Hispanic population increase by 111 percent, and close to 5 pe rcent of the state's population is of Mexic an origin (Pew Hispanic Center 2010). A large proportion of these immigrants are unauthorized; about 55 percent of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. are from Mexico (Gonzalez Barrera et al. 2013), and one consu late employee estimated that about 80 percent of Mexicans in
43 North Carolina are unauthorized. North Carolina is estimated to have the ninth largest unauthorized population in the country (Gill 2010). New destinations like North Carolina often experience a backlash to the growth in their immigrant population. Over time, the immigrant community in new destinations becomes more settled and more visible in schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and other public spaces where they encounter the native population (Ziga and Hernndez Len 2005). Unlike more traditional destinations, new destinations have had little experience with immigration and ethnic diversity, and many natives in these areas react to the demographic changes with misunderstanding and even fea r and hostility. As Dani Moore, Director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights project of the NC Justice Center and native North Carolinian, put it, "T he reality of living in North Carolina is so different for many immigrants than living in Boston or LA or N ew York City, places that are much more used to dealing with immigrant rights issues and the history of migration goes back much further...In North Carolina, I think immigrants are living in a world where most people just think in black and white and peopl e don't have the knowledge they need about immigration." Rapid demographic change, together with the fear of foreign terrorists that arose after 9/11, the failure of federal immigration reform, and the poor economy, have led to strong anti immigrant senti ment and a push for anti immigrant policies in new destinations like North Carolina (Gill 2010). Anti Immigrant Sentiment in North Carolina Most of my informants, who had lived in North Carolina for a median of 13 years, described their life as "normal," "peaceful," "calm," and with "a great deal of freedom" from the time they arrived until a few years ago. North Carolina has a reputation as a more "progressive" Southern stat e, and according to Dani Moore, this is due to early
44 investment in education and infrastructure. Prominent universities like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke University, as well as the Research Triangle Park, attract many people from other states and countries. North Carolina also now has a large number of nonpr ofits. It is no longer a safe red state; President Obama carried the state in 2008 and lost by a small margin in 2012. But despite North Carolina's comparatively progressive credentials, it has still experienced a significant backlash to the growing immi grant, and especially Latino, population. It is now apparent that many North Carolinians have accepted the stereotype of Mexicans as "illegal" and "criminal," and they have made life much more difficult for Mexicans and other Latinos. According to Chris L iu Beers, who works for the NC Council of Churches, North Carolinians' negative perception of immigrants is one the principal challenges confronting immigrants. In his words, "There's such a disconnect between what non immigrants think and understand abou t immigrants why people are here, what are their motivations, what are they doing, and also about the immigration system. There's just so much mis perception, misunderstanding...T hey're not all criminals." Unfortunately, several of my informants had been on the receiving end of this misperception and misunderstanding. One woman, who was brought to the U.S. by human traffickers to work as a prostitute and was in the process of legalizing her status when I met her, stated, "There are people who don't know y ou, who don't know your situation an d why you're in this country...T hey say you're an ill egal, go back to your country..T his hurts." Anti Immigrant Legislation and Programs This anti immigrant sentiment has also translated into legislative action against immigrants. The North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) has not passed a
45 comprehensive anti immigrant bill like Arizona's SB 1070, though not for lack of trying. In 2011, an Arizona style bill was introduced, but the NCGA ultimately decided to wait for t he Supreme Court decision on SB 1070 before proceeding. However, the NCGA has also attempted to make life more difficult for unauthorized immigrants in other ways. In 2006, a law was passed that required a valid Social Security number in order to obtain a driver's license, the consequences of which I will explain below. Also in 2006, a law was passed to require the use of E Verify, a program to check if someone is authorized to work in the U.S., in public agencies. In 2012, mandatory E Verify use was expand ed to employers with more than 500 employees, and by July 1, 2013, all employers with more than 25 employees will be required to use the program. Bills to prohibit the admission of undocumented students to North Carolina community colleges and universities 9 and to prohibit consular documents from serving as IDs for state and local government purposes were also considered in 2011 but ultimately did not become law. North Carolina law enforcement agencies have also developed close relationships with Immigratio n and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through their participation in the federal 287(g) and Secure Communities programs. For this reason, Gill ( 2010, 6) of deportation policy Drivers' Licenses When asked abou t changes in North Carolina in recent years or problems faced by the Mexican community, nearly all my informants named the lack of driver's licenses as the main problem that Mexicans face. One typical response was: "In this moment, people are really afrai d, especially because the driver's licenses that were provided 9 Currently, unauthorized immigrants may attend public universities and community colleges, but they must pay out of state tuition.
46 before expired...now the majority is driving without a license." The lack of a driver's license is so important because, when combined with the racial profiling and cooperation with ICE by loca l law enforcement, it can lead to hefty fines and even deportation. As Denning (2009) explains, in the early 2000s, North Carolina had a reputation as a stat e where someone could easily obtain a driver's license, regardless of their immigration status. However, the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, formulated as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, changed all of that. In order to comply with the act, North Carolina made statutory amendments so that proof of legal status is now required in order to obtain a driver's license. Now, an applicant must provide a valid Social Security Number or a valid visa issued by the Department of Homeland Security. For someone between the ages of eighteen and fifty four, the driver's license will need to be renewed after ei ght years, and for someone over the age of fifty four, the license will need to be renewed after five years. Licenses are issued for shorter periods of time to people with visas that have a shorter duration Even those who are participating in the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have had trouble obtaining driver's licenses or permits. In late 2012, some unauthorized immigrants who received work permits under DACA were able to obtain driver's licenses or permit s, but in January 2013, their driving privileges were revoked, and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) stopped issuing any further licenses to people in this category (Blythe 2013). Even after the Attorney General recommended that the DMV issue driver's licenses to D ACA participants, the DMV was reluctant to do so (Siceloff 2013). As of the time of this
47 writing in early March 2013, the DMV had decided to issue driver's licenses to DACA participants. However, the license that will supposedly be issued will have a bright pink stripe across the top and the words "No lawful status." North Carolina is the only state to include such a marker of legal status, and groups such as the ACLU fear that it will lead to more racial profiling (Zucchino 2013 ). By now, most unauthorized immigrants are driving without valid licenses because their licenses have already expired or because, for the more recent arrivals, they were never able to obtain one. Although some of my undocumented informants stated that t hey try to drive as little as possible, it is generally not possible for them to completely avoid driving, since in most parts of North Carolina, public transportation is insufficient or even non existent. According to one woman, an unauthorized immigrant, the lack of a driver's license "has a lot of implications, since we have to drive to take the children to school, to work, we have to drive for everything." 287(g) and Secure Communities The lack of driver's licenses is quite problematic, since for the purpose of programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities, possession of a driver's license has essentially come to signify a person's legal status. Both programs facilitate cooperation between local law enforcement and ICE, so undocumented immigrants who ar e caught driving without a license can end up in deportation proceedings. Secure Communities is a federal program that identifies deportable immigrants in jails by sending the fingerprints of those arrested to an ICE database. The 287(g) program allows l ocal and state law enforcement agencies to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in order to enter into a partnership with ICE. The MOA gives local and state law enforcement
48 agents the ability to act as immigration officials. Currently, six law enforcemen t agencies in North Carolina have MOAs. The 287(g) program was originally intended to target and remove immigrants convicted of serious crimes, but some local law enforcement officials have used it to purge their communities of all unwelcome immigrants, many of whom are charged with no more than a traffic violation. A study done by the U niversity of N orth C arolina Chape l Hill's Law School and the American Civil Liberties Union found that in North Carolina, the program has led to racial profiling, the isol ation of the Hispanic community, and a fear of law enforcement that can cause immigrants to not report crimes (Weissman et al. 2009). The experiences of my informants concur with the study's conclusions Some of my informants had experienced the effects of the 287(g) program firsthand. The story of Angelica Velazquillo, a member of the NC Dream Team who lives in Mecklenburg County, which has the 287(g) program, clearly illustrates the problems with this program. In 2010, her brother Erick, a college stu dent with no criminal record, was stopped by police for driving with his high beams on and ended up in deportation proceedings. In Angelica's words: With the anti immigrant rhetoric and the 287(g) program, he was stopped and he was taken to jail...It see ms ridiculous that someone who has no prior criminal record, who came to the country at the age of two, who was coming home from the gym, because of driving with his high beams on, because he was unable to renew his driver's license, that he was being trea ted like a criminal, that he spent three days in jail, and that my family was essentially told that they'd pay a $10,000 bond which was the original bond and that was reduced to $5000 you either pay this money or you're going to be sent to a detention c enter in Georgia.
49 Thankfully, with the help of a campaign by the NC Dream Team, Erick's case was administratively closed. However, closing his case did not give him any sort of legal status, meaning he is still vulnerable to deportation. In addition, there are thousands of other Mexican immigrants who are not as lucky as Erick. According to a report published in the local Spanish language newspaper Qu Pasa, since Mecklenburg County began participating in the 287(g) program in February 2006, more tha n 20,000 people have been interrogated. Of these, 8,371 were found to have legal status, meaning that many U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and others with temporary statuses felt the effects of this program. Of the 11,672 who were processed for deport ation, only 248 were deported for aggravated felonies, crimes that generally have a punishment of at least a year in prison. About 30 percent, 3,483, of those processed were guilty of nothing more than a traffic violation, like Erick (Prieto Zartha 2012). Unfortunately, once the process of deportation has begun, it is very difficult to stop it, even if the person does not fit the profile of the Secure Communities is a newer program, and there has been le ss research on its effects than those of 287(g), but it seems likely to cause many of the same problems. According to Raul Pinto, an attorney at the ACLU, "It seems like Secure Communities is just 287(g) lite," and in one way Secure Communities is even wor se. The 287(g) program has federal requirements of documentation so that it is possible to do statistical analyses of who is being stopped, arrested, and put into deportation, but Secure Communities does not have these reporting requirements. Stops and ar rests could be very discretionary, and it is problematic that someone could be wrongfully accused of a
5 0 crime and yet still end up in deportation proceedings. According to Ann Robertson, an immigration lawyer in Raleigh, Secure Communities "is taking good p eople, people whose worst crime is driving without a valid driver's license, and deporting them, so I think both Secure Communities and 287(g) have been just horrible, putting people, good people, hard working, family people in situations where they get de ported and haven't done anything wrong." Secure Communities also has many of the same effects as the anti immigrant laws some states have passed. In the opinion of Marty Rosenbluth of the NC Immigrant Rights Project, "On e of the things that the Obama a dministration has completely missed is that Secure Communities creates exactly the same dynamic as these state initiatives, and I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but it really feels to me sometimes like what the Obam a a dministration is saying is that only t he federal government has the right to practice racial profiling." Racial Profiling Racial biases obviously existed before the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs were implemented, and as Raul Pinto said, "racial profiling has always been an aspect of how law enforcement does its job." He noted that geographic disparities in racial profiling existed before these programs went into effect and continued to exist afterward. However, these programs can dramatically worsen the consequences of racial profili ng, and they can institutionalize and incentivize it. As Rosenbluth explained, "If you're going to pick someone up for driving without a license and go to all the trouble of booking them, fingerprinting them, handcuffing them, bringing them down to the st ation because they were driving without a license, that's no fun. But if you know that they could end up in deportation proceedings, it incentivizes racial profiling."
51 Whether directly related to 287(g) and Secure Communities or not, racial profiling has definitely affected the Mexican population in North Carolina. Several of my informants felt that they had been stopped without a reason, and they described how the police have used checkpoints to target Latino drivers. One Mexican immigrant who lives in Durham stated: "They make plans to detain people close to where a lot of Mexicans or Hi spanics live...T hey put checkpoints in the exits of the apartments." Another man who lives in the small town of Warsaw told me that there are checkpoints every weekend w here he and other Mexicans live. If a Mexican has a party, the police will put up a checkpoint nearby so that they will catch unauthorized immigrants leaving the party. Warsaw is in Duplin County, which does not have the 287(g) program, but according to this man, everyone caught without a license is given an expensive ticket. According to a consulate employee, police in some areas of North Carolina have even gone so far as to set up checkpoints outside church es at the time that the Spanish language servi ce lets out. Police also target those who they know are driving without a valid license. This occurs in small town s in particular, since once police officers learn that someone is undocumented, they can easily continue to target that person. The police of ficers may stop known undocumented immigrants because they want to rid their communities of these people, or because they can earn revenue for their police department by giving expensive tickets for driving without a valid license. One girl from the small town of Sanford told me that her father had been stopped multiple times by the same officer and was now essentially working to pay off all of the tickets he has received for driving without a valid license. In addition, the last time he was stopped, he wa s arrested, and
52 she is worried that if he is stopped and arrested again, he could be deported. As she explained it, "He had nothing on his record, nothing. T he only thing he has is tickets for driving with an expired license. The problem now is that he h as a misdemeanor on his record, so if he gets arrested again, being that Sanford is such a small town... he'll probably get an ICE hold because now he has a record." Even though her county does not have 287(g), the Secure Communities program is now state wi de, so if her father is arrested again he may come to the attention of ICE as a "criminal alien." Just as U.S. immigration law has created "illegal aliens" (Ngai 2004), the combination of other laws and racial profiling have als o create d "criminal aliens. The law denies unauthorized immigrants access to drivers' licenses, and police can target those they believ e are driving without licenses. Unauthorized immigrants may be convicted of a misdemeanor for driving wit hout a license, meaning they then have a c riminal record. Although ICE's stated focus on "criminals" seems to suggest that it is ridding society of violent offenders, that is often not the case. As another example of racial profiling and criminalization, I heard reports of police officers delib erately trying to cause Latino drivers to make a mistake so that they would have an excuse to stop them. One of my informants who lives in Duplin County told me that a police officer began following his wife's car very closely with his high beams on, and when she crossed the center line, he immediately pulled her over. She received a $240 ticket for driving without a license but only a warning for crossing the line.
53 In other cases, my informants reported that police officers sometimes do not even wait fo r the driver to make a mistake; they simply invent an excuse for stopping him or her. Another man told the following story: I was on the highway, and a police car was going to pass me, but at that moment, we turned to look at each other at the same time, and he kept looking at me. He immediately got behind me and turned on his lights and stopped me...The first thing I asked him was why he pulled me over. He said, I don't have to tell you why I stopped you. I just want to see your license '... I showed him my license, and my fiance asked why he had stopped me if I hadn't done anything wrong...I had some things hanging on the rearview mirror and he said this wasn't permitted... He began to ask me personal things that a police officer shouldn't ask, like how long I had been here, am I illegal. The officer eventually let my informant go without so much as a warning, but my informant felt that he had clearly been discriminated against because of the way he looks. But despite the prevalence of racial profiling and the problems it causes, it is difficult to prove cases of racial profiling. According to Raul Pinto, "the legal standards to prove racial profiling are actually very very high and so it's very difficult to bring something to court." The ACLU is tryi ng to address one of the main problems that the immigrant community in North Carolina faces, the prevalence of police checkpoints, and much of Pinto's work is dedicated to trying to stop racial profiling. Although North Carolina has a racial reporting law requiring police officers to write a report every time they stop someone on the road, and those reports get sent to the state Bureau of Investigations, that does not mean that the state government does anything with this information. In order to prove tha t racial profiling is happening, it is necessary to examine patterns in traffic stops over time, so the ACLU has gathered and analyzed
54 statistics on racial profiling from these reports and has pushed for amendments in the law so that more will be done to a ddress racial profiling. Fear of Authorities Not surprisingly, Mexican immigrants tend to be fearful of the police, which may lead them to not report crimes. The idea that reporting crimes could lead to difficulties for the victim was prevalent among my i nformants. One man said that he would not go to the police if he were victimized because, as he put it, "Right now the police can't be trusted because they can send you to Mexico." Another typical response of a migrant was "I have heard of cases in which someone calls the police, and the person who calls the police gets in more trouble than the person that the police were supposed to catch." One woman also stated, "We don't know if they're going to hurt us or help us for calling 911." When the car of an u ndocumented coworker was stolen, one of my informants told me that she and her other coworkers had a hard time convincing that woman to call the police to report the stolen car. It is important to note that this fear has some basis in reality; although mos t unauthorized immigrants who call the police do receive help, some of the lawyers and advocates I interviewed told me that they have seen cases where victims of domestic violence are put in deportation proceedings after calling 911. This fear sometimes spreads beyond a fear of law enforcement to take over almost every aspect of people's lives. According to Marty Rosenbluth, Director of the NC Immigrant Rights Project, "T he fact that there's this total integration now between local law enforcement and I CE, it just makes people scared of everything. It's had a ripple effect now where people are afraid to go to the doctor, they're afraid to apply for food stamps, they're just afraid, and it shouldn't be that way."
55 This fear is not j ust confined to unaut horized immigrants. Golash Boza (2012) emphasized that the effect of human rights violations caused immigration policies are also felt by the documented family members of unauthorized immigrants, and I found evidence of that in my research. One girl, a U.S citizen but with Mexican nationality and undocumented parents, told me that she and her U.S. citizen relatives were taught from a young age to fear the police: I'm a citizen and everything, but even I feel like, to a certain extent, when I was little, I was kind of taught to fear the police...I had this little cousin, and he was about three at the time, and [my relatives] would do this little dri ll, where they'd be like 'It's I mmigration! They're coming!' and he'd get on the floor and roll and all this stuff. They thought it was hilarious, but this l ittle boy was genuinely afraid. Furthermore, this fear can spread beyond fear of the police to fear of other authority figures. My U.S. citizen informant discussed the extent to which her mother feared au thorities : I used to get lost all the time, in grocery stores, or malls or whatever, and my mom would never go up to the front of the store and report me...S he used to say that it was because she thought she would get in trouble because she heard that in this country, women wh o don't take care of their kids get t heir kids taken away from them. Misinformation and rumors within the Mexican community can make the fear even worse. According to one unauthorized immigrant, who had a college education in Mexic o, "I don't want to disrespect my countrymen, but ignorance often prevents us from understanding things. Sometimes they say amongst themselves that the police is bad or the police is going to deport you or the police is going to arrest you, and everyone el se gets this idea." Although my informants were on average more educated than the general Mexican population in North Carolina, I also encountered some false beliefs about the police or the immigration system during my interviews. For example,
56 one immigra nt told me that Mexicans were afraid of police because two years ago, the law was changed so that anyone who was caught dr iving without a license would automatically be arrested and deported. While there is some truth to this, in that driving without a l icense can certainly lead to arrest and deportation these days, there was not a law made two years ago that mandated it. In addition, the likelihood of arrest and deportation depends on the police officer and whether or not local law enforcement is partic ipating in the 287(g) program. Other Problems with the Police Even if reporting crimes does not lead to negative consequences for the victim, the police may not be helpful. One woman said that she called the police when she was robbed, but the officer wh o was supposed to help her told her that he could not do anything because she did not have insurance. Another woman called the police because there had been gunfire in her neighborhood, and the officer who came to her house accused her son of being in a g ang instead of asking about the gunfire. The police also sometimes treat migrants without sympathy or humanity or use unnecessary force. One informant told me that her friend was stopped at midnight in a dangerous part of town for driving without a licen se and had to walk a mile home. Another told me the story of a pregnant undocumented woman who was being driven to the hospital by a friend when a police officer stopped them. Although her friend had a valid license, the pregnant woman was forced to get o ut of the car and walk the rest of the way to the hospital. Another informant was stopped by a police officer for supposedly failing to stop at a stop sign (she claims she did stop), and the officer arrested her. She stated that he used unnecessary force and left bruises on her arm.
57 In order to avoid some of these problems with police, many Mexican immigrants have gone to the Mexican Consulate in order to obtain a passport or the matrcula consular, a consular ID card. The police sometimes take people int o custody simply because they cannot prove who their identity, so many immigrants hope that if they can show a valid identification to police, they will avoid being arrested in some situations. However, many police officers do not believe that the passpor t or matrcula consular are valid forms of identification. Many refuse to accept the matrcula, and according to consulate employees, police officers sometimes even confiscate Mexican passports, claiming that they are false. Even when the Consulate then requests that the police officer send the passport to the Consulate, the officer often refuses to do so. Immigrants are then left without an ID, putting them at risk of arrest if they have another encounter with police. Even when immigrants do have valid documents proving their identity or legal status, the language barrier can still lead to problems with the police. According to Jack McCarty, who works in the Consulate's Department of Protection, sometimes immigrants who are stopped by the police do not u nderstand what they are being asked, and police officers may assume they are willfully being obstructive. Overall, my informants reported mixed experiences with the police, and it became apparent that police are not enforcing laws in a uniform way. Dep ending on the police officer, a person could be given a warning and let go or arrested and then deported for the same offense. One undocumented immigrant told me that he had become friends with a police officer, and when that police officer and others sto pped him at a checkpoint and caught him driving without a license, his police officer friend
58 told the other officers to let him go because he was only trying to provide for his family. However, when he was stopped again and his friend was not there, he wa s given a ticket. Because of experiences like these, many of my informants have ambivalent feelings toward the police. As one woman told me, the police sometimes stop people just because they look Hispanic, but other times, the police help the Mexican com munity. Although Mexican immigrants sometimes have positive experiences with police officers, there are enough cases in which they have negative experiences to make fear of the police widespread. As a consequence, many unauthorized immigrants live like fu gitives. They are often afraid to take vacations or to even go out with their friends at night because they would need to drive, and the more they drive, the higher their risk of being stopped and made to pay an expensive fine or even deported. One of my informants describes the situation for unauthorized immigrants in Charlotte: "You're living under that constant threat of if your license is expired or if it's about to expire or you don't have a licens e, then you might be stopped...I t's such a difficult e nvironment now to...just to go about your normal life and go out." Legal System Another major issue with the immigration system is the lack of access of most immigrants to good, affordable legal counsel. Unlike with the criminal system, individuals in im migration court proceedings are not provided with public defenders. There are some organizations that provide free or low cost services to immigrants, but they are very limited. I interviewed people who work for Legal Aid of North Carolina, the NC Justic e Center, and the NC Immigrant Rights Project, all of which provide free legal services to immigrants, and they all discussed how they have limited resources and
59 cannot take every case. The immigration system discriminates against poor immigrants in parti cular, since wealthier immigrants are more likely to be able to afford a lawyer who can help them find a way to stay in the U.S. Immigrants are also less familiar with our legal system and may not understand how to obtain qualified legal counsel. They may seek help from someone who does not have the skills or legal authority to help them. Notarios (notaries) are notorious for taking advantage of Latino immigrants. In Mexico and other countries, notarios have a different function than notaries here do. An immigrant may go to a notario for legal advice, not realizing that he or she does not have legal training. Notarios may fill out immigration forms for immigrants incorrectly or advise them to apply for benefits for which they are not eligible. Immigration lawyer Ann Robertson predicted, "With this Deferred Action thing going on, there are going to be a ton of notarios out there. They are probably going to do things wrong, and then people will get deported." Of course, it is not just notarios who take ad vantage of immigrants. Immigrants are easy targets because they are unfamiliar with the legal system and are often desperate to find a way to stay in the U.S. According to Marty Rosenbluth of the NC Immigrant Rights Project, people in removal proceedings are particularly likely to be taken advantage of: "Most people who are in removal proceedings don't really have any basis for staying. No one really represents them. They're the people who are most susceptible to being ripped off by dishonest attorneys an d notarios Since they don't have any hope, they don't have any options, people prey off of that and exploit them." Lawyers may overcharge for their services, or even worse, fail to provide the services they are paid for. While conducting my research, I heard of one firm in particular that
60 has a reputation for not providing the services their clients paid for or for making mistakes. These failures and mistakes can lead to their clients' deportation or make them ineligible for immigration benefits in the future. However, this firm has prominent advertisements in the local Spanish language newspapers. Although in theory immigrants have recourse if the law firm they hired does something illegal, in practice, it can be very difficult to do anything. Accord ing to Marty Rosenbluth, "If they did something that was clearly illegal, you can file a complaint. Most people are scared to because they're undocumented, and it's a really high bar, so unless they do something completely illegal, it's very very hard to file a complaint...the burden of proof is just so high to show that they were being intentionally deceptive and dishonest." Sometimes lawyers may not have bad intentions but may make mistakes, or their lack of knowledge of the immigration system may lead them to unintentionally give clients bad advice. For example, criminal lawyers may sometimes recommend that a client plead guilty to a charge, not realizing that if the client is unauthorized or even a lawful permanent resident, a conviction can lead to d eportation if it comes to the attention of ICE. Sometimes the mistakes may not even be the fault of the lawyer; clients may be afraid to tell the truth on their applications for immigration benefits. In addition, the language barrier can also lead to misc ommunications. As attorney Jorgelina Araneda told me, something is lost when an interpreter is used. Her law firm has many Spanish speaking clients, and in her view, it can be a liability to not have staff that are bilingual. Although there seems to be a r elatively large and growing number of attorneys that are bilingual or at least have bilingual staff in the Raleigh area, options
61 are more limited for immigrants in less metropolitan areas of the state. In addition, ind igenous Mexicans who do not speak Spa nish fluently must find their own interpreters, because to my knowledge, there are not any law firms that have lawyers or interpreters that speak an indigenous Mexican language. Due to the complicated nature of the law, interpreting can be challenging and mistakes may be made in attempting to convey the legal situation. Immigrants may be aware of these problems with obtaining good legal counsel. This awareness can be positive, since many of the immigrants I interviewed said that if they needed a lawyer, they would make sure to find one who was recommended by someone they trust. However, this awareness can also lead to confusion and distrust of all legal service providers, which can be problematic. For example, one man I interviewed after the announcement of the Deferred Action program thought that his three children might qualify, but he was at loss as to what to do about it. He told me that he heard someone say on the Spanish language radio station that no one needs a lawyer in order to apply for the p rogram, and any lawyer who tries to tell you differently just wants to take advantage of you. However, in reality, an immigration lawyer could be helpful or even necessary in many cases. Problems with the legal system go beyond the difficulties with lega l counsel; there have also been problems with the courts. A serious issue has been the lack of adequate interpreters in court proceedings, and after a suit was brought by the non profit North Carolina Justice Center, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) c onducted an investigation of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The DOJ found that the AOC's policies and practices were in violation of Title VI of the Civil
62 Rights Act because they "discriminate on the basis of national origin ...by failing to provide limited English proficient (LEP) individuals with meaningful access to state court proceedings and operations." Among the problems that the DOJ found were longer incarceration as a result of continuances caused by the failure to l ocate an interpreter; serious conflicts of interest caused by allowing state prosecutors to interpret for defendants in criminal proceedings; [and] requiring pro se and indigent litigants to proceed with domestic violence, child custody, housing eviction, wage dispute, and other important proceedin gs without an interpreter" (DOJ 2012). However, the situation should be improving by now; the AOC was required to remedy those violations in order to not lose millions of dollars of federal funding. Detention and Jails Immigrants who are detained also frequently experience violations of their rights. Although none of my informants had ever been imprisoned for more than three days and did not have any personal experiences to share about problems in prisons, jails, and detention centers, consular staff and members of immigrant rights organizations were able to tell me about some of those issues. For example, Raul Pinto of the ACLU told me how, as part of an investigation of the 287(g) program in Wake County, the ACLU interviewed detainees in the Wake County jails. They found several possible Constitutional violations, such as not being advised of the right to legal counsel or the right to contact their consulate. Consular staff also told me that detainees are often confused as to what their sentence was, how long they will be imprisoned for, and if and when they will have another hearing or be sent to Mexico. They may also be unable to contact family members or friends to let them know where they are. Language can al so be an issue; detainees sometimes claim that they are punished for speaking Spanish,
63 although it can be difficult to verify those claims. Some detainees also complain about inadequate medical care. Deportation The problems with law enforcement and the legal system are so detrimental to the Mexican community because they can lead to deportation, even for people who may have a way to legalize their status. Much of the Mexican community lives with the constant fear that they or their loved ones could be deported at any time. As one woman told me, "The situation is getting increasingly difficult because of the problems with deportation. Many families are separated, many children are without their parents...You don't know if your husband is going to return soon or if he isn't going to return, so what's happening now is really difficult." Although when some people are deported, their families return to Mexico with them, the decision is often quite difficult. They or their family members may have strong ties to the U.S., and many of their family members may even be U.S. citizens. Most of my informants belonged to mixed status families, with one or more family members a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. For those who have legal status and maybe have little connection to Mexico and do not even speak fluent Spanish, it can be heart wrenching to have to decide between their deported family member and their life in the U.S. Deportations can also be particularly devastating now because of the violence in Mexico In 2011, the U.S. deported 124,729 people to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, even though it is an extremely dangerous area virtually controlled by drug gangs. Deportees there are targeted by criminal gangs who may recruit them, assault them, hold them f or ransom, and even torture and kill them (Marosi 2012). If a Mexican is able to get out of ICE detention on bond and given voluntary departure, he can purchase a
64 ticket to the destination of his choosing in Mexico, which is generally substantially safer t han being deported to the border region. Marty Rosenbluth's NC Immigrant Rights Project focuses on helping those in removal proceedings get out on bond so that they can avoid the dangerous border region and "leave with dignity, rather than being dumped at the border in an orange jumpsuit." However, Rosenbluth's organization is the only one in North Carolina that does this type of work pro bono, and he can only accept a very limited number of cases. The danger extends beyond the border region. Many of my in formants expressed fear about returning to Mexico. For example, one man from Zacatecas said his brother was already killed by drug related violence, and he said he does not want to go back to Mexico because "I don't want to die...I have a son here now, and if I go [to Mexico] and they kill me, my son will be alone." However, although many Mexican immigrants may have legitimate fears about returning to Mexico, there is generally not relief for them under the U.S. immigration system. Even with the growing vi olence in Mexico, Mexicans are rarely granted asylum. The U.S. government does not want to admit that its aid to the Mexican military has financed human rights abuses, and it is also afraid that it would face a flood of Mexican asylum applicants if it beg an to approve more cases (Camargo 2011). As De Genova wrote, the U.S. immigration system leads Mexicans to experience a sense of deportability, which makes them more vulnerable. Employers, service providers, and other acquaintances can use the threat of d eportation in order to take advantage of undocumented immigrants. Angry spouses or girlfriends can also use this threat in order to punish their partners. One of my informants, an undocumented man,
65 told me that when his U.S. citizen girlfriend was upset about a text he had received from a female coworker, she threatened to call the police and tell them that he was abusing her so that he would be arrested and then deported. She also threatened to have him deported if he left her. Another man stated that his brother was deported after his wife decided she did not want to have anything to do with him anymore. Challenging Stereotypes While the immigration system has worked to criminalize Mexican immigrants, this has not occurred without resistance. One of the most important ways in which resistance can occur is through challenging the stereotypes of Mexicans. Several of my interviews revealed that many immigrants and others are actively resisting the construction of the Mexican immigrant as "illegal" and criminal." I did not ask my informants if they were aware of the stereotypes about Mexicans or how they feel about the legality (or lack thereof) of their actions, but many brought up this issue during the interview. They emphasized that they are in the U .S. to work and provide for a better future for themselves and their families, not to commit crimes. They saw themselves as hard working, law abiding, tax paying residents of the U.S., not criminals. A typical quote was the following: "We didn't come her e to do bad things. We didn't come to rob. We came to work, in order to have a better future." Since the drug violence in Mexico has been prominent in the media in recent years, many people seem to associate Mexican immigrants with drugs. As noted in th e previous chapter, Taran (2001) argues that the association of migrants with drug trafficking has allowed migration to be viewed within a framework of combating organized crime, contributing to the subordination of rights to security concerns. One of m y informants seemed to be aware of this association and he emphasized that he
66 would never be involved with drugs: "I prefer to work than to go around robbing or selling drugs...I prefer to work in the street picking up trash or doing something else, but se lling drugs, no." There also exists the stereotype that Mexicans, as opposed to other Latinos or other immigrant groups, are particularly prone to criminal behavior. De Genova (2005) argues that Mexicans have become the iconic "illegal aliens," and I ha ve observed the tendency of many of my fellow North Carolinians to refer to all Latinos or unauthorized immigrants as Mexicans as well. Mexican immigrants seem to be aware of this, and one of my informants expressed his resentment that Mexicans are blamed for crimes committed by other Latinos. In his words, "Americans always say Mexican, only Mexican, they don't say Central American, Panama, Dominicans, Puerto Rico. They always blame us Mexicans." My informants tried very hard to differentiate themselve s from those who do commit crimes. Awareness of the stereotype that Mexicans or immigrants are criminals seems to have led many to speak harshly about those whose actions could be seen as evidence that the stereotype is right. No one I interviewed argued that someone who committed a crime (other than those related to their legal status) should not be arrested or deported, and several of my informants advocated for the deportation of criminals. For example, one woman, an unauthorized immigrant, stated, "Pr esident Obama should deport those who have a bad record, the bad people, the ones who are doing bad things in this country, and he should leave the good ones, the workers." Obviously, my informants did not view themselves as criminals. As Abraham and Van Schendel (2005) discuss, there is a distinction between what states consider to be
67 legitimate (legal) and what people involved in transnational networks consider to be legitimate (licit). For my informants, there was a clear difference between what crime s were seen as licit and which were not. My informants did not view crimes related to documentation as illicit behavior, but crimes that could hurt other people were seen differently. For example, an undocumented man told me, "I agree that if a person mak es an error, drives drunk, it's a problem. You have to respect the laws because they are the laws here. If you drive drunk, you pay however the law tells you to. If they put you in jail, if you go to Mexico because you're drunk, then okay, but if you're n ot drunk, and just because you're driving, they give you a ticket, a fine..." While the state, as well as many Americans, consider both drunk driving and driving without a license by an unauthorized immigrant to be crimes, and both can result in fines, ar rest, or deportation, these two acts were seen differently by my informant. While drunk driving is seen as illicit behavior, driving without a license is not. In addition to challenging their supposed criminality, my informants also advocated for themsel ves by emphasizing what they have to offer this country. They claimed that they work harder than Americans, and sometimes even went as far as to say the U.S. would not be able to function without people like them. For example, one undocumented woman stat ed, "Many Americans think that Mexicans take American jobs, but it's not like that. The bosses realize that Mexicans work more, that Americans won't be killing themselves from sunrise to sunset. Do you know why this country has things? Because of the immig rants." She also claimed that the U.S. economy would collapse if all of the Mexicans were deported.
68 Other Ways to Fight the System In addition, several of my informants discussed instances in which they advocated for themselves and tried to fight discrimi nation and other forms of abuse, although the results were not always what they hoped they would be. The woman whose son was accused by a police officer of being a gang member went to the police station and made a formal complaint against the officer. Th e officer then came to apologize and investigate the gunshots in the neighborhood that the woman had originally called to report. In another case, a man reported being called "Wetback Mexican" by a police officer, and he told the officer not to call him t hat. However, unfortunately for my informant, the police officer did not respond well to his complaint, and my informant was arrested, put in jail for a day, and given a $2000 fine. Some undocumented youth in North Carolina have gone further in advocat ing for themselves. I interviewed Viridiana Martinez, one of the founders of the NC Dream Team, an organization that advocates for immigrant rights and immigration reform Viridiana was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was seven years old, and sh e grew up in a small town in North Carolina. She explained why she and other undocumented youth decided to start the NC Dream Team: "We started being really angry watching advocates and paid organizers trying to speak for us...they were sitting around the decision making table, but they weren't living this reality, so we realized...we have to come up with something where we speak for ourselves, and we're going to have our own voice and we're going to call the shots." The NC Dream Team has encouraged undocum ented youth to come out of the shadows, and they have staged non violent protests advocating for immigration reform. Viridiana and the other members of the NC Dream Team put themselves at risk of arrest and deportation, but so far none of them
69 have been d eported. It is important to combat the fear within the immigrant community, since ironically, they may be safer when they are out in the open. According to Viridiana, ICE and government officials wish to avoid the controversy that they would cause by dep orting high profile immigrant advocates. As she stated, "The minute you're fearless, you take their power away." The NC Dream Team has also led several successful campaigns to stop individual deportations, and its members, as well as many others, have used social media to draw attention to the abuses that occur. In addition, they use social media to protect the unauthorized immigrant community by publicizing the locations of checkpoints. Mexican immigrants have found some allies in this struggle. Just with in the Raleigh Durham area in central North Carolina, there are several organizations that support immigrant rights or provide services for them, including the NC Justice Center, Legal Aid of North Carolina, the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the NC Immigrant Rights Project, El Centro Hispano, the Hispanic Family Center, El Pueblo, the NC Council of Churches, and Uniting NC. According to two of the immigrant advocates I interviewed, the large number of organizations like this may be the reason that North Carolina did not take the path of neighboring states like South Carolina and Georgia in creating an Arizona style comprehensive anti immigrant law. Conclusion U.S. immigration laws and programs have constructed Mexicans as "illegal" and criminal. The e ffects of this "legal violence" are first seen in the dangers that they fac e when crossing the border. However, m y research in North Carolina supports the claim of Kil and Menjvar (2006) that these effects spread well beyond the border, as Mexicans face discrimination and abuse by law enforcement in the interior of the
70 country Instead of protecting their rights, the legal system often contributes to their problems. However, Mexican immigrants and their advocates have not acc epted this situation without a fight. My informants challenged the stereotypes of Mexicans, and they found other ways to advocate. Mexican immigrants founded the NC Dream Team, and they have been joined in their struggle for immigrant rights by several no nprofits. Organizations like the ACLU and the NC Justice Center have successfully challenged discriminatory practices that violate federal law. The Mexican government is also a player in this struggle and has taken numerous steps to protect the rights of Mexicans in North Carolina, as I will explain in the next chapter.
71 CHAPTER 4 CONSULAR PROTECTION IN RALEIGH: SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY Introduction Mexico once disparaged or ignored its emigrants, but now it embraces them and clai ms it has the responsibility to protect them. Many of its activities related to protection fit in the categories of sending state engagement with its diaspora described in Gamlen (2008) and Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003). One of the major steps that Mexico has taken, described by Gamlen as a diaspora recognition strategy, is the expansion of consular units. The Mexican Consulate in Raleigh has grown significantly since it first opened in 2000, and it now provides numerous services to Mexicans residing in th e Carolinas. In this chapter, I will give a brief overview of the Consulate's history and then discuss the meaning and types of protection. Finally, I will consider the views of Mexican immigrants as to whether or not the Consulate has the responsibility t o provide these types of services. Mexican Consulate in Raleigh The history of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh reflects to some extent the history of the Mexican population in the Carolina s. As discussed in Chapter 3 the Mexican population in this area grew tremendously during the 1990s. Throughout this time, Mexicans in North Carolina were under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and they had to either go there for services or wait for the Embassy to host a mobile consulate in North Carolina. One immigrant who went to one of these mobile consulates in the 1990s explained how frustrating the experience was: "It was really hard...we had to go a day before and they only attended three hundred people...There were people waiting fo r two days in the place where the mobile
72 consulate was supposed to be, and sometimes we didn't even get the services we needed." However, Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry (Secretara de Relaciones Exteriores, SRE) took note of the growing population a nd decided to open a consulate in Raleigh in the year 2000 in order to serve Mexicans in North and South Carolina. At first, the Consulate was only a career consulate, not a consulate general. It depended on the Consulate General in Atlanta, had few emplo yees, and offered fewer servi ces than a consulate general However, in October 2009, it became a consulate general. Consular policies and programs are generally the same across all consulate generals, although some consulates along the border may have dif ferent programs because of their unique needs, and there are also some pilot programs that are in only one or a few consulates until they are proven successful. The Consulate in Raleigh now offers the same types of services as long established consulates l ike those of Chicago or Los Angeles. It also now receives the second highest amount of revenues from documentation services of any Mexican consulate, after Chicago, although it still has considerably fewer employees. The Consulate only had a handful of e mployees when it first opened, and it grew slowly in the following years, but around the time that the Consulate was designated as a general consulate, about twenty new employees were hired. Since then, the number of consular staff has hovered around thir ty five or forty, and at the time of my research, there were six employees in the Department of Protection and Legal Services. There are two main types of employees: those in Mexico's Foreign Service and those who are not. Employees in the Foreign Servic e are the only ones authorized to sign Mexico's
73 official documents, like passports. Those who are not in the Foreign Service are called "local" hires, but in practice, most of them come directly from Mexico. However, the Consulate has recently begun trying to diversify, and at the time of my interv iews, there were two Americans of non Mexican ancestry working in the Consulate, one in the Department of Protection. Although there are sometimes undocumented Mexican migrants who seek work in the Consulate, the Mexican government generally cannot hire them because all employees who are not U.S. citizens must be approved by the U.S. Department of State and given visas. There is a high overturn of consular staff because Foreign Service members usually only serve in one location for about two years, and local hires often only stay for a short time as well because they have little opportunity for advancement. At the head of the Consulate is the Consul General, the representative of the Mexican government in the C arolinas. The Consul General is appointed by the President of Mexico, and the appointment must be ratified by Mexico's Congress. Carlos Flores Vizcarra, who had been serving as the Consul General in Phoenix, Arizona, was appointed as the Consul General of Raleigh as soon as the Consulate became a Consulate General. Although previous consuls in Raleigh did not travel very frequently, the strengthening of the internal structure of the Consulate in recent years has allowed Flores Vizcarra to spend much of his time traveling to meetings throughout the Carolinas. He general travels with his Chief of Staff Jos Luis Leyson, leaving the Deputy Consul (Selene Barcel at the time of my research) in charge of the day to day affairs of the Consulate.
74 What is Protecti on? According to Consul General Flores Vizcarra, the Mexican government provides protection to Mexican migrants in accordance with the philosophy that "Mexican migrants in this territory, regardless of their immigration status, should be treated in a resp ectful manner, in accordance with the laws of the United States and the state of North Carolina." The Mexican government has embraced the idea of deterritorialized citizenship; as the Consul General stated, "Mexico, like any civilized country, does not d istinguish between the manner in which the Mexicans who live outside of the country should be treated...Guaranteeing the integrity of these families, of these Mexican migrants in the United States, is a basic and indispensable task." The Consul's statemen t shows how much the Mexican government has evolved in its attitude toward its emigrants; whereas Mexican emigrants were once disparaged and considered to have exited the national community (Goldring 2002), the Consul takes it for granted that Mexicans in the U.S. are part of Mexico's national community and therefore deserving of the same rights and protections as Mexicans in Mexico. In addition, his statement reflects the idea of Gamlen (2008) and others that state diaspora relations are now the norm, not the exception. Who is Protected All individuals who have a Mexican birth certificate or nationality are eligible for consular services, regardless of the length of time they have lived outside of Mexican territory and whether or not they have U.S. citize nship. As authors such as Vertovec (2009) have explained, a common way for a sending state to engage with its diaspora is by permitting dual nationality. Mexico has done this since 1998, so the foreign born
75 children of Mexican citizens can apply for dual nationality and obtain most of the same rights (voting is an exception) as if they were born in Mexico. Although those who applied for U.S. citizenship before 1998 were forced to renounce their Mexican citizenship, they can now re obtain it. However, the vast majority of those who seek consular services are Mexican citizens who have no legal status in the U.S. Types of Protection Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) state that Mexico has gone farther than any other country in providing state services abroad, a nd given the number of different services that I learned about, that is not surprising. From my experience interning in the Consulate for four months in 2011 and my interviews with consular employees in 2012, I learned about the many ways in which the Cons ulate protects Mexicans in North Carolina. The consulate engages in both "active" and "preventative" protection. Active protection consists of most of the activities performed by the Consulate's Department of Protection and Legal Services, such as provi ding free legal services, visiting detainees, and providing short term economic support so that migrants can cover their basic needs. This type of protection focuses on individual cases. Preventative protection is more general and includes most of the othe r activities of the Consulate. It often involves educating both Mexicans and Americans about Mexicans living in the U.S. and their rights. What follows is not an exhaustive list and description of all consular protection services; it reflects my focus on issues related to the legal and judicial systems. Also, it is important to note that the types of programs and services offered or the resources devoted to them can change depending on the needs of the community. In particular,
76 when the U.S. government ma kes policy changes, the Mexican government tries to adapt its services to the new reality, as occurred with the DACA program. Active Protection The Consul ate provides free and reduced cost legal services through its External Legal Aid Program (Programa de Asesoras Legales Externas, PALE). The Consulate maintains a network of eighteen reputable lawyers throughout North Carolina who can provide help in the areas of immigration, criminal, civil, family, and human rights law. Two immigration lawyers, Ann Rob ertson and Jorgelina Araneda, come to the Consulate weekly or bi weekly in order to provide brief consultations and determine if someone is eligible for further assistance under immigration law. The attorneys often cannot do anything to help those individu als because they are not eligible for any sort of immigration benefit, but they sometimes take on the cases of the migrants they meet there. If one of the lawyers believes that a migrant qualifies for some sort of immigration benefit or relief, a consulat e employee may interview that person to determine if he or she qualifies for financial aid from the Mexican government. Besides the fact that it provides useful legal services, immigration attorney Marty Rosenbluth also believes that the PALE program is important because it provides a certain amount of oversight. As mentioned in the previous chapter, Mexican immigrants often do not know what to do if their attorney does not do the job well, and it can be difficult to hold attorneys accountable for their mistakes. But as Rosenbluth stated, "If you get employed with the PALE program and you mess up a case or don't do your job, you aren't going to get any more cases. There is a certain quality control there." The Consulate has long had a focus on helping t he victims of crimes, and the Mexican government has put more emphasis on helping women in abusive situations
77 since the initiative Pro Igualdad (Pro Equality) began under President Caldern. One of the primary ways in which the Consulate can help the vict ims of domestic violence or other crimes is by providing information and legal services related to the U visa. Ever since the U.S. government began accepting U visa applications in 2007, the Consulate has devoted resources to helping those who qualify. Th e U visa provides legal status and the ability to get a work permit to those who have been the victims of certain crimes in the U.S. and have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of those crimes. Before it was created, only those who were the victims of an immediate relative who was a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident could file visa petitions. Lawyer Ann Robertson has worked on at least eighty U visa cases in which the Consulate has contributed financial resources, an d most of those cases were for undocumented women who were the victims of domestic violence in the U.S. Jorgelina Araneda has also seen more U visa cases recently, which she believes is due to more publicity about domestic violence and the U visa in the Co nsulate and in other organizations. In addition to paying for part or all of their legal services, the Consulate can help victims with other services they may need, such as finding a different living situation and obtaining psychological help. The Consul ate does not just help victims. In the event that a Mexican is accused of a crime that is punishable by death, the Consulate will do everything possible to assure that he is not given the death penalty, since Mexico does not have the death penalty and bel ieves that it is a violation of human rights. One of the employees of the Department of Protection is tasked with discovering any cases that could result in the death penalty and then arranging legal services for the prisoner. The Mexican
78 government has a relationship with at U.S. law firm that specializes in capital punishment cases. However, once the Mexican national is out of danger of receiving the death penalty, the Consulate will end its involvement in the case. The goal of the Mexican government is not to help Mexicans who committed serious crimes to avoid punishment but just to avoid the death penalty. The Mexican government can also play an important role when legal issues cross international borders by facilitating contact between organizations i n the U.S. and Mexican nationals and government agencies in Mexico. For example, Legal Aid of NC's Farmworker Unit sometimes wins cases for migrant farm workers who have already returned to Mexico. The Consulate has helped send money from the settlements awarded to migrants who returned to Mexico and do not have a bank account there. In one situation where a farm worker died from pesticide poisoning and Legal Aid won a settlement for his widow who lived in Mexico and only spoke Nahuatl, the Consulate hel ped connect Legal Aid to the Indigenous Affairs office in San Luis Potosi, which provided interpretation services. When another farm worker went back to Mexico after an injury on the job, s omeone from the SRE accompanied him to a U.S. consulate in Mexico s o that he could obtain documentation to return to the U.S. for his hearing and medical treatment. Minors and family integrity As Golash Boza (2012) argues, the U.S. government fails to guarantee the human right to form a family for immigrants. The Mexican government can play an important role in filling this gap. As the Consul said, g uaranteeing family integrity is a bas ic and indispensable task," and to this end, the Consulate also provides help to minors and their deported parents.
79 In one high profil e case that was happening while I was doing my research, Allegheny County Social Services tried to terminate the parental rights of Felipe Montes, a Mexican citizen, to his three U.S. born children. Montes entered the U.S. illegally in 2003 and married a U.S. citizen, but he was deported in 2010 after accumulating several tickets for driving without a license. After he was deported, his wife, who had problems with drug addiction, was deemed unable to take care of the children and they were placed in foster care. Allegheny County refused to let the children go to Mexico, but the Mexican Consulate provided legal counsel to Montes and helped him obtain a humanitarian visa in order to visit his children. In November 2012, a judge finally restored the custody o f the children to Montes, although on a trial basis ("NC Judge" 2012). According to the Consul General, if the judge had decided otherwise, the case would have gone to the Mexican Embassy and the U.S. Department of State, since the judge does not have the right to terminate Montes' parental rights without dealing with international law. The cases of minors do not always go through the Department of Social Services, and sometimes the Consulate can resolve the problem itself. However, if the children of Mexi can parents do end up in the custody of Social Services, it can sometimes be difficult for the Consulate to retrieve them, particularly if they are U.S. citizens. Social Services will usually try to give Mexican born children to another relative, even if t hat relative is undocumented. In cases where the children are U.S. citizens, Social Services may be reluctant to give custody of the child to another undocumented relative out of fear that the relative may also be deported and the child will be once again be left without a guardian. Well meaning social workers may also try
80 to prevent children, especially U.S. citizens, from being sent to family in Mexico because they believe the child will have better opportunities in the U.S. In some cases these children are then put up for adoption, even if they have family willing to care for them, as would have happened in the Montes case without the Consulate's intervention. However, the Mexican government believes that children should be with their family, and as Marg arita Medina, an employee in the Department of Protection, stated, the Consulate tries to tell Social Services that "just because th e family [in Mexico] may be poor that does not mean that the child will not be well cared for or receive love. The economic situation is not everything." The Mexican government wants to assure that the parents' legal rights are protected. In order to send a child to live with famil y in Mexico, the Consulate work s with the Mexican Social Services equivalent, DIF, to conduct a home study of the child's potential new place of residence in Mexico. The Consulate can share the results of the study with Social Services in order to convince them of the suitability of the living situation in Mexico. If the U.S. social worker expresses interest, the Consulate will also sometimes help to organize a trip to Mexico so that the social worker can meet her DIF counterparts and the child's family. Consular staff also accompany Mexican minors to Mexico and deliver them to their relatives there. Other services Although I focused on services related to the law and judicial system in my research, I also learned about some of the other services in the areas of health and finances. The Consulate helps in cases where a Mexican citizen becomes ill or infirm in the U.S. and would like to return to Mexico. The Consulate arranges for the transport of that person and finds a hospital in Mexico that can care for him, as close to his family as
81 possible. In the event that a Mexican dies and his family would like the body to be returned to Mexico, the Consulate can help arrange funeral services and pay for part of it. The Consulate can also assist with the repatriation of immigrants who would like to return to Mexico but do not have the resources to do so. Th is service has become particularly important in recent years since the poor economy and E Verify have made it more difficult to find jobs, and also because many men are deported and their wives and children are left in the U.S. without the resources to sup port themselves. In addition, if a Mexican national does not have the resources to buy food or pay rent but does not want to return to Mexico, the Consulate can provide temporary financial assistance. The Consulate also provides financial assistance to t he victims of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados. Although these victims are often eligible for aid from FEMA, they may be afraid to seek help from the U.S. government due to their legal status, so the Consulate can play an important role in t his situation. The Consulate's active protection services can help to guarantee many of the migrants' rights, including those mentioned by Golash Boza (2012) as frequently violated by the current U.S. immigration policy regime. However, it is important to note that while the Consulate does an excellent job at helping certain individuals, there are several challenges and limitations to the protection of the Mexican immigrant population as a whole, which I will explain in the next chapter. Preventative Prote ction Often, the first step in preventative protection is simply informing people of what the Consulate is and what it can do. Since North Carolina is a new destination for immigrants and also lacks experience with diplomatic missions (the only other gov ernment to establish a consulate there was Canada, but its consulate closed in
82 2012), many North Carolinians do not know what a consulate is. According to some of the consulate employees I interviewed, most local authorities and officials in larger cities now know about the Mexican consulate. However, when consulate employees contact someone in smaller towns, sometimes they still have to write a letter explaining what the Consulate is and what rights it has in accordance with the Vienna Convention. Mexican immigrants also sometimes have fundamental misconceptions about the Consulate. One consular employee told me that she has met Mexicans who were afraid to give her their full name, address, or other personal information because they believed that the Cons ulate shares that information with the U.S. immigration authorities. Once people have a basic understanding of what the Consulate and its purpose are, then consular officials can explain how the Consulate can help, such as by providing IDs. The Consulate can also then educate them about other subjects, such as the rights of Mexican immigrants or the importance of the Mexican population in North Carolina. Issuing IDs As one consulate employee told me, "From the issuance of the matrcula consular that's t he first step of protection. Giving our people a way to identify themselves is a way of protecting them." Documentation services (the provision of the Mexican passport and matrcula ) are by far the most widely used services of the Consulate, and with reas on. Since undocumented immigrants cannot obtain official IDs, such as driver's licenses, issued by the U.S. government, they need another form of identification just to go about their daily lives. Due to the efforts of the Mexican government, the matrcu la is now recognized by many banks, so undocumented immigrants are able to open bank accounts. This is
83 important because immigrants who do not have bank accounts and carry large amounts of cash are vulnerable to being robbed. The matrcula can also facili tate the access of Mexican immigrants to health services, since most hospitals and health centers accept it. Some schools require parents to present an ID in order to pick up their children, so the matrcula and passport can also be useful in this situatio n. In addition, immigrants sometimes can use their Mexican ID with the police. However, as mentioned in Chapter 3, the police may not accept these IDs as valid and sometimes may even confiscate them. Informing Mexicans Another way that the Mexican govern ment can help prevent harm from coming to its emigrants is by educating them about their rights and connecting them to services in the U.S. According to Dlano (2010), the Mexican state contributes to immigrant integration in the U.S. by connecting Mexican s in the U.S. to the host state institutions and services. Mexico has slowly come to realize that migration to the U.S. is no longer circular and that Mexican emigrants, as well as the Mexican state, can benefit if migrants are more integrated into the U.S and have a higher social position (Dlano 2010) T he Consulate provides numerous informational pamphlets about its services and about changes in state or federal immigration laws or programs that affect Mexicans. For example, an important topic while I was conducting my research was the Obama Administration's new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under this program, announced in June 2012 and beginning in August 2012, certain unauthorized immigrants can apply for a work permit for t wo years. The Consulate was very active in publishing information about the program in handouts at the Consulate
84 and in the local Spanish language newspapers. The Consulate also organized forums in order to explain the program and answer questions. At t he forum I attended at the Consulate in Raleigh, consular officials, immigration lawyers, a USCIS officer, and a representative from the Wake County Public School S ystem discussed the program and answered the questions of a crowd of more than 250 people. P roviding information about DACA and other legal issues is important because it can help Mexicans legalize their status and have more security here, and it also makes it less likely that they will be taken advantage of by unscrupulous lawyers and notaries. According to attorney Jorgelina Araneda,"I think in the end that's the greatest service that they are providing. They're giving education to the people in various areas. They're letting them know that they have access to certain benefits based on things t hat have happened to them here." The Consulate also provides information on other topics and helps connect migrants to U.S. organizations and services. For example, the Ventanilla de Salud (Health Window), funded by Mexico's Health Department, provides in formation about preventative healthcare and connects immigrants to low cost local healthcare providers. The Consulate also partners with organizations like the American Cancer Society and North Carolina Victim Assistance to provide information to Mexican i mmigrants. The Consulate also has educational programs in the areas of English language, general secondary education, and finances, and it provides scholarships for colle ge education. As the previous head of the Consulate' s Community Programs Department stated, "That's part of the protection strategy because the better trained, the more capable our people are, the better they will make it in the U.S. and the better their family will be, and at some point, even our economy will improve." More educated immi grants
85 will have better economic opportunities and be less likely to be taken advantage of by employers and others. In order to protect immigrants from employer abuses, the Consulate also has handouts and posters about labor rights according to state and f ederal law. Informing Americans As discussed in Chapter 2, one of the ways in which the sending state can potentially protect its emigrants is through influencing host state policy. Rosenblum (2004) investigated sending state influence at the federal lev el of U.S. policy, and he argued that Mexico did have some influence. I investigated Mexico's influence at the local and state leve ls, not the federal level, but I also found that Mexico may have some influence through its policy of educating Americans, although as I will explain further in the next chapter, its influence is generally limited and indirect. As discussed in Chapter 3, since North Carolina is a new destination, there is a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation surrounding Mexican immigrants. Therefore, an important part of the Consul's job is to conduct outreach. The Consul frequently travels throughout the Carolinas to speak with public officials, businessmen, NGO leaders, and many others. According to Christine Donovan, who ma kes a large part of the Consul's schedule, the Consul is "on the go all of the time" and sometimes has fifty meetings in one month. The Consul explains his "public diplomacy" as the following: "We talk to members of the legislative bodies, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and we explain, with great detail, the importance of Mexican migrant communities here. We explain the positive economic impact they have." The Consul also tries to dispel myths about Mexican immigrants. He told me that he said the following at a presentation to state
86 representatives and senators in Charlotte: "It is false to say that migrants, documented or not, don't pay taxes. It is false to say that undocumented migrants are eroding the financial base of public agencies beca use they use all of the public services without paying." In order to try to create a more positive image of Mexico and Mexican immigrants, the Consul and his Chief of Staff frequently cite statistics and information from organizations or agencies that Am ericans generally consider to be reputable, such as the Pew Hispanic Center, the Census Bureau, or the Migration Policy Institute. They believe that this information will make their arguments much more convincing. Now, the Consulate even has one employee whose job description includes finding informa tion from research institutions about Mexican immigrants. In addition, the Consulate also hosts or participates in events that showcase Mexican culture, both to encourage Mexicans to maintain their ties to M exico and to demonstrate that Mexico and its people have a lot to offer and contribute to North Carolina. As Jos Luis Leyson, the Consul's Chief of Staff, told me, they want Americans to see that "Mexico is not only migration." In the opinion of Dani Moor e of the NC Justice Center, educating Americans about Mexico and Mexicans is important to promote understanding, and the Consulate can play a role in this. In her words, "I think it would be good for people to hear directly from the Mexican government...T he breadth and diversity and richness of Mexico is something that would be really interesting for more North Carolinians to experience." In addition to convincing North Carolinians of the importance of the Mexican community and dispelling myths about Mexi cans, the Consul also informs relevant
87 actors of the services the Consulate provides. The Mexican state can provide a bridge between migrants and host state organizations and institutions (Dlano 2010), and the Consul facilitates the creation of this bridg e. He meets with members of nonprofits working to protect immigrant rights, such as the North Carolina Justice Center, in order to facilitate cooperation on issues important to both the Consulate and the nonprofits. It is also important to meet with those working for the state or local government who have frequent contact with the Mexican community. For example, county sheriffs and Social Services workers benefit from learning about the services that the Consulate provides for prisoners and minors. The C onsul also informs sheriffs and others about the official Mexican IDs issued by the Consulate, the passport and the matrcula consular The Consul stresses that the matrcula is an internationally accredited official document under the Vienna Convention. Many sheriffs and politicians have concerns about the validity of Mexican documents, particularly the matrcula so the Consul also explains that it has several security features and offers to provide a decoder if necessary. The Consul wants Americans to understand that acceptance of the matrcula can be positive for both the Mexican and U.S. governments. If the police encounter a Mexican with a matrcula the police will know his or her identity and address, which is not the case without the matrcula According to Christine Donovan, the Consul generally receives a positive response to his meetings with sheriffs, Social Services, and other authorities, and at least half of the time, the initial contact turns into an ongoing relationship with the Consul ate. Of course, these meetings are much more useful if the officials that the
88 Consul meets with then inform their employees of the contents of the meeting, which does not always seem to happen. Many of the Consulate's actions contribute to the humanizat ion of the Mexican population and work to dispel myths about them. Through this work, the Consulate can play a role in changing the stereotype of Mexican immigrants as "illegal s," criminals, and freeloaders so that North Carolinians will come to view Mexi cans as productive members of society who deserve to be treated as such. Protection as a Responsibility While consular officials believe that they have a duty to protect Mexicans in the U.S., it is less clear that Mexican immigrants share the same belie f. Some of my informants have been in the U.S. for twenty years or more (the median time in the U.S. was 13.5 years), and some of them have grown up here and hardly even remember Mexico. However, just as the Mexican government sees Mexican emigrants as par t of the national community, my results support the idea that Mexican migrants view themselves as part of the Mexican nation as well. Almost everyone I interviewed, regardless of the amount of time they had been in the U.S., responded that the Mexican gove rnment has a responsibility to protect its emigrants. Out of my group of 30 Mexican informants, 26 (87 percent) stated definitively that the Mexican government has the responsibility to protect them, and 3 were unsure or qualified their answers. Only one, who was brought to the U.S. as a child and had little connection to Mexico, answered no. Many of my informants believed that the Mexican government owed it to them to provide protection services. Several pointed out that they sent remittances to Mexic o and were contributing to its economy and development. The following was a common
89 sentiment among my informants: "Just because you're not in your country does not mean that you are not a citizen of that country and that you're not still connected and prov iding for your family there, so I think there is a responsibility." Or as another informant put it: "In one way or another, w e are supporting our country...T hey also have to support us." My informants tended to believe that the Mexican government should step in to protect immigrants when the laws of the U.S. are unjust or are enforced in an unjust manner. According to one woman, "the American laws have often treated us badly, in an unjust manner, and I feel that this is when my consulate has to support us ." Another immigrant said the Mexican government has the obligation to protect them "in cases where people have been incarcerated for unjust reasons." My informants, including both immigrants and other community members, stated that one way in which the Me xican government can help with these problems is by providing "know your rights" training. Conclusion The activities of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh clearly show that Mexico no longer has a "policy of having no policy" (Garca y Griego 1998, in Goldri ng 2002) toward its emigrants. Earlier claims that the Mexican state made limited use of its consulates (Castaeda 1987, in Gonzlez Gutirrez 1997) obviously no longer hold true. Although there are certainly limits to Mexico's protection of its emigrants, which I will discuss further in the next chapter, Mexico's response to the violations of its emigrants' rights is much greater currently than the minimal response that Hernndez Ca stro (2000) found in her research conducted between 1980 and 1993. Furtherm ore, most of my informants believed that the Mexican government has an obligation to provide protection services. However, their views on whether or not the Mexican
90 government could or would protect them were more complicated, as I will discuss in the nex t chapter.
91 CHAPTER 5 CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS TO MEXICO'S PROTECTION OF ITS EMIGRANTS Introduction This chapter will discuss the challenges and limitations the Mexican state faces when protecting its emigrants in North Ca rolina and attempt to evaluate the extent to which the Mexican government is successful in this area. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the issue of sovereignty does place limits on the actions of the Mexican state to protect its emigrants' rights, al though that does not mean that the state is powerless. My findings also suggest that the lack of communication between consular officials, immigrants, and other actors, stemming in part from a lack of resources at th e Consulate, is a serious issue, and fa rm workers in particularly are disadvantaged. In addition, the negative image that many Mexican immigrants have of the Mexican government and the people who work for it may limit the use of protection services. Sovereignty During my interviews, consular officials repeatedly emphasized t hat they have to obey the laws of the United States and cannot directly influence local, state, or federal politics in the U.S. As the Consul said, "Mexico cannot disrespect the laws of the United States because then we wo uld be giving permission to the diplomats of the United States in Mexico to break Mexican laws." Furthermore, both consular officials and other immigrant advocates that I interviewed believed that any appearance of attempting to change U.S. policy could re sult in a backlash, as Dlano (2010) also found. Although the openness of the U.S. political system allows foreign governments to lobby and promote their interests (Gonzlez Gutirrez 1997), it is not necessarily beneficial to try to do so openly.
92 As on e immigrant rights advocate stated, "I know that they're intervening behind the scenes, but they can't be seen as interfering in the political work inside the United States or North Carolina directly." There is a time and a place for lobbying, and the Con sulate must judge carefully in which situations it is useful. Chris Liu Beers, an immigrant advocate working for the NC Council of Churches, explained this issue well: "T here's not that much that the Consulate can do in that kind of public debate, frankly because it is a part of the Mexican government...the Consul is a powerful speaker and knows his stuff, but you just have to weigh, well is that testimony going to be helpful in a place like the General Assembly." As Christine Donovan, a consulate employee, told me, the Consul did seriously consider attending a N orth C arolina G eneral A ssembly (NCGA) forum on immigration, but he ultimately decided not to because of the potential backlash and the possibility that his staff would be put in danger. This does no t mean that the Consulate is completely powerless ; as one consulate employee stated, "We are in the background talking to all the other organizations. In a way, we are involved, but never directly." In addition, as mentioned previously, the Consul meets wi th politicians, and while he cannot tell them what to do, it is possible that the information he gives them about the Mexican community could influence the decisions they make. The lack of uniformity of U.S. policies and their implementation and enforceme nt is also problematic for the Mexican government. As explained in Chapter 3, different states and counties may have different policies and programs affecting immigrants, and even the same policies may be enforced differently by different states, counties or individual police officers. With so much diversity, it is difficult for the Mexican
93 government to have a uniform response, and a more tailored response to local contexts consumes more resources. However, as Dlano (2009b) explained, the power asymmet ry between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as the domestic political situation in the U.S., has prevented cooperation between the two countries on immigration policy, and Mexico can do little about the arbitrariness of U.S. policies. T he arbitrariness of U.S policies and the Consulate's inability or unwillingness to directly challenge U.S. laws and programs or use unconventional methods limits what it can do. In many situations, particularly with stopping deportations and publicly challenging U.S. policy, o rganizations like the NC Dream Team can be much more effective. The NC Dream Team uses tactics like interrupting the N CGA putting the members of the organization at risk for arrest. The NC Dream Team and other organizations like it have called attention to plight of undocumented youth in the U.S., and they were probably influential in Obama's decision to create the Deferred Action program The NC Dream Team has also had success where other organizations have not in stopping the deportations of some unaut horized immigrants. The Consulate and the legal services organizations can generally only help those who have a remedy allowing them to stay under U.S. law, but the Dream Team has been able to get the deportation cases of some unauthorized immigrants admi nistratively closed by circulating petitions. In addition, while Marty Rosenbluth's NC Immigrant Rights Project does not use tactics like the NC Dream Team's, he does sometimes use unconventional methods to stop deportations. When a client does not have a clear case for relief or the conventional method of applying for relief from removal does not work, Rosenbluth often
94 calls Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and asks them to use their prosecutorial discretion to not deport the client. He has also used this strategy in other cases; he told me how he was able to get an extension for a woman's humanitarian visa in just eight days by calling ICE when other lawyers said it would take them several weeks using conventional methods. The Consulate cannot us e this strategy itself because it might be seen as threatening U.S. sovereignty if it called ICE directly. However, that does not mean the Mexican government is powerless; the Consulate provided funds in the humanitarian visa case, and at the time of our i nterview, Rosenbluth was expecting to become one of the PALE attorneys. While the Consulate cannot directly challenge U.S. laws or use methods like those of the NC Dream Team and Rosenbluth, it can provide support to the people who do. Interestingly, i n contrast to what Sassen (1996) would have predicted, none of the immigrant rights advocates that I interviewed appealed to the international human rights regime to justify their demands or to fulfill their rights. As Vertovec (2009) argued, s ov ereignty is obviously still important, and my findings support Mattila's (2001) claim that the nation state in which a migrant is residing is still seen to be the one that is ultimately responsible for the protection of rights. Lack of Communication and Accessibi lity Although the issue of sovereignty often shapes what the Consul ate does perhaps a more serious limitation to Mexico's protection of its emigrants in North Carolina is the lack of communication and understanding between the C onsulate, the migrants, an d other actors trying to protect migrant rights. Most of my i nformant s were unaware of all of the services that the consulate provides, and they also mentioned several barriers to access to consular services. Of the 30 immigrants I interviewed, 28
95 knew a bout the Consulate's documentation services, but two men, both farm workers, did not even know that there was a consulate in North Carolina. Since eight of my interviews were conducted with immigrants I met at the Consulate, and most of the rest were done with people who live relatively close to the Consulate, it is likely that the proportion of Mexicans in North Carolina who have no knowledge of the Consulate is actually larger. Some of the lawyers and activists I interviewed told me that they have met mo re farm workers and others who live far from Raleigh who do not know about the Consulate or how to access its services. Even though almost everyone I interviewed knew that they could go to Raleigh to get their passport or matrcula consular and seven (a ll parents) also knew that they could get dual nationality for their children, it was rare for my informants to mention knowledge of any other service. When asked if they knew that the Consulate provided protection and legal services, only five answered th at they had some knowledge. Of those five, four were activists or had jobs that involved providing services to Mexican immigrants, and one was an H2A worker who had been received by a consular official when he arrived. Interestingly, none of the immigrants I met at the Consulate, all of whom came for documentation services or to accompany someone who wanted documentation services, had any idea that the Consulate has a Department of Protection and Legal Services. While the Consulate seems to widely public ize its documentation services and the dates of its mobile consulates, the Department of Protection's services do not seem to receive the same attention. According to one consulate employee, most people only discover the Department of Protection when they mention a relevant problem to
96 someone in another department of the Consulate. It is possible that even when Mexicans do hear about protection services, they do not pay attention if they are not currently in need of those services. However, six of my info rmants stated that they probably would have used protection services before if they had known about them. Even when Mexicans know about the Consulate, it may be difficult for them to get there. Many live far from Raleigh and work long hours, so it is diff icult for them to take time off to come to the Consulate, especially since they must often endure long waits there. Although the Consulate goes to a different town or city in North or South Carolina every month, these mobile consulates are not sufficient. Furthermore, immigrants may not have their own transportation or may not want to drive because their lack of a valid driver's license makes them vulnerable to receiving an expensive ticket or ev en being arrested and deported. It is not just Mexican immig rants who are unaware of consular services. D lano (2010 ) argued that the Mexican state can serve as an intermediary between migrants and host state institutions and organizations, but it appears th at this role is still somewhat limited in North Carolina. Although the Consulate does work with other organizations that help immigrants, some nonprofit members, lawyers, and other activists told me that they believe that the Consulate would be able to accomplish more if it had more communication with them and wi th the local government. Although the lawyers I interviewed generally had extensive knowledge of consular protection services, others who work with Mexican immigrants sometimes did not. For example, the director of the Hispanic Family Center in Raleigh, a Mexican immigrant herself, did not know that the Consulate offers legal services, even though some of her clients may
97 have benefited from those services. In another case, one of my informants who volunteers in a church was also unaware that the Consulate p rovided protection services. She stated that she would like to learn more about the Consulate and ways to help the other Mexicans who attend her church. Some of my informants, particularly those from small towns, mentioned the church as a source of inform ation or help for their problems related to their migration status, so it is important that church leaders have the information to help them. Even when some of my informants who were working to protect the rights of Mexican immigrants knew about consular services and wanted to collaborate with the Consulate, they had difficulties doing so. Some said that when they tried to contact the Consulate, their experience was frustrating because consular staff did not respond to their phone calls or e mails or too k a long time to do so. In some cases, greater cooperation and communication with other organizations could even allow the Consulate to more effectively use its resources. For example, Mary Lee Hall, an attorney at Legal Aid of N orth C arolina believes that the Consulate should use her organization when possible in order to save its resources for cases in which Legal Aid cannot help. Since Legal Aid receives federal funding, it generally cannot help undocumented immigrants, but it can help H2A workers an d others. According to Hall, Legal Aid's lawyers are the experts in cases involving impoverished and marginalized people, so it would be to the Consulate's and Mexican immigrants' advantage to use her organization. Hall also suggested that both the Con sulate and organizations that support immigrant rights, such as Legal Aid, would benefit from an interchange regarding the
98 differences between the Mexican and U.S. legal systems and governments. In this way, each side would hopefully have a greater underst anding how the other could help them and the limitations that each faces. Margarita Medina, who works in the Consulate's Department of Protection, agreed that there is room for improvement in the mutual understanding between the Consulate, nonprofits, and U.S. government agencies. She also recognized that although the Consul frequently meets with the heads of various agencies, employees at the lower levels of those agencies may not be aware of the contents of the meetings. In addition, attorney Ann Roberts on, who participates in the PALE program, suggested that the Consulate host a meeting for all of the PALE attorneys to discuss how they could work together to achieve certain goals. Farm Workers Farm workers in particular lack knowledge of and access to c onsular services, although they are one of the most vulnerable sectors of the Mexican population in North Carolina. I was told by several immigrant advocates that it is not possible to fully understand the situation of Mexican immigrants in North Carolina without talking to and learning about farm workers. The vast majority of North Carolina's estimated 120,000 to 200,000 farm workers are Mexican, and according to some of my informants, they are the most marginalized sector of the Mexican population in Nor th Carolina. Farm workers endure grueling working conditions and even the limited protections that are supposed to be provided by law are not guaranteed. According to one man who was a farm worker when he first came to North Carolina in the 1990s, "Farm w orkers are mistreated a lot...T he houses were inhabitable but we lived there because we had nowhere else to go." Farm workers also have difficulty in accessing services at the
99 Consulate in Raleigh due to a lack of transportation, a lack of free time, and the risk of being fired and losing their housing if they leave their job for even a short time. In this context, it makes sense that a serious criticism several of my informants made about the Mexican Consulate was that it does not do enough for farm work ers. Consular staff do travel to Vass, North Carolina to receive the H2A farm workers contracted by the North Carolina Grower's Association, and these workers are informed of their rights and the services provided by the Consulate. However, as some of my informants pointed out, these workers are not the most vulnerable nor the most in need of consular protection services. Mary Lee Hall, the Managing Attorney of Legal Aid's Farmworker Unit, remembered working with the Mexican government in the late 1990s b efore there was even a consulate in North Carolina. Staff from the Mexican Embassy came to visit farm worker camps with Legal Aid, and Legal Aid also worked extensively with the first Consul in Raleigh. However, they have collaborated less since then. Acc ording to Hall and another member of a nonprofit, although the Consulate has at times expressed interest in learning more about farm workers and doing more for them, there has been a lack of follow through on the part of the Consulate. If the Consulate we re to invest more in farm workers, my informants suggested that more mobile consulates in rural areas would be a good start. In addition, consular staff could attend the various farm worker festivals and publicize consular services there. Lack of Resour ces Excepting the lack of services for farm workers, most of the lawyers and immigrant advocates I interviewed had positive opinions of what the Consulate does.
100 However, they saw a need for the expansion of programs like PALE and the mobile consulates, a s well as for more staff and a better phone system. The immigrants I interviewed also suggested that more publicity about protection services and more weekend hours would be useful. Some advocates, immigrants, and even consulate employees stated that they would like to see another consulate opened in North or South Carolina. However, all of these suggestions would require more funding. For the most part, consular officials actually seemed to be aware of the lack of knowledge about the Consulate's services and the difficulty of some migrants in obtaining services. However, they do not currently have the resources to do much about this problem. As some consulate employees told me, if the Consulate began to advertise its protection services more, and more p eople came to the Consulate for protection services, the Consulate would not have the resources to help them. The Consul himself admitted that the Consulate has insufficient resources, telling me that "This is a young consulate...We need more resources...W e need more consular officials...This Consulate suffers, it has the flaw, that even though we have a lot of people [in our jurisdiction], even though we have 100 counties in North Carolina and 46 in South Carolina, we have few employees." As noted in the previous chapter, the Consulate has grown tremendously since it first opened, but the size of its staff and its budget have not kept pace with the growth in the Mexican population in the Carolinas and its needs. The Raleigh Consulate is second out of all of Mexico's consulates in terms of the revenues it receives from passports, matrculas and other documents, and it is about as busy as the consulates in Los Angeles and Chicago. However, it has only about half the number of employees
101 as those consulates. In particular, the Raleigh Consulate has only six employees working in the Department of Protection. These six employees are supposed to serve the entire population of Mexican nationals in the Carolinas, which the Consulate estimates to be between 1 and 1.5 million. Although the Consulate could probably implement some changes, such as greater communication with other organizations that serve Mexican migrants, at a relatively small cost, it is unlikely that there will be major improvements in the publici ty and provision of services until the Mexican government provides more resources. The Consul was unwilling to speculate on the likelihood of the Raleigh Consulate receiving more resources in the near future, but he did note that all three major president ial candidates, including the winner Enrique Pea Nieto, talked about strengthening the consular network. Gonzlez Gutirrez (1997) noted that in the past, one of the reasons that more resources were devoted to the consular network, including protection services, was that the newly legalized immigrants began demanding more services after the Immigration R eform and C ontrol A ct of 1986 In theory if Mexicans in the Carolinas began demanding more services, the Mexican government would respond by allocating more resources to the Consulate. However, as the next sections will show, Mexican migrants may be reluctant to demand more services because of their negative views of the Consulate, its staff, and the Mexican state. Bureaucracy Along with the lack of reso urces and work overload, the level of bureaucracy involved in many consular matters led several of my informants to complain about the Consulate. "Bureaucratic," "inefficient," and "disorganized" were some of the words used to describe the Consulate.
102 So me members of organizations that collaborate with the Consulate said that it can take a very long time to obtain the information or help they need, particularly when the Consulate has to contact other government agencies in Mexico. One woman who works for a nonprofit told me that when she needs the contact information of workers who returned to Mexico, it often takes several months for the Consulate t o give her the information. The lawyers who participate in the Consulate's legal aid program also said that the program has become more bureaucratic, and the process of obtaining reimbursement from the Mexican government for their services has become more time consuming. To some of my immigrant informants, the Consulate seems out of touch with their reality. For example, one of my informants went to the Consulate to get a matrcula consular and a passport because he did not have a valid ID, but when he arrived, he was turned away because he was only seventeen years old and his parents were not with him. Like m any of my informants, he had come to the U.S. without his parents, before he turned eighteen. Negative Perceptions of Consular Staff Of my 23 Mexican informants who had been to the Consulate, 7 (30 percent) had negative perceptions of consular staff. T hese negative views seemed to be due in large part to the class differences between the employees and the people they serve, and some of my informants felt that the staff could not understand them or even looked down upon them. One man stated that the staf f who came directly from Mexico could not understand Mexican immigrants because of the class differences and also because liv ing in the U.S. had changed the immigrants : "Even though we're Mexicans living in the United States...we're different now than in Mexico, so the people who come from
103 Mexico, sometimes they don't understand our needs... They are professionals, and the people who are here from Mexico they are not professionals...T he way you talk, I think they don't understand that part, even though we 're from the same country." The privilege or upper class status of the staff was symbolized for some of my informants by the fact that the staff comes to the U.S. legally and with a secure job. For example, one undocumented woman told me that the consul ar staff cannot completely understand her situation because, "They came with a work permit. They don't have to suffer like us. They have work. They know where they are going to live." One of my informants who had the most negative perceptions of consular staff was an indigenous man, a member of the Otomi from Puebla. He spoke of the discrimination he had experienced in Mexico and how consular staff, like government workers in Mexico, treat people poorly if they do not speak Spanish well or are not well dr essed. According to him, the type of service people receive depends on how they present themselves. He said, "If you go with a tie, then [the employees will say] 'Sir, go ahead, sit. Can I bring you water?,' but if you go poorly dressed or dirty, [they wil l say], 'No, wait your turn.'" However, when I asked him about his personal experience at the Consulate, he said the customer service he received when obtaining his documents was fine, although he did point out that he dressed up when he went. But whether or not this man's views are an accurate representation of consular customer service, the perception is problematic, and it could be beneficial for consular staff to present themselves in a different manner in some circumstances. As another woman who works with farm workers stated, "If you're going to be doing worker events, coming in suits and
104 speaking Spanish versus coming in jeans and speaking an indigenous language and Spanish would make a big difference." During my interviews with consular staff and my three months interning in the Consulate, I never saw any of them treat their clients with disrespect or heard them say anything disrespectful. On the contrary, they seemed to genuinely care about them. Mary Le e Hall of Legal Aid supported this perceptio n, stating, "I have been impressed with the compassion of some of the Consulate staff...They've been compassionate in cases where people have very little [and] have suffered really horrible tragedies." O f course, I had little interaction with most of the workers in the Documentation department, who are the only people most Mexicans who vi sit the Consulate interact with, but I have no reason to believe that they treat their clients any differently from the employees whom I did interview. However, even if employees do not harbor negative feelings toward the clients, it is likely that some employees occasionally have personal issues or are affected by the stress and long hours of many consular jobs and therefore do not always have positive interactions with clients. As previously discussed, the Consulate is also very busy, and the staff may not be able to spend the time with clients that they need. As a couple of my informants mentioned, migrants may be reluctant to tell another person their entire story o ut of shame, embarrassment, or fear. One girl, the daughter of unauthorized immigrants, explained, "[Migrants] are embarrassed to say to what extent their problems have gone, and they don't want to let people know how far they've gotten off track...You re ally have to work with people and kind of dig to find out what the whole entire issue
105 is." However, consular staff may not have the time or energy to establish a connection with all of their clients and draw the whole story out of them. Mobile consulates in particular may be extremely busy, with consular staff sometimes attending more than one thousand clients in one weekend and working past midnight on Saturday in order to do so. One immigrant who had been to a mobile consulate said she left with a nega tive view of consular staff, but she admitted, "I think my opinion is very biased based on what I've seen and felt long lines, frustration at waiti ng, and lack of organization...T here are so many people, and everyone is so exhausted that [consular staff] don't really answer the questions people may have." Overall, the negative perceptions of consular staff seem to be related to the lack of resources as well as ideas about class and race that my Mexican informants internalized in Mexico. Based on their experiences in Mexico some Mexicans seem to expect the consular staff, which they see as elite and privileged, to disrespect those who are poor or indigenous. The high volume of visitors to the Consulate also likely contributes to the problem. But whateve r the reason, Mexicans' perception that consular staf fers do not respect them nor treat migrants well may prevent some from seeking help from the Consulate. As one woman who claimed she was treated rudely by an employee told me, "[Consular staff] don't kno w how to treat us well...one supposes they are there to help us, but with people like that, how are we going to ask what kind of services there are in the Consulate?" It was not just migrants who had negative views of the consular staff; although some of the activists, lawyers, and others I interviewed had very positive perceptions of the consular staff and believed that they were doing a "great job," others mentioned
106 some problems that they had had with the Consulate. I heard complaints that the Consul a nd his staff sometimes appeared to be disrespectful by arriving late to meetings or canceling at the last minute. As one man who works for a nonprofit and is himself a Mexican immigrant explained, "Personally, I don't like the Consul. In my experience plan ning and organizing all these events, he always arrives late, which in Mexico we have those kinds of leade rs...Everyone deserves respect. When he comes late to a meeting or event, I was like y ou're not in Mexico In addition, some felt that it was very difficult to get in touch with consular staff when they needed to communicate with them. Although it is possible that these problems are due once again to the lack of resources and busy schedule of consular employees, it is of course helpful for the Consul ate to maintain good working relationships with others who are also trying to protect Mexican migrants. Negative Views of the Mexican Government A significant problem with the sending state trying to protect migrants and defend their rights can be that th e migrants do not trust the sending state. Although almost all of the Mexicans I interviewed believed that the Mexican government had the responsibility to protect them, they tended to have more negative responses when asked if they believed that the Mexi can government cared about Mexicans in the U.S. Only 11 out of my 30 informants (37 percent) stated unequivocally that the Mexican government cares. Twelve (40 percent) believed the Mexican government cared very little or not at all, 3 (10 percent) were u nsure, and 4 (13 percent) said that the Mexican government cares, but only for economic and/or political reasons. The Mexican state has a less than stellar record on human rights within its own territory, so it is not surprising that its emigrants are re luctant to believe that the Mexican
107 state will protect their rights outside of their country. As one man said, the Mexican government "has created this chaos from which people are leaving." Most of the immigrants I interviewed had left Mexico because their rights were not guaranteed there. When I asked them about their reasons for migrating, they discussed how the lack of educational and job opportunities, the need to earn enough money to provide for basic needs for family members like healthcare, the corr upt law enforcement and justice system, and fear for their personal safety led them to emigrate. For example, one woman I interviewed had been abused by her husband in Mexico to the extent that she lost the child she was carrying, but when she reported the abuse to the Mexican police, they allegedly told her, "He didn't kill you. You don't have a broken arm They were just punches. Go home." She fled to the U.S because, as she said, "I wasn't going to wait for him to kill me so that the police would pay a ttention to me ." Mexicans choose to emigrate for a variety of reasons, not all of which are directly related to human rights violations, 10 but if the Mexican government guaranteed the rights of Mexicans in Mexico, its citizens should generally not feel tha t they are forced to leave their country. Although many would like to go back to Mexico, they feel they cannot because these conditions continue, or in some cases (particularly with safety) have worsened. Some stated that they had originally planned to r eturn to Mexico by now, but they needed to stay in the U.S. because they would not be able to earn enough in Mexico to care for an ill or infirm parent or send a family member to school. The current drug related violence in Mexico was also an important rea son why many of my informants felt 10 For example, Kandel and Massey (2002) discuss the presence of a "culture of migr ation" in some communities in Mexico that have high rates of out migration. Members of these communities, particularly males, expect to live and work in the U.S. for at least part of their lives.
108 they could not return. One man from Veracruz did not want to go back now, because as he stated, "People there kill you for nothing, just to kill...If you look well dressed, they think that you have money, and they kill y ou for that. They kill you, they assault you, they rob you, they kidnap you, they kidnap your child." Furthermore, several of my informants saw the current violence and violations of rights that are occurring in Mexico as evidence that the Mexican governme nt must not care about any Mexican citizens, whether in Mexico or in the U.S. One woman stated that she thought that the Mexican government did not care about migrants because, "They hardly care about the people there [in Mexico]...T here is a lot of crime, especially in Guerrero, where I'm from. One cries to see how many are dying." In addition, as some of my informants pointed out, Mexico has not protected the rights of migrants within its own territory. Central American and other migrants passing throu gh Mexico on their way to the U.S. are frequently robbed, abused, kidnapped, or killed. The Mexican government has been criticized for its failure to protect these migrants and for the participation of Mexican soldiers and police officers in their victimi zation. For example, Amnesty International's 2012 Human Rights Report for Mexico features a whole section on the violations of the rights of migrants that occur within Mexico. Given this situation, Mexico's demand for the protection of Mexicans by the U.S. seems hypocritical. In the words of one of my Mexican immigrant informants: "I feel the need for Mexico to actually take a stand and be an example of what they want for their own citizens." Some of my informants believed that the Mexican government cared about them, but thought it was because Mexican migrants are economically and politically powerful.
109 When asked if the Mexican government cares about Mexicans in the U.S., one man answered, "Yes, they care because it is important for them when they need vo tes to continue in power in Mexico." Others noted the economic power of migrants as a reason for the Mexican government to care; as another man said, "They only care about us when it has to do with m oney... hat's the biggest interest the government has." T hese statements are supported by the work of scholars such as Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003), who argue that states may choose to engage with their diasporas for economic and political reasons. However, they also reflect a cynicism on the part of my infor mants regarding the Mexican government. Several informants said that Mexican politicians will claim that they care in order to get the support of migrants and their families, but their words are empty. As one of my informants put it, "F or [the politician s], it is easy to say 'I promise to do, to create, to protect,' and this never happens." Or as another man said, "They just do what is convenient for themselves. All of them are the same; they don't do what they promise." When asked about the PRI, the pa rty of the new president Enrique Pea Nieto, my informants did not seem very hopeful that there would be any positive change. A common response was, "I don't hope for anything from them. I think everything is going to stay the same." Others were even harsh er in their judgment of the incoming administration; as one man said, "We need a true leader, not someone who doesn't even know how to read or write, like Pea Nieto." Overall, my informants seemed to believe that the Mexican government can and should do more for them and that a lack of resources was not an excuse. I was told several times by migrants that Mexico is rich and that the Mexican government has
110 money. As one man said, "There's a lot of money, and there's a lot of corruption." My informants w anted the Mexican government to put its resources to better use and do more for them. Although Dlano (2009b) claimed that Mexico's ability to successfully promote bilateral immigration reform has been limited in part by the power asymmetry between the U.S and Mexico, several of my informants viewed the situation differently. They stated that the Mexican government has the power and ability to negotiate with the U.S. government on migration in order to come up with a solution for all of the undocumented Me xicans in the U.S., but that the Mexican government chooses to simply go along with U.S. policy. Some of my informants advocated for the Mexican government taking a greater role in standing up to the U.S. government and protecting the rights of Mexicans i n the U.S. For example, one woman stated that Mexico "should do more and pressure [the U.S. government] more because these are their citizens, and families are being separated, and it's affecting both nations, both economically and socially, as well as po litically... I feel that they do have the power and they have the responsibility to do more than they're just doing right now ." Although the Mexican government workers that I interviewed seemed to genuinely want to help Mexican immigrants, the motives and interests of the Mexican state are less clear. The state obviously has political and economic reasons for engaging with its diaspora, as Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) explained and as some of my informants also mentioned. Other authors point to human rig hts issues as an important motivator; as Goldring (2002) and Dlano (2009a) noted, one reason Mexico increasingly engaged with its emigrants in the 1990s was the hostile attitude toward them in the U.S. Similar hostilities and anti immigrant legislation ha ve been prevalent in
111 North Carolina and other states in the past few years. Restrictions on immigrants' rights and large scale deportations can be important to the sending state because they can threa ten remittance flows (Waldinger 2009) and because citize ns in the home territory may be aware of what is happening to their co nationals abroad and challenge the state's legitimac y if it does nothing (Rosenblum 2004). Furthermore, Magaa (2011, 169) explains that in providing consular services to deceased Mexi cans and their families, "by diverting attention from the conditions and policies that cause these deaths to the logistics of recovery, the Mexican state transforms its role i n these migration stories The Mexican state may be doing s omething similar wit h other protection services for migrants A few consular protection success stories can allow the state to claim that it cares about human rights, although that protection may never have been needed if the rights of Mexicans were protected in Mexico. As V iridiana Martinez stated, "What [the Consul] represents is a country that has thrown its people under the bus. And now they want to be here and pretend like things are groovy, and they're not." Interestingly, during my interview with the Consul, he spent about twenty minutes talking about how conditions in the U.S. have led Mexicans to migrate, but he never discussed how the Mexican state's failures have also contributed to the migration. For example, he emphasized how Mexican migration has responded to th e labor market conditions of the U.S. but did not discuss how the N orth A merican F ree T rade A greement which the Mexican government pushed for, and the Mexican economic crisis in the mid 1990s also contributed. This is in stark contrast to the opinions of most of my Mexican immigrant informants, who placed the ultimate blame for their situation with the Mexican state.
112 Conclusion If the Mexican government does genuinely want to help Mexicans in the U.S., it may be difficult to overcome their distrust. For those who left Mexico because the state did not protect their rights there, it does not make sense to go to an outpost of the Mexican government in the U.S. for protection. Given these feelings about the Mexican government and the Consulate's lack of publi city of its services, it is not surprising that only two of my Mexican immigrant informants thought to go to the Consulate for protection services (other than documentation services). Most of my informants expressed surprise that the Consulate even provide d protection services. There is definitely room for improvement in the relationships between Mexican migrants, the Consulate, and other organizations and institutions, and although the Consulate may be limited by the issue of sovere ignty and the lack of re sources, my immigrant informants clearly thought that the Mexican government should do more to assist them.
113 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION This case study reveals the difficulties that immigrants can face in a new destination, and it shows that while the Mexican government is doing far more for its emigrants than it did in the past, there is still significant room for improvement. In addition, this research sheds light on the possibilities for sending state protection, although other sending sta tes may not have the same motivations or resources for engaging with and protecting their diasporas. While states are finding new ways to engage with their diasporas, the nation state system does not seem to be in any danger of disappearing anytime soon. Mexico and its nationals are not threat ening the sovereignty of the United States .; they are working within the U.S. system to advocate for changes. Although there is still a long way to go in the protection of immigrant rights in North Carolina, immigran t youth, the Consulate, and various other organizations and individuals are making a valiant effort to challenge stereotypes, change policies, and protect individuals. Room for Improvement The Mexican government could obviously do more to protect its emig rants. The Mexican population in North Carolina has grown exponentially in the past two decades, and the growth in the Consulate has not kept up. There is a great need for protection in new destinations like North Carolina since these areas often experie nce a backlash to the gro wing immigrant population (Gill 2010; Ziga and Hernndez Len 2005). Mexican nationals, particularly unauthorized immigrants but also those with legal status, face significant difficulties in their encounters with the legal and j udicial systems. Racial profiling, the consequences of which are often worsened by interior enforcement
114 programs and the lack of access to drivers' licenses, can have devastating effects. When immigrants have problems with the law, they are often unable to obtain good, affordable legal counsel. They are subject to abuses in prisons and detention centers, and deportations can rip families apart and send people back to countries they barely know. Deportations to Mexico are also particularly dangerous these da ys due to the violence at the border and in many immigrants' hometowns. However, the resources the Mexican state devotes to protection are far from sufficient to address these problems. Most of my informants were unaware of consular services, other than documentation, and some also mentioned barriers to access, such as a lack of transportation. Negative perceptions of the Mexican government and the people who work for it may also prevent some Mexicans from seeking help from the Consulate. Dlano (2010) ar gued that the Mexican state can serve as an intermediary between migrants and host state organizations and institutions and while the Consulate does d o this to an extent, it could benefit from strengthening its relationships with its nationals in North Ca rolina and with government institutions and organizations that support immigrant rights. However, it is likely that skepticism of the Mexican government's desire to protect its emigrants will continue for as long as it fails to protect the rights of Mexic ans and migrants within its own territory. Although it is not possible to generalize these results to other states, it seems likely that other new destinations would face similar issues, while longer established consulates in traditional destinations wou ld have stronger relationships with the community. Consul Flores Vizcarra compared his experience to that of the consuls in San Diego and Los Angeles, stating, "Everyone knows [about the Consulate] there. It's
115 the border, there's a greater intensity of ex changes there, there are more Mexicans, there are elected officials who are Hispanic, and the people know more." However, even the largest Mexican consulates have only twice the number of employees as the Raleigh Consulate, so it seems unlikely that the re sources devoted to protection would be sufficient anywhere. Diaspora Engagement Despite the room for improvement in both the amount of resources devoted to protection and in its outreach to immigrants and their advocates, Mexico has clearly made substanti al changes to its policies and practices regarding its diaspora in the years since it was accused of "having no policy." In accordance with Goldring's (2002) definition of "state led transnationalism," Mexico has expanded the scope of its regulation, grant ing its emigrants and their children most of the same rights as its citizens living in its national territory, and it has institutionalized its involvement in the protection of its emigrants. As described in Chapter 4, the Mexican government provides numer ous consular services meant to protect the rights of its emigrants, and even if many migrants are unaware of these services or unable to access them, those who do obtain services may see their lives greatly improved. The Mexican government can also contri bute to the long term welfare of its emigrants through its strategies of preventative protection. Rosenblum (2004) argued that the sending state can protect its emigrants through influencing host state policies, and it appears that the Mexican government d oes try to do that, albeit indirectly. Institutionalized state diaspora rel ations are now the norm (Gamlen 2008), so the case study of Mexico's protection of its emigrants in North Carolina could be relevant to other states that are reaching out to their emigrants. In addition, although the negative
116 stereotypes of immigrants, particularly unauthorized ones, tend to be about Mexicans due to their construction as "illegals," "crimina ls," and the "enemy" (De Genova 2005; Ngai 2004; Kil and Menjvar 2006), oth er nationalities are also affected. When police are racially profiling, they may stop anyone who "looks" Mexican but may actually be from any one of a number of different countries. Immigrants from other nationalities may also face the same difficulties w ith prisons, detention centers, and obtaining adequate legal counsel as Mexicans. If human rights concerns are a motivation for a sending state to engage with its diaspora, as Rosenblum (2004) argued, then many sending states have a motivation to engage w ith their emigrants in the U.S. However, not all sending states have the same resources and motivations that Mexico has to protect its emigrants. When I asked lawyers and other immigrant rights advocates in North Carolina if they knew of any efforts by o ther countries to protect immigrants in North Carolina, they said no. Mexico is the only country that has a full time consulate in North Carolina, and although other governments occasionally have mobile consulates in North Carolina, their services are much more limited. Consular staff told me that they have even seen the occasional Central American immigrant try to pass for a Mexican national in order to obtain consular services. Of course, as Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) point out, emigrant population size is an important factor in a government's decision to engage with its diaspora, and no other country has nearly the number of emigrants living in North Carolina, or the U.S., that Mexico does. Furthermore, the type of engagement policy that a state ch ooses is dependent on the state's ability to pay for it (Levitt and de la Dehesa 2003), and protection is often a costly type of engagement. Providing legal services, repatriation, temporary financial help, and
117 other such services for emigrants may be diff icult for many sending states, particularly if they have relatively few resources and a relatively large emigrant population. Even though this case study may not be completely applicable to other countries, it can at least shed some light on the possibi lities for sending state protection of migrant rights and the challenges they may face. The sending state can connect its emigrants to service providers within the receiving state, as Dlano (2010) also found, and activities like the "active" protection o f the Department of Protection and Legal Services can protect the rights of individuals. However, the sending state would have to invest a great deal of resources in order to ensure that these services reach everyone or even just a large proportion of its emigrants. In addition, one of the most important things that can be done to protect migrants is to counteract their dehumanization and dispel myths about them, as Marquardt et. al. (2011) do in Living Illegal My research supports the work of scholar s such as De Genova (2005), Ngai (2004), and Chavez (2008), who have all elaborated on the negative consequences of the constructions and stereotypes regarding Mexicans in the U.S. Furthermore, my case study suggests that the sending state may be able to help with this, but it is not necessarily the most effective actor in this situation. Since Americans may already feel that immigrants, especially unauthorized ones, are threatening the sovereignty of the U.S., they may feel further threatened if they know that the sending state is trying to help immigrants in the U.S. Other, U.S. based organizations may have greater success in this area. For example, like the Consulate, the NC Council of Churches has the goal of educating Americans about immigrants and pr omoting tolerance. In many situations, that message will be better received by
118 Americans if it comes from the NC Council of Churches, which is not perceived as threatening U.S. sovereignty. The Nation State and Transnationalism This case study supports th e work of authors like Vertovec (2009) who claim that the nation state is still important and is not experiencing a significant threat from transnational practices involving migrants. Mexico has redefined nationality to include those living outside of the nation state territory, and it takes action within the territory of the United States. However, consular staff work within U.S. laws in order to protect Mexican immigrants. Sometimes they do not even go as far as they legally could to challenge U.S. laws and policies due to the potential backlash from being perceived as infringing upon U.S. sovereignty, as demonstrated by the Consul's decision to not speak at the N orth C arolina G eneral A ssembly This research also supports Mattila's (2001) argument that t he nation state is still the site of claiming rights. Although Sassen (1996) argued that migrants would be able to use the international human rights regime in order to claim their rights, my informants were focused on using the U.S. political system to gu arantee immigrant rights. They were not challenging U.S. sovereignty; if anything, their decision to work through the U.S. system to make changes actually reinforces U.S. sovereignty. Transnationalism is not threatening the state, and as Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) argue, the state can also help to create and reinforce transnational ties. The Mexican state is doing this by promoting dual nationality and through a number of practices not discussed in this thesis, such as programs to promote investments by migrants in Mexico. However, protection activities may also indirectly facilitate other forms of migrant transnationalism, particularly the sending of remittances. Protection
119 services, from the provision of legal services to education, can help migrants become more economically secure in the U.S., and migrants who receive protection services would, in theory, be able to send more money to their relatives, buy property, or otherwise invest in Mexico. As Levitt and de la Dehesa (2003) argued, remittances a re a major reason for a sending state to engage with its emigrants. Future Avenues of Research While my case study contributes to the understanding of state led transnationalism and sending state protection as a type of diaspora engagement, more research could be done regarding the ability of sending states to protect their emigrants through affecting host state policy. Although my research provides insight into the ability of the Mexican state to influence local and state politics in the U.S. through its consulates, it does not address the actions that the Mexican state may take to influence federal policy. Interviews with Mexican officials in the Embassy and with U.S. politicians would help to provide a better understanding of what influence, if any, th e Mexican state has at the national level in the U.S. Additionally, an interesting finding of my study was that nearly all of my group of 30 Mexican nationals in North Carolina believed that the Mexican government has a responsibility to protect them. H owever, it is ultimately the Mexicans in Mexico who elect the politicians who decide Mexico's policy towards its emigrants 11 Therefore, it might be instructive to interview Mexicans in Mexico in regards to the importance of the protection of Mexicans abroa d and the amount of resources the Mexican state should invest in protecting them. 11 As mentioned in Chapter 2, although Mexicans abroad have the right to vote in presidential elections, they face many difficulties when trying to do so, and their participation so far has been very limited.
120 The Future of Immigrant Rights in North Carolina Ties between the Mexican state and its emigrants have been greatly strengthened and institutionalized in the past quarter c entury, and it is likely that will continue. In North Carolina, the Consulate will probably continue expanding, and hopefully more Mexican nationals will learn about the services it provides. These services will surely still be needed for a long time to c ome; as Dani Moore of the NC Justice Center stated: "The U.S. and particularly North Carolina needs to learn a lot more and be a lot more aware of migration issues so that Mexican immigrants'...dignity can be honored, they can be made to feel welcome and t reated as full human beings in our state. We have a long way to go." In the 2012 elections, the Republican party expanded its control of the North Carolina state government, increasing its majority in the NCGA and taking the governorship for the first tim e in twenty years. Given the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2012, it is unlikely that an Arizona style law would pass in North Carolina. However, it is possible that the NCGA will try to pass other anti immigrant legislation, depending in large part on w hat happens at the federal level. At the time of this writing, President Obama was beginning a push for immigration reform. Dlano (2009b) argued that domestic politics and public perceptions in the U.S. were two of the factors contributing to the failur e of immigration reform before, but now the growing power of the Latino electorate may cause the benefits to outweigh the costs for politicians. Public perceptions of immigrants and immigration reform may also be positively affected by the actions of immig rant rights' advocates, especially the DREAMers. A legalization program seems more likely now than at any point in the past several years, and it could help substantially in reducing the
121 sense of "deportability" that makes Mexicans vulnerable at the workpl ace and in other situations (De Genova 2005). However, it is not apparent in what timeframe t he legalization program, if any, will occur, and certainly not all unauthorized immigrants will qualify. There has also not been any talk of making enforcement po licies more humane or rights oriented, and if reform happens, even more resources could be invested into both border and interior enforcement policies that have negative consequences for human rights. However, if reform does happen and there is some sort o f legalization program, the Mexican consulates will certainly help Mexicans take advantage of it. Organizations like the NC DREAM Team, the N orth C arolina Justice Center, Legal Aid, and many others will also indubitably continue fighting for justice for immigrants in North Carolina. Immigrants and their advocates have not accepted the violations of immigrants' rights without a fight, and they actively challenge negative stereotypes and unjust laws and policies. Although the Latino immigrant population in North Carolina is still relatively new, there is now a generation of Latino youth who have grown up in North Carolina and feel that they are North Carolinian and American. These youth, such as the members of the NC Dream Team, have a great deal at stake in the fight for justice for immigrants, and their hard work has resulted in victories in stopping deportations and bringing attention to the plight of unauthorized immigrants. In addition, all of my informants who worked in other organizations or the Consul ate could give various examples of how they were able to protect immigrant rights. Each has a role to play, and by working with each other, they can accomplish a great deal and help to gradually transform North Carolina into a more tolerant state that res pects the immigrants who have become an integral part of its society.
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128 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETC H Alyssa Peavey was born in 1989 in Charlotte, North Carolina and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2011, she received a Bachelor of Arts in geo graphy, with a minor in b iology, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. While completing her undergraduate studies, Alyssa spent the fall semester of 2009 on a UNC faculty led study abroad program in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Oaxaca, Mexi co. She returned to Mexico in Fall 2010 to study at the Mexico City campus of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. During her last semester at UNC, Alyssa interned in the Department of Protection and Legal Services at the Mexican Co nsulate in Raleigh. In 2013, she received her Ma ster of Arts in Latin American s tudies from the University of Florida, w here she specialized in Latino s tudies.