Anyone who hasn’t been asleep or on a silent retreat for the past month hasn’t been able to avoid the protests and debates over the immigration issue in the U.S., particularly as it relates to immigration from Mexico. But what is less talked about is traffic that goes in the other direction. Mexico has long been a destination of choice for some retirees and other expatriates, of course, and Tony Cohan wrote a book a few years ago about his own experiences in that regard.
Now, here is an article that discusses the benefits of being able to telecommute from Mexico. And a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post goes even further, by suggesting that continued integration of the U.S. and Mexican economies would mean not only Mexicans heading north, but increasing numbers of Americans being drawn to Mexico.
We always assume that opening the border means hordes of Mexicans streaming north, but under this scenario, more Americans also would begin emigrating to Mexico. With the cost of living spiraling along the U.S. coasts and in U.S. cities, many Americans would find not only the cheaper prices but also the warm climate and palm trees of Mexico a more attractive alternative than relocating to South Dakota or Kansas.
Call it the Mexican safety valve, with American workers migrating to Mexico in search of jobs, homeownership, even to start businesses. In other words, they would chase the American dream in Mexico. Already we see the beginnings of this, with American expatriate communities springing up around cities such as Guadalajara.