Violence spurs "Mexodo" to the United States

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on September 18, 2011

Friday evening's Univision newscast included a story about the intensifying flight of wealthy Mexicans to Texas. Reporter Brenda Carmona said the migration is often referred to as the "Mexodo" – a play on the Spanish word "exodo," which means "exodus" – the equivalent in English would be "Mexodus".

A Mexican woman, appearing in silhouette, explained why her family had come to San Antonio. "My husband was a kidnapping victim," she said. "The situation is something that is very difficult to be going through on a daily basis if you have small children. They can't go to school. They can't go anywhere because you see either assaults or shootings."

Many of the newcomers come from the northern Mexico city of Monterrey and buy homes in the upscale and fast-growing Solterra development. So many have come that the community has been dubbed "Solterrey."

They are coming to the United States with E-visas, commonly known as "investment visas," which are intended to encourage immigration of business people who will create jobs in the U.S. "They are people who come to invest, educated people, people who are getting involved in the community," said Eduardo Bravo, president of the Mexican Entrepreneurs' Association.

The Univision story, featuring video of luxury vehicles on the streets of suburban San Antonio, included E-visa statistics first reported last month by the Washington Post's Mary Beth Sheridan, who wrote:

The number of investment visas given to Mexicans has risen sharply. A total of 10,512 E-1 and E-2 investment visas were granted to Mexicans from 2006 to 2010, a 73 percent increase over the previous five-year period, according to the State Department. Mexican professionals have obtained tens of thousands of other kinds of visas in recent years. Some complain, however, that the process has gotten more difficult, with increased fees and government scrutiny.

Sheridan also reported this comment about the influx from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro: "It goes counter to the conventional wisdom about the Mexican presence in the United States." The influx "is positive, it is entrepreneurial . . . and one of the keys to a very successful growing city like San Antonio."

Of course, this isn't just a win-win situation. San Antonio's success is Mexico's failure. One wonders how many working-class Mexicans are losing their jobs because of the entrepreneurial flight to Texas and other parts of the United States.

Topics: Mexico