Immigration and the U.S. Relationship with Mexico

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 28

By Mark Krikorian and Christopher Landau on November 4, 2021

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The U.S.-Mexico relationship has a direct impact on American security and prosperity, and immigration, both legal and illegal, plays a key role. In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Christopher Landau, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2019-2021), discusses Mexican immigration laws, cooperation with the United States, and Mexican attitudes toward migration.

Landau touches on the changing attitudes of Mexicans towards migration due in part to the changes that have occurred. Migrants from all over the world are entering Mexico on their way to the U.S. southern border. Mexicans are no longer the dominant population entering the United States illegally; “other than Mexican” nationals (OTMs) accounted for well over 60 percent of the apprehensions at the border and all of these individuals had to cross through Mexico, in violation of Mexican laws. It is more than just a threat to Mexican national sovereignty; criminal networks, which control the historic levels of third-country migration through Mexico, are being enriched, with long-term implications for Mexico.

Landau weighs in on the history and future of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, and the abuse of the U.S. and Mexican asylum systems. He fears the possibility that Mexico will be used as a punching bag in American domestic politics.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discusses recent developments in the “Remain in Mexico” program.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Christopher Landau, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2019-2021)


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".
Topics: Mexico