1st Edition

Protecting Immigrant Rights in Mexico Understanding the State-Civil Society Nexus

By Laura Valeria González-Murphy Copyright 2013
    248 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    The state-civil society relationship to migration policy is an area both largely unexplored and little understood in current scholarly literature. Laura González-Murphy offers a timely analysis of the changing role played by civil society in the formulation and implementation of government policies in general and migration policy in particular.

    Using Mexico as her primary case study because of the recent impact of immigrants on its legislation and the historical evolution of its institutions, González-Murphy details the ways that civil society has become a participant in immigration policy changes, including Mexico’s new migration law. Mexico’s experience is also closely compared with countries presently experiencing similar immigration and political dynamics, such as Spain and Italy. The extensive interviews with Mexican civil society actors and government officials that González-Murphy has conducted during the last few years enable her thorough understanding of the state-civil society relationship in Mexico.  The book closes with an examination of what the Mexican experience contributes to our understanding of the actors, processes, issues, and obstacles involved in migration policy development.

    Protecting Immigrant Rights in Mexico will offer scholars as well as policy makers and civil society actors a greater understanding of the domestic and international political issues and constraints that shape immigration policy making and its implementation.

    Part I: Background. Introduction: Mexico, a Country of Immigration? 1. Who Are Mexico’s Immigrants? 2. Mexico’s Immigration Policy in Perspective: Initiating a "Friendly Gates" Policy. Part II: Civil Society Flourishes. 3. Civil Society From the Mexican Perspective. 4. The State–Civil Society Nexus on Immigration Policy. 5. Civil Society’s Key Achievement: The New Migration Law of 2011. Part III: Comparison and Final Reflections. 6. Immigration and Civil Society in Spain and Italy: A Comparison With Mexico. 7. Conclusion and Final Remarks.


    Laura Valeria González-Murphy is an Assistant Research Professor at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany (SUNY).

    "Laura González-Murphy dares to explore how influential civil society can be on migration policy formulation in the Mexican case, precisely at a time when sharp changes in migration law and policy are taking place in a country which is a bookmark for migration policymakers in America. The author also engages in a comparison with civil society in Italy and Spain, in order to better assess if civil society in Mexico is really having concrete, measurable, and visible influence on the migration policy domain."

    —Juan Carlos Calleros Alarcón, Unit of Migration Policy, Center of Migration Studies, Interior Department, Mexico

    "González-Murphy provides an important complement to scholarship that looks at Mexico primarily as a source country of emigrants. Meticulously researched, this book is the first serious study of the role of civil society in the formation of Mexico's immigration policies as a destination country. As such, it is a welcome addition to the literature that should be of interest to both academics and policymakers."

    —Susan Martin, Georgetown University

    "González-Murphy reverses our gaze to Mexico as a major immigrant receiving state. Retrieving original voices from civil society and state actors, she exposes us to the micro-negotiations that determine immigration policy. She should be applauded for deploying local data and interviews to make visible civil society’s critical role in Mexican immigration policy."

    —Kamal Sadiq, University of California, Irvine