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Mexico - Overview of the current migration policy framework

In Mexico, legal norms related to immigration and immigrants are essentially based on the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos)(1917), the Migration Act (Ley de Migración) (2011), the General Population Act (Ley General de Población) (1974) and its Regulation (2000), with their various modifications; as well as the Nationality Act (Ley de Nacionalidad) (1998) and its Regulation (2009). In addition, there exist other laws, regulations, agreements, and circulars related to migration management that complement the previous instruments (INM, 2010).

In the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States Articles 1, 11, 27, and 30 to 38 are of note. The first establishes the prohibition of all discrimination motivated by ethnic or national origin, Article 11 guarantees freedom of movement, and Articles 30 to 38 define matters related to Mexican nationality and citizenship. In particular, Article 33 constitutionally extends to foreigners all individual guaranties (civil rights), while at the same time authorises the executive branch to have all foreigners whose permanency it considers inconvenient to abandon national territory immediately and without the need of a prior trial, although this provision, as such, has almost never been applied. This article also clarifies that foreigners cannot, in any manner, interfere in political matters of the country.

Article 27 of the Constitution, in its first paragraph, establishes the exclusive rights of nationals to acquire domain over lands and waters in a 100-kilometre strip along the borders and within fifty kilometres along beaches. The state may grant foreigners the right to obtain exploitation concessions of mines or waters, or to acquire properties outside the border areas previously indicated, provided that they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider themselves as nationals regarding such assets and to not invoke the protection of their governments with respect to them.