An American Working in Mexico [Verified]

I am sure that Tom's company would not want him to appear on cable news shows or to testify at Congressional hearings for fear of some form of retribution by Mexico.

This process is not a secret, yet it is kept secret by the media and by most of our own politicians. I, as always, will send this out with link.

May I make one suggestion:

Please ask your readers to send this post to their Congressmen, Senators in US Congress and their State Congress's. Also, send to Governors and local sheriffs/city councils that refuse to enforce out immigration laws. I know your very bright readers should be able to figure that out for themselves, but I don't think a reminder would insult any of us.

Posted by LARWYN at May 6, 2006 6:06 PM

This makes the recent illegal alien protests look even more absurd.

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at May 6, 2006 7:47 PM

I've never worked in Mexico, but I have (legally) in several other Third World locations (all for US companies, fortunately), and Tom's tale rings true to me. Much of the world outside of US/Canada/Western Europe/Singapore has astonishing levels of corruption AND bureaucracy. Not only are you paying bribes at every turn, you have to fill out amounts of paperwork that simply boggle the mind. What do the locals use all these documents for? Beats me. Of course, the paperwork drill applies only if you're playing by the rules and getting a legitimate work permit. But the bribes are always there. In fact, they can be worse for the illegal worker, because he has no legal cover at all, and has to keep "the best cops that money can buy" from throwing him in the slammer, collecting another bribe, and packing him onto the next flight home.

Posted by waltj at May 6, 2006 9:41 PM

It would be helpful if we could get some video of protests at the American embassy in Mexico City.

Posted by papertiger at May 7, 2006 12:03 AM

The whole letter is basically NOT TRUE, but of course the writer of the letter is going to say it is. If you want to read a COMPLETE rebuttal by an American who has lived, worked, and owned a business in México for nearly nine years (me), and another who has lived and worked in México for many years, go to Richard Grabman's blog and read the article posted yesterday that is titled, "The myth of the gringo immigrant..." Here you'll see the REAL truth about working and living in México.

Posted by David Bodwell at May 10, 2006 10:22 AM

Glad to. What's the URL?

Never mind. Here it is.

We'll take a look.

Posted by Gerard Van der Leun at May 10, 2006 10:41 AM

Sorry about the missing URL. I was interrupted, then posted, forgetting that I hadn't pasted the URL yet.

Posted by David Bodwell at May 10, 2006 12:20 PM

Ok, I just read the MexFiles link. David Bodwel completely missed the point.

The point of the American Working in Mexico letter was not to demonstrate how hard it was for a spoiled Amereican in Mexico, but to contrast the hoops he had to jump through to satisfy Mexican laws and regulations to work legally as oppossed to the Mexicans who come to the US illegally.

The Mexican border jumpers get to open bank accounts, buy homes, start busnesses, attend school at local prices, drive without license or insurance, work for cash and pay little or no tax, take advantage of nearly every social safety net program with impunity, and generally live the life of an American citizen without any of the responsibilies. If caught by any law enforcement agency, they receive a notice to appear, are set free, and never appear to whatever court they were assigned.

It kind of makes me want to give up my US citizenship, take Mexican citizenship and then come to America illegally. My life would show a marked improvement. Especially if I was to pick strawberries in Ventura County California where, according to the UFW, the average income for a picker in 2005 was $44,800. That would be a significant raise for me.

Posted by Indigo Red at May 11, 2006 6:10 PM

yes maybe it was this hard for this person to obttain all of this documents to work legally in mexico. But let me tell you that to get the documents to work in the United States is not that different when I legalized my status in this country my mom applied for me because only a legal family member can apply for somebody who is not legal in country but at that time of the appliction we had to pay a fee of $500 at that time then I had to wait till it was time for me to get my permit to work legally I had to wait for 10 years and when I finally got the appointment with the INS. they gave me a list of more documents that I needed I had to provide them with proof that I had been working for all of those years even though i did'nt had permit to work yet and proof that had no criminal record and also proof that no one in my family had never received any public benefits and then I also had to prove to them that me and all of my family were not poor and that we had a stable work after I gave them all of this the INS envestigated with the FBI my finger prints and that all of the information tha I gave them was true after all of that they finally gave me my permit to work in the U.S after I paid a fee of $4000 dollars I still had to renew that permit every year for 4 years with a $200 fee for every renewal and after those four renewals I finally got my permanent resident card and now I have to wait 5 years with a clean criminal record if I want to become a U.S citizen. I didn't include all of the fees that I had to pay to get all of the papers from all of the different goverment ofices and lawyers if I add everything up I ended up paying about $10.000 dollars in fees. I went through all of that and I'm glad i did because now I can work legally in the U.S but see how is not that different for What this person went through.

Posted by usa at May 16, 2006 11:48 PM

are you kidding me? you should talk to anyone who has ever tried to get a work visa in the US (like an h-1). the process is much more difficult even without the bribes and corruption.

Posted by UkiddingME?!?! at June 13, 2006 12:08 AM

Not quite the true picture.

It's true there's a lot paperwork involved in getting your FM3 or FM2 visa but if you speak good Spanish there's no need to pay an over priced lawyer who just loves a naive foreigner $$$. I'm English and didn't hire a lawyer and still got my visa just as quick as anyone using a lawyer. The worst immigration office to go is in Mexico City, it's far better to go to a smaller city like Puebla or Queretaro the staff in smaller offices are far more knowledgeable.

As far as a military parade that's a national day and no ones intimated apart from a few naive foreigners.

Rent, again naive foreigner do your research you can rent any place at normal rates. You can buy property with approval from the Mexican foreign office (SRE) and if the property is within 100kms of the coast or land borders it shall be held in a Mexican trust (you are still the legal owner). There are thousands of US citizens with second homes here in Mexico.

Driving, sure there are loads of under paid corrupt cops wanting there back hander (mordidas = bites). It is dangerous driving in Mexico as the majority don't know the rules, have no insurance (not needed by law) and many of the cars lack servicing for brakes, tires, etc.

That's my two cents worth of the truth from someone who has been here for over four years and loves it.



Posted by Rob at March 15, 2007 7:25 PM

I am a senior in college in Minnesota and about to graduate in May. I am researching what it would take for me to move to Mexico for a year or so and work there.

I just spent four months in Madrid, Spain and met two incredible people from Acapulco. They invited me to come down and stay with them (room and board) for free for awhile until I get my feet on the ground.

I am wondering if we could talk about what it would take for me to work legally there and if you could offer me any advice in who to talk to and all that in order to get started. I would like to move down in July of this coming summer if it would be possible.

Thank you!

Quisas el piel es distinto... Me da igual-- el amor es lo mismo.

Gracias hombre, un abrazo

Posted by Jordan at February 25, 2008 1:28 PM



Posted by C at June 11, 2008 8:22 PM

I have to say that this e-mail, in my opinion, was written mostly to create controversy, rather than pointing out matters regarding working in Mexico.

In response to Indigo Red, comparing an American Citizen working LEGALLY in Mexico to a foreign citizen working ILLEGALLY in the US is like comparing Apples with Oranges.

If we want to be objective, we should compare the processes and regulations to legally work in either country.

I am pretty sure that if Tom O'Malley wanted to work illegally in Mexico, he could've had about the same "Benefits" as the "Border Jumpers". He would've been able to drive without a license, rent a house, go to the red cross for FREE or inexpensive medical assistance, and pay little or no taxes.

I completely back up Robert's facts about how a foreign citizen can be able to work and live in Mexico, and the fact that Mexico, just like the US, has Immigration laws, policies, and regulations.

It took me, just like "USA", 8 years and somewhere around $10,000 and $15,000 dollars to get my Legal Residence, (I, as opposed to "USA", had to wait in Mexico until I was able to obtain my legal residence), So I basically don't see why it has to be different than if a foreign citizen wants to work in Mexico.

I believe that this e-mail has nothing to do with the US policies regarding illegal immigration, because there was nothing illegal in Tom O'Malley's case.

Posted by Luis at June 29, 2010 12:47 PM

I am an United States citizen working and living in Mexico, and while some of this is true, much of this is not true today. My FM3 process was quick easy, and cheap. I provided a short list of documents, much of which I could print off at the local coffee shop down the street from the immigration office and the fee this year was only 1500 pesos (roughly $150 USD). Mexico City does have protests for their government near the center of the city where government buildings are, and in the year that I have been here I have seen only a handful of people outside the US Embassy protesting, and only on a few occasions. The notion that the government oppresses the people who live here is absurd and ignorant. If equal access to healthcare, jobs, and insurance is oppression sign me up.

About the military - Yes they parade the military around once a year. On their independence day, just like we do in the United States. The parade is not felt as intimidation by the people, but a sense of national pride.

Posted by at May 18, 2011 4:15 PM