Equity & Diversity

Mexican Government Helps Mexicans Integrate into the U.S.

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 28, 2010 1 min read

The Mexican government makes a concerted effort to help Mexican immigrants become integrated into U.S. society, according to a paper I received in my e-mail inbox today. The paper describes the work of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, or IME), which is a department in Mexico’s ministry of foreign affairs, to aid Mexican immigrants with health care, education, and financial literacy.

I’ve heard Mexican officials talk over the years about how they give free Spanish textbooks to Mexicans living in the United States and facilitate opportunities for Mexicans to finish their high school degrees through distant learning after they’ve moved to this country. But the paper, published by the Migration Policy Institute, is the first comprehensive description I’ve seen of what services Mexico’s government provides to Mexicans who leave their home country for the United States.

The paper mentions the LUCHA program, a partnership between Mexico’s ministry of public education and the University of Texas at Austin, that provides high school students with online courses in Spanish. LUCHA, which I wrote about for EdWeek last school year, also helps U.S. high schools get student transcripts from Mexico and analyze them. It also mentions agreements Mexico has with some states to provide teachers to U.S. schools, which I’ve also written about for EdWeek.

But the paper has a lot of information that is new to me, such as that Mexico gives grants of up to $15,000 to organizations that provide adult education to Mexican immigrants in the United States or that it has an initiative to educate Mexicans to use the formal banking system in the United States.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.