Sunday, June 22, 2008

Returning Migrants Hope to Reshape Mexico

From the Austin American-Statesman.

Some migrant laborers returning to Mexico are deciding to run for political office in an attempt to bring about long-overdue change.
"I want to create jobs so that other young people don't have to migrate," said Benítez, who works for Luvianos' city government and peppers his conversation with references to Austin's flea markets and Riverside Drive restaurants.

In isolated pockets throughout Mexico, especially in far-flung rural areas, groups of migrants are entering the political arena. For many returning migrants, the lessons they learned in places such as Austin are guiding their forays into politics. Before they left Mexico for the United States, many of them were the poorest, and often the least educated, residents of their towns and villages. They are returning with dollars, ideas and little patience for the old way of doing things.

I wish them luck. And quickly. At the rate things are going to hell in a handbasket here, a safe and progressive Mexico would lure a few million gringos. In fact, make the whole country more like Austin and I'll get packed in 15 minutes.

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