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Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants Hardcover – January 1, 2008


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Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants + The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century + The Alienist
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595581634
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595581631
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mexico's foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, now a political science professor at New York University, delivers a timely consideration of the complex contemporary relationship between Mexico and the United States. Going beyond the importance of undocumented workers to the American economy, Castañeda (Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara) tackles the effects of migration on Mexico, as well as root causes such as multiple, destabilizing financial crises and the exacerbating influence of the North American Free Trade Agreement. A member of President Vincente Fox's administration, Castaneda goes inside the bold reformer's attempts to improve the lot of his people, including the ups and downs of negotiations with an enthusiastic, freshly elected Bush administration. Honest about both progress and setbacks-occasionally belying official reports-Castañeda considers the larger issues ignored by the White House's more recent anti-immigration rhetoric and 2006's "hateful Secure Fence Act," which calls for 700 miles of fencing along the border. The structure may make Castañeda's argument difficult to reference (though an index helps, chapters lack titles or headed sections), but his authoritative primer contends convincingly that all the "barriers, checkpoints, and lighting" in the world will solve nothing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A straightforward, useful guide to the two countries’ complex and sometimes surprising history of labor exchange." —Business Week

"Castañeda removes the shrillness from the immigration debate. His calming argument merits an audience, especially among the fence-builders in Congress." —Kirkus Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Stangle on January 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jorge Castenada is the former foreign minister of Mexico and provides a clear view of the Mexican position on US-Mexican relations at the start of the Bush presidency, as well as a long-range perspective on the relationship of the two countries. This is a sensitive and well-written review of negotiations (that never did seem all that serious on the US side) as well as reviewing what the government of Mexico has done to make conditions more humane for its citizens. Unlike many books on the subject, this is not a rant, but rather is a must-read for those who would like more facts and less emotion. There are many and varied approaches that can be taken to cross-border immigration, some harsh and some humane, and this book shows the humanity and reality of what is going on, and that there are ways to work with Mexico--if we but had the political coherence and will--to substantially resolve many of the problems that exist at and on both sides of the border.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By V. Harris on February 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As Castaneda had inside access to the intricate negotiations (and sometimes, lack of negotiations) concerning the border issues, he has insights that are valuable and illuminating. He also does a good job with the broader historical sweep of the immigration issue, emphasizing the principle of "circularity" - where traditionally, migrants came across the U.S. border, worked, then returned home. He shows how a number of factors have altered this traditional pattern: Reagan's " Amnesty" legislation, NAFTA, the Immigration Reform Bill of 1996; and more recently, the impact of 9/11. The net result of all these variables being an increase in illegal immigration, and the tendency not to return.
On the above issues, he supplies an overview that is lacking in the usual critiques and more hysterical media reporting. Unfortunately, it is somewhat cumbersome reading while extracting those points. The book lacks judicious breakdowns on the topics, and the writing is awkward, with excessively long paragraphs and other structural difficulties.
Nevertheless, and though I think he underestimates the impact of NAFTA on increased immigration, it is still an informative contribution to the immigration discussion with solid statistical support and evidence to bolster his arguments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Lemcke on January 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well written piece from a former Mexican cabinet member. Thorough, engaging, and reliable information. Gracias, Senor Castaneda; me gusta su libro!
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