Illegal Americans in Mexico
According to Mexican officials, 200,000 Americans are living illegally in Mexico, some of the "drybacks" have been attracted to Mexico by the promise of NAFTA-inspired jobs. There are 150,000 Americans registered with Mexico's National Migration Institute as permanent residents, and two million Americans visit Mexico every year as tourists.
Americans entering Mexico receive automatic six-month tourist visas, versus the one-month visas granted to most Latin Americans. These visas can be renewed by crossing the US border and returning. Most illegal Americans appear to be retirees living in Baja, California, but there are ever more frequent reports of young and educated Americans arriving in Mexico City to teach English.
"Undocumented Americans occasionally are caught working in restaurants, bars and clothing shops in San Miguel and can be kicked out of the country," Knight Ridder reported last year, in an article that tried hard not to burst out laughing. "Foreign architects, musicians, engineers, accountants and others work in the town without permits." The piece paraphrased a city official as estimating that the off-the-books businesses cost the local government "4 million pesos—more than $360,000 a year—in lost taxes and fees."
Yet the city and country would be crazy to expel them, gray ponytails and endless writers workshops notwithstanding. Los Boomers have helped renovate hundreds of crumbling architectural gems, launched several influential non-profits assisting the local population, and (as all immigrant communities inevitably do) unleashed an explosion of entrepreneurship.
I have also had loads of foreign friends, especially Europeans who work here illegally so please, please, get out of your trailer and do some proper research OR better yet, TRAVEL and EDUCATE yourself instead of speaking nonsense.