The giant and its neighbor : the role of economics and immigration between the United States and Mexico : an honors thesis [(HONRS 499)]

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Fullenkamp, Michelle E.
Alves, Abel A.
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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Previous research projects in both History and Spanish courses provided the opportunity to investigate the effects of NAFTA in Mexico and illegal immigration in the United States respectively. These studies offered insight into current political dilemmas and heightened my awareness of the United States' role in the international community. In my honors project, Iwill document and analyze the history of U.S.-Mexican economic ties dating back to the Monroe Doctrine. Octavio Paz commented that "In general, Americans have not looked for Mexico in Mexico; they have looked for their obsessions, enthusiasms, phobias, hopes, interestsand these are what they have found. In short, the history of our relationship is the history of mutual and stubborn deceit, usually involuntary though not always so." Through this paper I intend to address the lack of contemporary knowledge concerning the United States' role in Mexico's economy and vise versa. The paper will evaluate how territory, trade, labor, and resources have affected and shaped the policies and relations of the border nations of the United States and Mexico. A thorough contextualization of the history of the U.S.-Mexican border serves to clarify and rectify current misunderstandings of the importance and nature of U.S.-Mexican economic ties. The history of the U.S.-Mexican border provides the framework for a comprehensive understanding of how the United States and Mexico are tied by geographic and economic practices. As the United States reevaluates its policies concerning illegal immigration and free trade, individuals can better analyze and predict the implications and potential ramifications of revised policy with a grounded background in U.S.-Mexican relations.