Connect with us

World

Americans are flocking to Mexico – a trend ignored during Biden’s immigration-focused visit

News Agencies

Published

on

Americans are flocking to Mexico – a trend ignored during Biden's immigration-focused visit

MEXICO CITY – For more than a decade, Marcos Del Rosario Santiago has lived in la Roma — at the time an up and coming neighborhood in the west side of Mexico City.

But Del Rosario has seen a shift in his neighborhood. More Airbnbs are popping up after those living in apartments, some who have had to already have three or four roommates, could no longer afford to live there. At his local panadería, where he often orders a coffee and pan dulce, he used to only hear people order in Spanish, even if they were not Mexican. Now, he said he’s seeing and hearing more foreigners order in English.

“Some of them don’t even try to speak in Spanish,” he said.

Advertisement

While many Mexicans are increasingly concerned about gentrification brought on by the influx of Americans that relocated to “el D.F.” as the capital used to be called, Del Rosario, believes having new neighbors isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Diversidad.” The singular word Del Rosario used to describe the impact of this new phenomenon.  And the rising rent and food costs? Well that’s just the price to pay for progress, he said.

Less than five miles from Del Rosario’s neighborhood, President Joe Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador this past week to discuss how to stop large swaths of migrants from coming to the United States illegally.

Advertisement

“We’re working together to address this challenge in a way that upholds our nations’ laws and protects the human rights of migrants facing desperate circumstances,” Biden said at Tuesday’s press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.

While immigration rhetoric in the U.S. has focused on sending migrants back to Mexico, another burgeoning phenomenon remains largely ignored: Americans migrating to Mexico.

In the last decade, Mexico has become the top nation for U.S. Americans to move to — a trend that ramped up during the pandemic. There are now a record number of U.S. Americans becoming temporary residents in Mexico as of 2022.

Advertisement

According to an analysis from Bloomberg, there was an 85% increase between 2019 and 2022 in the number of Americans becoming temporary residents in Mexico.

Americans are also choosing to move to Mexico because of the easy process compared to other countries.

Advertisement

A majority of the expats flocking south work for U.S. based companies, earn U.S. dollars and can take advantage of a favorable exchange rate and don’t need to go through the cumbersome process of requesting a visa if they plan on staying there for 180 days or less.

Some neighborhoods in Mexico City, such as Roma, La Condesa and Coyoacán,  are beginning to mirror gentrified areas in the U.S. like East Austin, Texas, Brooklyn, and Miami’s Wynwood district.

In a cafe called Ojo de Agua — a Mexico City chain that is now opening locations in the U. S., like in Miami’s Brickell region — located in the La Condesa neighborhood, American top-40 pop songs blared over the speakers.

Advertisement

A group of people speaking English found their way to the cafe, after initially walking past it. They took a seat at a long table that could fit their group of ten. Immediately, a worker, one who spoke to them in English, came over to greet the patrons. She explained the concept of the eatery, saying they must go to the register to order.

But as the group of U.S. nationals was settling into the cafe, a Spanish speaking couple seated at a table on the sidewalk had just got their order of an agua de fresa and smoothie bowl, enjoying the breezy 60-something degree weather.

A mariachi band stopped by to serenade the couple. At the same time, Demi Lovato’s ‘‘Cool for the Summer’’ blasted throughout the cafe — competing with the mariachi’s melody.

Advertisement

Migration of U.S. citizens to Mexico isn’t new, said Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank focused on immigration policy.

What is new is the demographic of Americans moving to Mexico.

“More U.S. citizens, usually understood to be digital nomads, have been able to work from Mexico, get paid in U.S. dollars by their U.S. based companies and have better life conditions,” Ruiz Soto said. The number of remote U.S. workers is only a couple of thousand in comparison to the more than millions who live in the city.

Advertisement

Ruiz Soto added that Mexico and Mexico City officials are not deterred by the rise in “digital nomads,” noting that the country relies heavily on tourism.

In fact, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum last October partnered with Airbnb to increase the number of remote workers to come to the city. At the time, Sheinbaum dismissed concerns of rising rent prices, saying those who were coming were moving to areas where rent was already high.

But some of the backlash among locals with the rise of U.S. remote workers is based on social perception and perceived fears over the budding group of citizens moving to the country, Ruiz Soto said.

Advertisement

In the past, when U.S. tourists would come to the city, or U.S. investment would come, it was on a temporary basis, he said. Now, Americans are staying and local restaurants and businesses are catering to those U.S. nationals. Businesses now have English menus. Some businesses are now even running television ads in English.

“Even though the number is still relatively small, in the city of millions of people, Mexicans tend to perceive this as a significant change to the social fabric that they have become accustomed to,” Ruiz Soto said.

And even some Americans who have been living in Mexico City for more than a decade are seeing the culture shift.

Advertisement

Dan DeFossey, a New Yorker who has lived in Mexico City for 13 years, said that when he first moved to the city, he was forced to integrate because there were so few Americans living there.

“We had to be immersed into Mexican culture,” DeFossey said of the small group of Americans he knew when he first moved to Mexico City. “Walking down the street, if you spoke English, people would turn around and look at you. It was a different experience. We were forced to learn Spanish and to immerse ourselves into the culture.”

DeFossey, who owns a Texas-style barbecue joint in Mexico City, said new U.S. remote workers rely heavily on social media to find good restaurants, the best neighborhoods and just the “cool places to go.”

Advertisement

He said because of crowdsourcing, Americans are all ending up in the same neighborhood, like la Condesa or la Roma.

General view of WeWork, a coworking and office space in Mexico City, taken on September 13, 2022. - A growing number of US nationals are arriving to live in Mexico, where they find life cheaper and sweeter. Some 1.6 million are currently living in their southern neighbour, according to the US embassy, which does not keep official records. Other foreign citizens are also choosing Mexico for its living conditions. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)

General view of WeWork, a coworking and office space in Mexico City, taken on September 13, 2022. – A growing number of US nationals are arriving to live in Mexico, where they find life cheaper and sweeter. Some 1.6 million are currently living in their southern neighbour, according to the US embassy, which does not keep official records. Other foreign citizens are also choosing Mexico for its living conditions. (Photo by CLAUDIO CRUZ/AFP via Getty Images)

DeFossey noted that while there is some weariness to Americans coming to live in Mexico City — some of his friends are worried about feeling like “an alien in their own city” — there is still a sense of pride that he is seeing among his friends that people want to relocate to Mexico.

“People were so excited to hear that their city was something that an American would desire to come to,” he said. ”And I think there’s still a bit of that.”

Advertisement

While many locals and local officials are getting used to the new group of Americans, Mexico’s top leader has often taken a more nationalistic stance during his governing of Mexico. López Obrador has repeatedly taken hits at the U.S. and has not been afraid to call the new immigrants, even Americans, “foreigners.”

But that messaging isn’t resonating well with the Mexican public, said Duncan Wood, senior advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, a public policy think tank.

“We’ve seen that over the past year with the president trying to lash out on a couple of occasions against the United States, and having to reel that back in because opinion polls showed that Mexicans actually have a very favorable opinion of the United States,” Wood said.

Advertisement

He noted that many Mexicans now have ties to the U. S. or have visited the country more.

“I actually think that there’s a lot less suspicion today of the United States than there was 20 years ago,” Wood said.

While many Mexicans do accept the new Americans setting down roots in Mexico City, some are still worried about the rising costs for Mexicans who can no longer live in the neighborhoods they once called home.

Advertisement

Betsabé Basáñez, who has owned a residence in the La Condesa neighborhood for nearly 20 years, said that rent is now “sky high” in her neighborhood and that stores and coffee shops have begun raising their prices.

“Most of the people who were there, like renting, they had to leave,” Basañez, 43, said. “They’d flee to surrounding neighborhoods because they were just unable to afford it.”

“It’s not as cheap as it used to be three years ago,” she added.

Advertisement

Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden in Mexico missed an immigration trend: US citizens moving there

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT All-Stars' The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT All-Stars'
Entertainment1 hour ago

The final countdown: A ‘robbed’ fan favorite, a pandemic champio, and an ‘icon’ vie for one last spot on ‘AGT All-Stars’

Comedian Josh Blue, poet Brandon Leake, and viral sensation Kodi Lee compete for the one remaining spot in the ‘America’s...

The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT: All-Stars' The final countdown: A 'robbed' fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an 'icon' vie for one last spot on 'AGT: All-Stars'
Entertainment1 hour ago

The final countdown: A ‘robbed’ fan favorite, a pandemic champion and an ‘icon’ vie for one last spot on ‘AGT: All-Stars’

Comedian Josh Blue, poet Brandon Leake, and viral sensation Kodi Lee compete for the one remaining spot in the ‘America’s...

Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys
Entertainment4 hours ago

Chris Brown apologizes to Robert Glasper for social outburst after losing at the Grammys

Chris Brown is sorry for being a sore loser at the Grammy Awards. The singer, 33, took to Instagram on...

I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony
Entertainment5 hours ago

I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel with original stars in the works at Sony

Another summer, another hook-wielding psycho killer — and maybe some familiar faces too. More than 25 years after I Know...

Could 'The Last of Us' finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers Could 'The Last of Us' finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers
Entertainment5 hours ago

Could ‘The Last of Us’ finale beat the Oscars in the ratings? We break down the numbers

The fungal zombies are coming for the Oscars. In a programming matchup that’s certain to create an agonizing Sophie’s choice...

Will Smith Was Going to Be a Surprise Grammys Performer — but Had to Drop Out for 'Bad Boys 4' Will Smith Was Going to Be a Surprise Grammys Performer — but Had to Drop Out for 'Bad Boys 4'
Entertainment6 hours ago

Will Smith Was Going to Be a Surprise Grammys Performer — but Had to Drop Out for ‘Bad Boys 4’

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Confirm Bad Boys 4 Is in the Works: ‘It’s Official, Y’all!’ Will Smith/Instagram Will Smith...

Ben Affleck miserable at the Grammys? Jennifer Lopez says she had 'the best time' with him Ben Affleck miserable at the Grammys? Jennifer Lopez says she had 'the best time' with him
Entertainment7 hours ago

Ben Affleck miserable at the Grammys? Jennifer Lopez says she had ‘the best time’ with him

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck at the 65th Grammy Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles,...

David Bowie Producer Tony Visconti Rejects Harry Styles Comparisons David Bowie Producer Tony Visconti Rejects Harry Styles Comparisons
Entertainment10 hours ago

David Bowie Producer Tony Visconti Rejects Harry Styles Comparisons

The post David Bowie Producer Tony Visconti Rejects Harry Styles Comparisons appeared first on Consequence. Harry Styles might be one...

Advertisement

Latest Sports

Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores joins Vikings as defensive coordinator Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores joins Vikings as defensive coordinator
Sports41 mins ago

Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores joins Vikings as defensive coordinator

Brian Flores spent one season as a defensive assistant with the Steelers after he was fired by the Dolphins.

Super Bowl injuries: Latest on Patrick Mahomes, other stars Super Bowl injuries: Latest on Patrick Mahomes, other stars
Sports1 hour ago

Super Bowl injuries: Latest on Patrick Mahomes, other stars

Patrick Mahomes has the most notable injury ahead of Super Bowl LVII. Here's the latest news for the Eagles and...

Patriots show willingness to spend out of coaching hole with Adrian Klemm hire Patriots show willingness to spend out of coaching hole with Adrian Klemm hire
Sports2 hours ago

Patriots show willingness to spend out of coaching hole with Adrian Klemm hire

The Patriots have, on a few occasions, spent big to fix glaring roster holes. This offseason is different, writes Phil...

Nick Sirianni on being fired by Andy Reid: You always have this little chip on your shoulder Nick Sirianni on being fired by Andy Reid: You always have this little chip on your shoulder
Sports2 hours ago

Nick Sirianni on being fired by Andy Reid: You always have this little chip on your shoulder

After the Chiefs beat the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, it was hard to miss people talking about the...

Steph Curry injury boils down to high-ankle sprain variant, doctor clarifies Steph Curry injury boils down to high-ankle sprain variant, doctor clarifies
Sports3 hours ago

Steph Curry injury boils down to high-ankle sprain variant, doctor clarifies

What exactly did that Steph Curry injury update mean? Dr. Seth Sherman of Stanford Medicine clarified any lingering questions.

What Chris Partridge's return to Michigan means for future staff What Chris Partridge's return to Michigan means for future staff
Sports3 hours ago

What Chris Partridge’s return to Michigan means for future staff

What we know is Chris Partridge is returning to Ann Arbor to coach with the Michigan Wolverines. First, it's important...

It's official: We know how long the 13th hole will play at this year's Masters It's official: We know how long the 13th hole will play at this year's Masters
Sports3 hours ago

It’s official: We know how long the 13th hole will play at this year’s Masters

The Masters Tournament released its annual media guide on Monday, and inside that are the listed yardages for this year’s...

Follow live: Super Bowl Opening Night Follow live: Super Bowl Opening Night
Sports4 hours ago

Follow live: Super Bowl Opening Night

Yahoo Sports is on the scene in Arizona, so come hang out with us as fans and media get to...

Technology Hot News

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" . Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .
Technology3 weeks ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors
Technology3 weeks ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung
Technology3 weeks ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency
Technology3 weeks ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Because of a "fraudulent tweet".. Because of a "fraudulent tweet"..
Technology3 weeks ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions
Technology3 weeks ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices. The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.
Technology3 weeks ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

New Twitter. New Twitter.
Technology3 weeks ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...

Advertisement