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Indigenous Mexican Migrants in the United States

Jonathan Fox and Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, editors
Indigenous Mexican Migrants in the United States
ISBN: 978-1-87836-750-1
2004/525 pages
Distributed for the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego

"Demonstrate[s] that the presumed homogeneity of Hispanic, or even Mexican, migration northward to the United States is a chimera of political and economic convenience."—Robert V. Kemper and M. Ryan Fisher, Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe

"Here, finally, is a work that gives nuance to the Mexican migrant community in the United States."—Rubén Martínez

"This collection sheds fresh empirical and conceptual light on a growing but heretofore little studied, phenomenon. The essays offer richly detailed analyses of indigenous (trans)migration processes and their social, cultural, gendered, and civic impacts, paying particular attention to the formation and transformation of ethnic identities among migrants and to how those identities shape their economic, social, and political relationships in the United States and in their country and communities of origin..."—Sonia Alvarez


The multiple pasts and futures of the Mexican nation can be seen in the faces of the tens of thousands of indigenous people who each year set out on their voyages to the north, and of the many others who decide to settle in countless communities within the United States. This collection explores these migration processes and their social, cultural, and civic impacts in both the United States and Mexico. The authors reflect diverse perspectives, but they share a concern with how sustained migration and the emergence of organizations of indigenous migrants influence social and community identity. They focus, as well, on how the creation and re-creation of collective ethnic identities among indigenous migrants influences their economic, social, and political relationships in the United States.


Jonathan Fox is professor of political science at the School of International Service at American University.  Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, an independent consultant on transnational migration and Mexican economic development, is an adviser to several migrant organizations in California.


  • Building Civil Society Among Indigenous Migrants—the Editors.
  • The FIOB Experience: Internal Crisis and Future Challenges—R. Domínguez Santos.
  • Cross-Border Indigenous Organizations: Lessons from the Past, Challenges for the Future—G. Santiago Márquez, et al..
  • Organizational Experiences and Female Participation Among Indigenous Oaxaqueños in Baja California—L. Velasco Ortiz.
  • Building the Future: The FIOB and Civic Participation of Mexican Immigrants in Fresno, California—J. Martínez-Saldaña.
  • Collective Identity and Organizational Strategies of Indigenous and Mestizo Mexican Migrants—G. Rivera-Salgado and L. Escala Rabadán.
  • Mixtec Farmworkers in Oregon: Linking Labor and Ethnicity through Farmworker Unions and Hometown Associations—L. Stephen.
  • Alive and Well: Generating Alternatives to Biomedical Health Care by Mixtec Migrant Families in California—B. Bade.
  • Mixtecs and Zapotecs Working in California: Rural and Urban Experiences —F.H. López and D. Runsten.
  • Indigenous Mexican Migrants in the 2000 U.S. Census: "Hispanic American Indians"—J. Huizar Murillo and I. Cerda.
  • Practical Research Strategies for Mexican Indigenous Communities in California Seeking to Assert Their Own Identity—E. Kissam and I.J. Jacobs.
  • Yucatecos and Chiapanecos in San Francisco: Mayan Immigrants Form New Communities—C. Burke.
  • P'urépecha Migration into the U.S. Rural Midwest: History and Current Trends—W.D. Anderson.
  • The Blossoming of Transnational Citizenship: A California Town Defends Indigenous Immigrants—P. Johnston.
  • Heritage Re-Created: Hidalguenses in the United States and Mexico— E. Schmidt and M. Crummett.
  • Expressions of Identity and Belonging: Mexican Immigrants in New York— L. Rivera-Sánchez.
  • Oaxacan Municipal Governance in Transnational Context—M. Kearney and F. Besserer.
  • Migration and Return in the Sierra Juárez—S. Robles Camacho.
  • Migrant Communities, Gender, and Political Power in Oaxaca—M.C. Velásquez C..
  • "Now We Are Awake": Women's Political Participation in the Oaxacan Indigenous Binational Front—C. Maldonado and P. Artía Rodríguez.