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Old 05-08-2006, 12:10 PM   #1  
Da Man
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WatchThis!'s Avatar
Joined APC: Feb 2005
Position: DC-10 F/O
Posts: 435
Default American working in Mexico

This is floating around the net and I'm posting it here to highlite the differences we see in the practice of crossing the border and services provided by host countries. The time, effort, and expense of jumping through hoops and what's offered by the host country when you compare legal vs. illegal crossing is UFB!

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Subject: American working in Mexico

From the other side of the fence.....

Received the following from Tom O'Malley who was a Director with SW BELL in Mexico City:

I spent five years working in Mexico.

I worked under a tourist Visa for three months and could legally
renew it for three more months. After that you were working illegally. I
was technically illegal for three weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.

During that six months our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to
secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my US
passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country. Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.

To apply for the FM3 I needed to submit the following notarized
originals (not copies) of my:

1. Birth certificate for Barbara and I.
2. Marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of

5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at
least one year.
6. A letter from the ST. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no
arrest record in the US and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen
in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated
why there was no Mexican Citizen with my skills and why my skills were
important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on
Earth" letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into
Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures

It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left
side and Spanish on the right.
Once they were completed Barbara and I spent about five hours
accompanied by a Mexican Attorney touring Mexican Government office
locations and being photographed and fingerprinted at least three times. At each location and we remember at least four locations we
instructed on Mexican tax, labor, housing, and criminal law and that we
were required to obey their laws or face the consequences.

We could not protest any of the Governments actions or we would be committing a felony.

We paid out four thousand dollars in fees and bribes to complete
the process. When this was done we could legally bring in our household goods that were held by US customs in Loredo Texas. This meant we had to rent furniture in Mexico while awaiting our goods. There were extensive fees involved here that the company paid.
We could not buy a home and were required to rent at very high rates
and under contract and compliance with Mexican law.

We were required to get a Mexican drivers license. This was an
amazing process. The company arranged for the Licensing agency to come to our headquarters location with their photography and finger print equipment and laminating machine. We showed our US license, were photographed and fingerprinted again and issued the license instantly after paying out a six dollar fee. We did not take a written or driving test and never received instructions on the rules of the road. Our only instruction was never give a policeman your license if stopped and asked. We were instructed to hold it against the inside window away from his grasp. If he got his hands on it you would have to pay ransom to get it back.

We then had to pay and file Mexican income tax annually using the
number of our FM3 as our ID number. The companies Mexican accountants did this for us and we just signed what they prepared. I was about twenty legal size pages annually.

The FM 3 was good for three years and renewable for two more after
paying more fees.

Leaving the country meant turning in the FM# and certifying we were
leaving no debts behind and no outstanding legal affairs (warrants,
tickets or liens) before our household goods were released to customs.
It was a real adventure and If any of our Senators or Congressman
went through it once they would have a different attitude toward Mexico.

The Mexican Government uses its vast military and police forces to
keep its citizens intimidated and compliant. They never protest at their
White House or government offices but do protest daily in front of the
United States Embassy. The US embassy looks like a strongly reinforced fortress and during most protests the Mexican Military surround the block with their men standing shoulder to shoulder in full riot gear to protect the Embassy. These protests are never shown on US or Mexican TV.

There is a large public park across the street where they do their
protesting. Anything can cause a protest such as proposed law changes in California or Texas.

Please feel free to share this with everyone who thinks we are being unreasonable about illegal immigrants to the United States.
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