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Citizenship 2.0Dual Nationality as a Global Asset$
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Yossi Harpaz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691194066

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691194066.001.0001

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Strategic Birth as Elite Investment

(p.67) 3 Mexico
Citizenship 2.0

Yossi Harpaz

Princeton University Press

This chapter studies the growth in U.S. dual nationality in Mexico, and specifically the phenomenon of strategic cross-border births. This involves middle- and upper-class Mexican parents who travel to the United States to give birth, aiming to secure U.S. citizenship for their children. The families who engage in this practice typically have little interest in emigrating. Instead, they mainly view the United States as a site of high-prestige consumption and wish to provide their children with easy access to tourism, shopping, and education across the border. The American passport is also an insurance policy that allows easy exit at times of insecurity in Mexico. This strategic acquisition of U.S. dual nationality by upper-class Mexicans can be juxtaposed with another recent trend: the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Mexican undocumented immigrants, who take their U.S.-born children with them to Mexico. For the former group, dual nationality is voluntary and practical; for the latter, it is an imposed disadvantage.

Keywords:   U.S. dual nationality, Mexico, cross-border births, Mexicans, U.S. citizenship, emigration, American passport, deportation, undocumented immigrants

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