Most Americans would probably find it hard to believe that Mexico has a problem with illegal immigration. At best, they may think that it stems from Central and South American's overstaying their welcome in the country en route to the United States. But the majority of illegal immigrants in Mexico are actually from the United States.
According to Mexico’s federal bureau of immigration, many undocumented Americans enter Mexico every year and, unsure of how long they are going to stay, end up with incorrect or expired paperwork. As the Global Post reports, many of the Americans in Mexico are elderly citizens who go south to retire.
In direct contrast to the laws, like SB 1070, in the United States—the Mexican government does not deport people who are in the country illegally. According to Mexican immigration agent Beatrice Amparo Perez Alatorre, there is a process for “regularizing” these immigrants and not sent to jail unless they have committed a crime. After five years, undocumented immigrants who have been living in Mexico can apply to become a legal citizen.
Prof. Jorge Durand of the University of Guadalajara confirms, “To be undocumented in Mexico is not a criminal offense.”