Last updated on: 8/19/2009 | Author:

Jorge Durand, PhD Biography

Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Government Allow Immigrants Who Are Here Illegally to Become US Citizens?"

“Any agreement to be signed in the future must take into account rights and wrongs from the past: specifically from the Bracero Program. The country of origin must start with its achievements, such as bilateral negotiation, legality, work contracts, worker selection and involved communities. The recipient country must consider selection of activities and places of destination, establish minimum wages, agreements between areas and similar pay to those that native workers receive for equivalent jobs, along with medical insurance, unemployment insurance during the recruitment period, refund of transportation expenses, decent housing, and the right to organize and be represented. Finally, both governments should include supervision and official control. A program of this nature is necessary because existing chaos leads to over exploitation of migrant labor, encouraging people-smuggling. Furthermore, the surreptitious crossing of the border has become a nightmare for migrants who risk their lives and all their saving. In addition, the border is no longer a manageable problem and has become a national security issue. The situation has polarized and led both countries to extreme positions in their perspective and stances. It is unacceptable to take the death of hundred and thousand of migrants for granted when attempts are made to cross the border. It is likewise unacceptable to have the border of the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world violated with utmost easiness. In response to this extremely urgent situation, it is necessary to negotiate a bilateral agreement, like during World Wars I and II, because the majority of those who have entered the United States have historically been Mexicans and because ultimately no other country has the special historic and neighboring characteristics that Mexico has had.”

“The Bracero Program: A Critical Appraisal,” Migración y Desarrollo, July-Dec. 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Anthropology, University of Guadalajara (Mexico), 1987-present
  • Co-Director, Mexican Migration Project, 1987-present
  • Co-Director, Latin American Migration Project, 1996-present
  • Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2008-present
  • Foreign Member, American Philosophical Society, 2005-present
  • Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, 2004-present
  • Recipient, Honorable Mention Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award for Beyond Smoke and Mirrors, American Sociological Association-International, Aug. 2004
  • Recipient, Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Distinguished Scholarship in
    Social Demography for Beyond Smoke and Mirrors, American Sociological Association, Aug. 2004
  • Professor, El Colegio de Michoacán (Zamora, Mexico), 1984-1987
  • PhD, mención très honorable, Géographie et Aménagement, Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail (France), 1990
  • MA, Antropología Social, Colegio de Michoacán (México), 1983
  • BA, Antropología Social, Universidad Iberoamericana (México), 1979
  • None found