Immigrants express shock at return of Mexico’s PRI

The White House said it expected the close relationship that the U.S. has enjoyed with Calderon’s administration to continue under Pena Nieto. Pena Nieto said he wanted “a relationship that will allow the productive integration of North America.”

President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto

Mexico’s new president may dissuade some immigrants from returning home, despite promising economic opportunities there and a faltering U.S. job market.

The vast majority of the 40,000 Mexican expatriates who voted in Sunday’s election cast ballots against President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto. Many immigrants said Monday that they were shocked his Institutional Revolutionary Party — which largely convinced them to leave their homeland — has returned to power.

“I think most immigrants kind of fled Mexico because of the PRI, and they still carry visions of a PRI that was corrupt and murderous,” said Guadalupe Sandoval, an 18-year-old San Diego college student who said she closely watched the race. “I’m definitely surprised.”

Sandoval said her family would have considered returning if Pena Nieto’s top challenger, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had won. The PRI won only about 38 percent of the vote to regain the presidency.

Sandoval’s family left Mexico a year before the PRI ended its 71-year rule in 2000. Illegal immigration has dramatically dropped since then because of the crackdown at the U.S. border after the 9-11 attacks and the slowing of the U.S. economy.


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