Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published (as Chapter 11) in Harriet Romo & Olivia Mogollon-Lopez, eds., Mexican Migration to the United States: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Border (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016), pp 248-264.


Copyright © 2016 The University of Texas Press


Increasingly, emigrants from Mexico to the United States are taking their children with them when they migrate. Additionally, children born to Mexican parents living in the United States may have dual US and Mexican citizenship. Later their parents may return to Mexico with their children who have now learned English and adapted to the US way of life. The US Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe allows undocumented children living in the United States to attend US public schools through grade twelve, which means that when their immigrant parents return to Mexico or send their children back to Mexico to live with relatives, the children may have spent several years in US schools and may be unfamiliar with Mexican educational programs. Depending on their age and time in the United States, they may have been taught entirely in English and may be lacking in academic Spanish-language skills. Their return to Mexico creates demands in Mexican schools to identify those students and determine how to incorporate them into the Mexican educational system. This includes providing Spanish-language instruction and a national curriculum that varies significantly from the US instructional program. This chapter explores the effects on the Mexican educational system of the increasing numbers of these transnational students who have experienced schooling in both the United States and Mexico and presents data showing where they are concentrated in Mexico.