The demand of Mexicans in the United States for recognition of their political rights in their country of origin has historical roots that go back to the beginning of the 20th century. This occurred just when Mexican migration to the north became a massive phenomenon and coincided with the great transformations of the country (economic modernization, Revolution of 1910).

Historian Jorge Durand has found reference to this incipient demand in a Mexican newspaper published in Kansas in 1917 (the year in which the country’s current constitution was also adopted). Another reference to the exercise of political rights by Mexicans in the United States was found by researcher Arturo Santamaría and dates back to 1929, when a movement in favor of the presidential candidacy of José Vasconcelos arose in California and integrated the demand into its political program.

Although adequate academic research has not been done to document and analyze what happened to the demand in the following decades, it must be admitted that the issue reemerged as a fundamental axis of migrant activism after the electoral process of 1988, when the party regime of state faced its greatest crisis until then, when two strong opposition candidates emerged (Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and Manuel Clouthier) in the presidential election. In particular, supporters of Cárdenas expressed on several occasions their desire to exercise their political rights in relation to Mexico.

Subsequently, the demand became generalized among other sectors of the migrant population in the United States and spread to Canada and Europe, where it is possible to find other Mexican communities. The right to vote was manifested as a way to contribute to the political transformation of the country and as a possible tool to promote policies favorable to migrants and, in the same way, to improve problems that at that time were considered important for migrant communities, such as inadequate services in the consulates, extortion by authorities when returning to Mexico, lack of public investment in the places of origin, etc.

It is notable that this political-economic crisis also coincided with a dramatic growth in migratory flows to the north due to the economic crises of the 1980s and the accelerated economic integration in North America, a process that was institutionalized by NAFTA starting in 1994. .