Sarabia, Heidy. 2014. “Global South Cosmopolitans from Mexico: Privilege, Mobility and the Reinforcement of Difference in the Global South and the Global North.” Ethnic and Racial Studies.
The US government has simultaneously increased efforts to close its border to unauthorized migrants, and opened the border to increasing flows of tourists from Mexico. In this paper I focus on the experiences of Mexican tourists who are able to freely cross the USA–Mexico border with US visas, given that their unique status as tourists from Mexico is an important element to consider because it organizes their daily lives, their moral understandings, and their experiences across the USA–Mexico border. I show how Global South cosmopolitans from Mexico benefit from class privilege in Mexico, but become legally vulnerable in the USA due to their racialization as Mexicans and lack of citizenship rights. This paper draws on ethnographic data and in-depth interviews collected in the border town of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico between July 2009 and August 2010.