Rafael Rojas

Rafael Rojas

Profesor del Centro de Estudios Históricos de El Colegio de México y Director de la revista Historia Mexicana.

Photo: Kaloian

The migratory nation

In the search engine for terms of the 2019 Constitution the word “nation” appears twelve times, much less than the word “State,” which is mentioned almost 200 times. The term “emigration,” on the other hand, is never referred to: the search engine reproduces the disturbing phrase of “no result.” That absence means nothing more than Cuban emigrants are not considered legal subjects in the new Constitution. It doesn’t mean that we are not legal subjects in general, since between 2012 and 2015 the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers amended Migration Law No. 1312 of 1976, whose final version was approved in December 2015 in La Gaceta Oficial. In this law, few rights are recognized for emigrants, outside of having a passport, although they are more than in the previous legislation. At various points that law contradicts constitutional article 52, which says that “all persons are free to enter, remain, transit and leave the national territory.” Although emigrants are obliged to use a Cuban passport, which are inordinately expensive and can be disabled for reasons of “national security,” they now have more facilities to enter the island. They can repatriate and recover social and economic rights. Potential migrants or...