Since its birth as an independent nation in 1821, Mexico’s struggle to modernize and become part of the developed world has been closely linked with its struggle to manage population growth. The earliest policies and programs, therefore, focused on importing foreigners to work the country’s vast lands and refl ected the belief that as they contributed their expertise, resources, and unique customs, these immigrants would intermingle and enrich an otherwise uneducated, ineffi cient, and uncultured Mexican population. 1 The desired result was not only population growth, but modernization brought about by an improved population stock. Although Mexico’s population doubled from the time of its independence in 1821 to the Revolution of 1910-1911 and later tripled from 17 million in 1930 to 51 million in 1970, its economic progress-although signifi cant at times-continued to suffer. 2 Colonization projects failed in large measure because Mexico did not offer the advantages that attracted immigrants to other parts of the AmericasArgentina and the United States-namely suffi cient agricultural land and adequate fi nancial credit programs. For the most part, the best land available, which was located in Central and Southern Mexico, remained in the hands of a small elite group of Creoles (persons of European descent) who, eager to protect their interests, mounted opposition to further immigration.