Posted on March 21, 2006

Poll: Majority of Mexicans See US As ‘Exploiter’

Susan Jones,, March 20, 2006

Why is the United States a wealthier nation than Mexico? A new Zogby poll asked Mexican and American citizens that question and others.

Seventy percent of Americans said the U.S. is wealthier because there is plenty of opportunity and work available in the United States, but 62 percent of Mexicans said the U.S. is wealthier because it exploits others, the Zogby poll said.

As for why Mexico is poorer, 38 percent of Mexicans blamed corruption and 36 percent blamed government policies. Likewise, 36 percent of Americans said Mexico is poorer because of government policies and 35 percent blamed corruption.

The Zogby poll examined how Americans and Mexicans regard each other. It found that 62 percent of Americans believe a strong relationship between the two countries is important for America’s future; but only 52 percent of Mexicans said it was important for their country to have a good relationship with the United States.


Both Americans and Mexicans agreed that the U.S. economy benefits from the labor of immigrant Mexicans.

Nevertheless, a majority of Americans want U.S. lawmakers to crack down on illegal immigration. Sixty-two percent of Americans said they favor “more restrictive” immigration policies, the Zogby poll said.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans said they would favor a U.S. economic development program for Mexico if Mexico agreed to accept more controls on immigration. But 53 percent of Mexicans opposed that idea.

And while 69 percent of Americans oppose a U.S. proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, 90 percent of Mexicans oppose the idea.

Personal attributes

On a personal level, 84 percent of Americans said they held a positive view of the Mexican people, but only 36 percent of Mexicans had a positive view of Americans.

Other findings:

— 78 percent of Americans consider Mexicans hard-working, but only 26 percent of Mexicans consider Americans hard-working.

— 18 percent of Americans consider Mexicans racist, while 73 percent of Mexicans see American as racist.

— 42 percent of Americans see Mexicans as honest, while only 16 percent of Mexicans see Americans as honest.

The survey was a joint project of Zogby International and a Mexico City-based research and development group.

The survey of Mexicans, conducted Feb. 10-16, included 1,000 interviews and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 points. The survey of Americans, conducted Feb. 3-7, included 1010 interviews and had the same 3.2-point margin of error either way.