Wealthy, Business-Savvy Mexican Immigrants Transform Texas City

Molly Hennessy, Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2013

The Mexican businessmen in Rolexes and Burberry ties meet on the north side of town, at Cielito Lindo Restaurant, or at new neighboring country clubs. Their wives frequent Neiman Marcus, Tiffany’s and Brooks Brothers at the nearby mall. Their children park Porsches with Mexican license plates in the student lots at Reagan High School.

They are part of a wave of legal Mexican immigrants who have been overlooked in the national debate over how to deal with their largely impoverished illegal compatriots. Propelled north by drug cartel violence, they paid thousands of dollars to hire attorneys and obtain investors’ visas for themselves and their families (including maids). They have regrouped in gated developments in several Texas cities, where their growing influence has been compared to the impact of well-heeled Cuban refugees who arrived in Miami decades ago.

Nowhere is the evidence more striking than in San Antonio, Texas’ second-largest city and a short private-jet hop from Monterrey, Mexico, where many of the new immigrants built their wealth. {snip}

More than 50,000 Mexican nationals now live permanently in San Antonio, city officials say, turning an upscale enclave known as “Sonterrey” or “Little Monterrey” into the city’s second-fastest growing ZIP code.

Real estate agent Ana Sarabia caters to the new arrivals—finding them immigration lawyers, new schools, banks and office space—and sees them reshaping her hometown.

“I can see it transitioning,” said Sarabia, 45, who lived for a time in Mexico City. “This has always been a bicultural city. Parts of it have now become a new Mexico.”

There’s Lorena Canales, 40, who moved from Monterrey with her two youngest children two and a half years ago to start a bilingual day care after witnessing a gun battle outside her local Wal-Mart.

Uriel Arnaiz, 40, relocated with his wife and 3-year-old son from Mexico City four years ago to open a high-end tequila import business after some of his son’s friends were kidnapped.

José Ramos, 55, moved two years ago from Monterrey to open a restaurant, Vida Mia, after a relative was kidnapped and killed.

It’s not clear whether new immigration policies being contemplated in Washington would affect this group of wealthy immigrants, who skip long immigration lines by hiring attorneys in Mexico to apply for business-related visas at U.S. consulates.


Costs vary depending on the type of visa. In many cases, it is cheaper than what a smuggler would charge for an illegal crossing. Attorney fees can range from $1,500 to $6,500, compared with coyote payments of $6,000 or more.


The newcomers — nicknamed “migrantes fresas,” or rich migrants — are conspicuous even in this largely Latino city. Sociologists compare the “Mexodus” of professionals to the wave of exiles who fled to Texas after the Mexican Revolution in 1910, or wealthy Cubans who decamped to South Florida after the revolution in 1959.

Former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, whose grandfather was exiled to San Antonio during the Mexican Revolution, calls them a “new diaspora with the potential to rival the impact Cubans had on Miami.”


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  • Charles_Peterson

    Their fleeing and bringing the same horrors to human Americans.

    • The__Bobster

      Welcome to the New America.

    • Why these are wealthy and educated Mexicans that are opening businesses that will employ Americans? I can guarantee that these people are not the Mestizos and the Indians that make up the bulk of the illegal immigrant population. These people are the light skinned European looking Mexicans.

      • Mogibs medats

        Where are all these jobs mexicans bring?

        • Anytime you have a new influx of people, you are going to increase the tax base of the area. These people have money to spend. Many of them will start their own businesses in the US and employ Americans. Also,many existing businesses will end up hiring more help with the increased volume of sales.

          • Triarius

            Many of them have cash-only businesses and employ only their family and kinsmen. The same is true for my Polish-American immigrant friends. What you say is not the norm.

      • wilbernsprayberry

        You are correct that many, perhaps most of these Monterrey to San Antonio Mexicans are light-skinned – some are probably pure criollo (whites of mostly Spanish heritage). However, they are not like us. All Mexicans (and upper class Mexicans especially) have a deeply rooted resentment towards “norte americanos” in general and Texans in particular. They are still angry that the Anglo settlers took Texas away from Mexico in 1836, and that the United States took the northern half of what was then Mexico, in 1848, after the Mexican War. They are taught to hate “gringo land” in school. So when it comes to living here, they think they belong here more than we do, and they have a sense of grievance & entitlement towards Anglos that is palpable to anyone who has dealings with them over a period of time, as I have.

        Finally, they consider themselves members of an aristocratic elite, superior to mere Anglos, whom they consider ill-bred & without culture. And, as they were arrogant & overbearing to lower class Mexicans, they will probably be the same to us. In this way they are not unlike many Asian immigrants – arrogant & conceited – but their resentment, as explained above, runs far deeper. They will not be our allies in the struggle to come.

        • I wonder if they are here on a temporary basis and if the situation in Mexico changes, they will go back home. The reason I suggested that they must be white is that if you look at Mexican media, you will see nothing but light skinned, European looking people. Not the brown Mestizos that most illegal immigrants are.

          • wilbernsprayberry

            The article was ambiguous about whether they would stay or not. Most Mexicans leave something behind they cherish, like family or their native village, and really do come here to make some money with the intention of going back. And this system worked OK, back before the welfare state, and when Mexicans clearly understood that the USA was “a white man’s country.” But the modern welfare state, the prevalence of employers who will hire them over native born Americans, and the entire civil-rights, Latino-rights, immigrant victimology makes it more likely they will stay.
            As for the rich ones – I predict they will become bi-nationals, joining the growing trans-national, globalized elite, commuting back & forth between their villas in Mexico & their gated communities here. It will be interesting to see how large their numbers in San Antonio & other places grow, and if they will form a “critical mass” large enough to heavily influence San Antonio. One thing which might happen is conflict between the mostly white rich Mexican immigrants & the longer established mestizo population. Both groups hate gringos, but they also hate each other.

        • Tim

          As a native Texan I could not dispute your second paragraph…. At all. Not one little bit. Go to a food court at an upscale mall and see how they treat White service workers. Or anyone for that matter…

  • joesolargenius

    And their continued wealth will be made by doing business in the Hispanic community which is grown and nurtured by the money from illegal immigrant wages .

    • liberalsuck

      How long will the illegal immigrant money keep coming in and who will support it as the base of taxpayers shrinks more and more?

      • joesolargenius

        As long as the illegals are earning a living here they will spend some of that money here ,however it will be spent in businesses owned and operated by those of their own race. This helps to take financial security and stability away from traditional American businesses and transfers it to the immigrant community .

  • The__Bobster

    I once lived in a gated community in Texas. I found that they don’t work, as you need only one evil squat monster resident to open the gate for his compadres.

  • mobilebay

    Brenda Walker first printed this on VDare. I live a couple of hours from San Antonio. It’s always been a Mexican city, but this will really seal the deal. Before we know it, they will creep north and pretty soon Texas will be a Mexican state…Oh! Wait! I think it already is. A few people and its a migration. Millions and it’s an invasion. Mexico declared war on us a long time ago and they are winning through sheer numbers and by just walking in, and no one seems to care. Certainly not our elected representatives. Hope they get fat bonuses from Mexico for selling out our country.

    • Bossman

      Texas used to be a Mexican state and there has always been a Mexican presence in Texas. I don’t see anything in the future that is going to change that. But I’m firmly convinced that Anglo-American culture is superior to Mexican culture.

      • KevinPhillipsBong

        According to “The Enduring Vision” by Clark, Hawley, Boyer, etc, in 1836 there were 4,000 Mexicans and 30,000 whites in Texas. That’s 15 whites for every 2 Mexicans. Today that ratio is about 1 for 1. That’s no lingering “Mexican presence”, that’s an invasion.

        • zWsA

          It hardly surprises me that Texas is becoming majority Mexican. The real surprise was my last trip to Chicago where it became evident that even the Midwest will be a part of the coming Mexican-American superstate. Chicago proper is already almost one-third Hispanic. They will supplant Blacks as the largest demographic in the city by 2020. One needn’t be an expert on group dynamics to guess how most Blacks feel about this new cohort of immigrants.

          • liberalsuck

            They will push the blacks out of those areas. it will be interesting to see the Nation of Islam and black gangs duking it out with the Hispanics there.

  • Their children park Porsches with Mexican license plates in the student lots at Reagan High School.

    If they live in the USA, why do they have Mexican plates?

    Would it have anything to do with the fact it would be impossible to issue an enforceable ticket to a foreign plate and driver’s license? Another case of immigrants doing the things American’s can’t do (if they want to renew plates or license), blow off tickets.

    • Xerxes22

      Reagan high school. How ironic since Ronnie had a lot to do with creating this mess.

  • NYB

    Mexicans pushing north is a trend.

    A friend in Canada recently hired an ex-Californian Hispanic to do some home renovations. The immigrant gentleman fled California because too many of his Mexican and Hispanic brethren were there, ruining his chances.

    Two of his friends followed him. They were Mexican illegals living in L.A., but they were able to secure refugee status in Canada by telling lies about their background.

    None of them want to live in a majority Hispanic area. They prefer to live off the fat of majority white areas.

    • IstvanIN

      Blacks never want to live around blacks, either.

      • I wonder why? Who wants drug dealing and gang banging in the neighborhood?

  • brengunn

    In fairness, if I had to live in a country where gang war and kidnapping were endemic, I would flee, too. Mexico sounds like hell.

    • White Mom in WDC

      Screw being fair. Let them change their country

    • Commonsense80

      I don’t necessarily blame foreigners for, as T Roosevelt warned against, using US as a poly-glot boarding house to earn money for their family and real country. I like to think faced with a similar situation that I would stand with my people and country. But who really knows how we would act in a desperate situation? While my blood line from Northern Europe thought it a good idea to flee their homelands for US, the situation was much different as the population they were immigrating to was largely white and the reasons for leaving were due to persecution.

      • DudeWheresMyCountry?

        If we Whites ever leave North America it will be because of persecution.

        • commonsense80

          It is interesting that when I first saw your pic in a post I had to look at it very carefully to make sure it wasn’t me. I too am an Angels fan and wear the same hat and glasses styles. Maybe there is something to that article about certain face types favoring certain ideologies.

    • DudeWheresMyCountry?

      It just needs the enrichment of diversity and it will be a world leader in no time. Bring in those Somalian immigrants immediately!

      • Felix_M

        Good point. Mexico needs Somali refugees, and they’ll feel right at home. After they’re settled in Mexico City, they’ll think they never left Mogadishu.

  • IKantunderstand

    So, where are we to go when their compatriots swamp our country? They fled here. Where do we get to flee to, as Whites? Is there anywhere left in the world that is White? Are we not allowed a “homeland”? Are we not allowed to express our culture freely? Are we not allowed to express and play our music? Read our literature? Enjoy our mythological heroes? Enjoy our dance, our food, our art and architecture? We have shared EVERYTHING that comprises White culture with EVERYBODY on the planet. Still, it is not enough. We allow them to be actors in our dramas, epic poems, fairy tales and myths. We allow them to share in our prosperity, and enjoy our technological advances. Still, it is not enough. We educate them, and embrace them as fellow human beings. Still, it is not enough. We move out of the way to allow them to advance. Still, it is not enough. They immigrate to our White countries, and rape our women, rob and kill, we give them feathery slaps on the wrists. Still, it is not enough. We make excuses for everything they do wrong, against our values, our laws, our culture. Still, it is not enough.We now blame their failure on the so-called “White Privilege”, well, guess what? I say ENOUGH!!! There will never be enough excuses for the failed races of this planet. They are all failures! And guess what? None of this is the fault of the White race. NONE. Blacks never managed to invent the wheel. We are talking about a frickin’ circle here people! Totally beyond their ken. Oh, and a written language? Nope. Never did that either. That’s why they have to bore the hell out of us with their “Black oral history crap”. Yeah, right. Too stupid to develop a written language, or too lazy. So, let’s talk about how smart those Asians are, yeah. Let’s go to the Palm restaurant, and eat a steak with two flimsy sticks.Yup , we are so smart, the best cutlery we could come up with, is two sticks. Hell, I give them credit for advancing over one stick. Oh, yeah, they’re superior. We are talking about a race of people who have virtually no respect for anything. They will eat pretty much anything, including animals we revere as pets; they will ground up into potions, animals on the endangered species list(black rhino) because, these friggin’ Einsteins(oh, they are so smart) believe in the magical properties of dead animals. Yeah, let’s let in more of these geniuses. And, quite frankly, they have totally aped our music, and our instruments. What’s the matter? Did you guys finally decide that your native music sucks? Because it does. You play Beethoven for a reason. European music is perfectly beautiful. And all the rest of you heathen barbarian savages, know it. Go away. Please, all of you, just please go away. Back to your countries of origin. We don’t care. Go, go, develop your own cultures. Develop your own technology, art, music, architecture, literature, or, if I’m putting a “White” spin on civilization, please, feel free to develop your own idea of civilization, or in fact, call civilization what you want and define it how you will. We don’t care. You are , after all the equal of Whites! So go! Go forth! And prosper,

    • hastings88

      They will not go away. We will have to fight them. They are invading barbarians.

      • IKantunderstand

        I know they will not go away. If they would have been capable of anything remotely resembling White civilization, they would have done it by now. You are correct. They are invaders.

        • hastings88

          I don’t want you to think I didn’t appreciate your post. You are right on target. Unfortunately, since our generation is too feckless to fight, it’s up to a future generation–or else they will be South Africanized.

          • IKantunderstand

            I am subsumed by the rights of Whites. I live for the soul of my people to exist. I want another revolution. I want to relive the spirit of 1776. I want the White people of these United(for now) States, to once again declare their liberty. and independence! We need to stand up for the rights that our forefathers fought the British, to establish. We did it once , we can do it again. We fought without the Blacks, we fought without the French. We fought without the complete backing of our colonists. But, we prevailed. We can do so again. These illegal immigrants to our country, signify nothing. They did not fight any wars. They didn’t create any businesses. They are nothing but a drain on our economy. Let us rid our country of these parasites. No generation is feckless. if they decide they have a moral imperative to defend their race, and their way of life. Hastings88, are you saying that an entire generation of Whites is so “feckless” that we can’t turn any of them around to our way of thinking? And, if that is what you think, how can we change it? Despite what others think, I refuse to back down. i refuse to give up.In fact, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to quote old dead White guys. “Give me liberty, or give me death.”Words to live(or die by).

          • hastings88

            I hope you are right, IKantunderstand, and I am right there with you in the shield-wall. It’s hard to be upbeat about the future existence of whites, but your words are encouraging.

          • liberalsuck

            I’m willing to fight, whether it’s a civil war or a race war or if our government becomes tyrannical and kicks in my door for my guns. I’m not backing down. I’m not going to renounce my views just so I can eat. I will fight. I don’t want to, but I will.

    • bigone4u

      Powerfully, poetically, and beautifully stated. I would click the up arrow many times if I could.

      • IKantunderstand

        Thanks. But, I will never be invited to speak at CPAC. No matter what you think. The new American kick ass for Whites party, maybe.

    • William_JD

      Where do we get to flee to, as Whites? Is there anywhere left in the world that is White? Are we not allowed a “homeland”?


  • RHG

    They haven’t escaped anything, the horror known as “Mexico” will follow them here too.

  • [Guest]

    Rather than the “migrantes fresas” coming to the U.S. and transforming it downward, why don’t they remain in Mexico and transform it upward?

    • Simple. These folks were chased out by the violence of the drug cartels. Being wealthy, they are especially vulnerable to kidnapping for ransom.

      • William_JD

        It sounds like a lot of them are part of the drug cartels. And you didn’t answer the question.

    • mobilebay

      With apologies to Rodney King…Can’t we all just stay in our own countries?

  • bigone4u

    From Reuters:
    Mario Ramos thought it was a bad joke when he received an anonymous email at the start of this year demanding $15,000 a month to keep his industrial tubing business operating in Monterrey… Six days later, the phone rang and a thickset voice demanded the money… just after midnight, masked gunmen burst onto his premises, set fire to one of his trucks, shot up his office windows and sprayed a nearby wall with the letter “Z” in black paint, the calling card of Mexico’s feared Zetas drug cartel. “They were asking for money I could never afford,” said Ramos by telephone from San Antonio, Texas, where he fled with his family the next day… in Monterrey, the violence has escalated to a level that questions the government’s ability to maintain order and ensure the viability of a region that is at the heart of Mexico’s ambitions to become a leading world economy. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/01/us-mexico-drugs-monterrey-idUSTRE7502VG20110601
    In Mexico the headless bodies stack up like so much cordwood. The situation is not yet so dire in San Antonio, but I sense the storm that is coming. The white business elites welcome the invaders because they have money. It’s the greed that will do us all in. At some point the extortion, torture, and murder will cross the border into SA and the children and grandchildren of the greedy white men will curse them. I came to SA 30 years ago for a job, but I will be leaving the city and the state soon. After making a mess of SA, the next target will be Dallas or Houson. And then, step by step the invader will have brought the chaos and death of his home country to mine. EFF them.

    • William_JD

      Six days later, the phone rang and a thickset voice demanded the money
      A thickset voice? What horrible writing by the LA Times!

  • Commonsense80

    Apparently there is a soccer world cup qualifying match being played this evening between Mexico and US. I work with some first generation Mexican immigrants (good people, legal immigrants as far as I know) and asked them who they favor in the match. I actually expected that they might in some way be torn or at least express as much to me but the reaction to my question was great laughter among the men and a response from one guy who spoke for the group and said, “Why would we root for US? We are Mexicans”. I replied, ” Yes but you are American now, you live here now”. The speaker of the group looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Yes, but we are Mexicans”. I found this exchange to be illuminating and profound in some way.

    • DudeWheresMyCountry?

      You amused them. They awoke you. Funny how Blacks and Browns with 70 IQs never have any problem realizing their own race realism.

    • mobilebay

      And therein lies the truth, Commonsense80. No matter how long they are in this country, no matter if citizenship is handed over to them like so muchHalloween candy, no matter how well they do here, they will never be Americans. They are definitely NOT the immigrants of old. They will always be illegal aliens who got lucky!

  • Silvanus

    A former girl-friend of mine stayed for
    some two years with an elderly lady in a Mexican town its name I can’t
    remember. She was surprised by the level of European culture even in the
    kitchen. There were books around and often she accompanied the lady to
    classical concerts which were for free – state-subsidized. Can it be
    that in Latin America the circles of ‘the better people’ have better preserved
    their European heritage than the Anglos?