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Scott Ellis 5:15 a.m., Aug. 5
One cannot look at any brochure or webpage touting the benefits of living in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico without seeing the statement that 14,000 expatriates call it home. Sometimes as many as 20,000 expatriates are mentioned. This figure has been repeated so often, that it is just taken for granted.
But is that the real number of expatriates living in Rosarito. No way! Not even close.
Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Migracion (INM), which is the National Immigration Institute, is the federal body in Mexico which grants immigrant and non-immigrant visas to foreigners and keeps track of them. The INM keeps very good records, and they are public, much like the US Census data is public.
At the end of 2009, INM reported that there were only 1,624 registered foreigners living in Playas de Rosarito with some kind of an immigration visa. That’s it. 1,624.
Far from expanding, the expatriate community in Baja California is shrinking rapidly. At the end on 2009, INM reported there were only 13,948 foreigners registered with the INM in the entire state of Baja California. By August, 2011, the number of foreigners registered had shrunk to only 3,277 soles… a 76% reduction in two years.