The Chargé in Mexico ( Summerlin ) to the Secretary of State

No. 4129

Sir: Supplementary to and in confirmation of the Embassy’s telegram No. 163, dated July 28, 10 a.m.,46 relative to the abolition of passport requirements in the forty mile zone on either side of the Mexican border, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of Foreign Office informal unnumbered communication of the twenty-seventh instant transmitting the Executive Decree providing for such abolition, a copy and translation of which are also enclosed.

The Embassy communication of May 20, 1921, to which the Foreign Office note refers, contained the original plan in this connection proposed by the Department in its telegram No. 67, dated May 19, 6 p.m., but no reference was made by the Foreign Office to the proposed Executive Order referred to in the Department’s telegram No. 95, dated June 28, 1p.m., which appears not to extend the benefits of the order to certain classes of foreigners who were included in the original plan and to whom the Mexican decree extends the privilege of entering Mexico on the same terms as Americans.

I have [etc.]

George T. Summerlin

The Mexican Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs ( Sáenz ) to the American Chargé ( Summerlin )

My Dear Mr. Summerlin: I am pleased to inform you that the appropriate authorities have been furnished today with the decree of the Executive of the United Mexican States, the text of which I am pleased to send you herewith; I request you to communicate with the Government of the United States of America with the least [Page 526] possible delay to the end that it in turn may proceed to put into force the similar provisions in the terms agreed upon according to the courteous communication which you were good enough to address to this Department on May 20, 1921.

The appropriate Mexican consuls have been given telegraphic orders in the case to the end that they may comply with the provisions of the decree in reference. The Department of Government has also given instructions for the same purpose to the authorities depending upon it.

I am [etc.]

Aarón Sáenz

Executive Decree of July 4, 1921, Abolishing Passport Requirements in the Forty-Mile Zone on Either Side of the United States-Mexican Border

Alvaro Obregon, Constitutional President of the United Mexican States, to its inhabitants make known:

That by virtue of faculties conferred upon me by Fraction one of Article 89 of the Federal Constitution,47 and

Considering;—That if the Government of the United States of America is courteously disposed to facilitate the entrance into its territory of Mexican citizens who desire to enter, without the necessity of presenting any form of documents for this purpose, provided that the Mexican citizens have resided for the period of a year or more in a forty mile zone along the frontier, it is just and international reciprocity demands that the Government of Mexico should extend equal facilities to the residents of the United States of America who desire in turn to enter the national territory, except only pernicious foreigners, and, therefore, I have seen fit to decree the following;—

  • Article 1.—After July 16 of the present year, citizens of the United States of America who desire to enter the United Mexican States through frontier cities, may do so without presenting to the Immigration Authorities any form of travel documents, provided that such persons have resided for a period of one year or more in a forty mile zone along the frontier, and are otherwise admissible, and moreover, that such persons are known to the immigration officials of the United Mexican States. Foreigners under the same circumstances, with the exception of pernicious foreigners, shall have the same privilege.
  • Article 2.—If the persons who desire to enter the national territory through frontier cities are unknown to the immigration inspectors [Page 527] of the United Mexican States, they will be required to present satisfactory proofs to the immigration authorities mentioned that they are bona fide residents of the forty mile zone along the frontier.
  • Article 3.—Any foreigner domiciled in the United Mexican States who visits the forty mile zone in the territory of the United States of America may return to Mexico without the necessity of a passport, provided that he does so within six months.
  • Article 4.—All other foreigners, as well as citizens of the United States of America, who reside outside of the zone mentioned, are required to present a passport duly visaed.
  • Article 5.—Articles 35, 36, 37, 38 and other similar provisions of the immigration inspection regulations, dated February 25, 1918, remain in force.

Accordingly, I order that this be printed, published, distributed and given due compliance.