Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle had a nice (in some ways) article on the presence of Mexican labor in the resort town of Big Sky and in the Bozeman area in general. I was struck by a couple of things.
1) When the author asks why hispanics are not coming to Montana in large numbers, the fall-back answer is "the weather." I'm not sure what sort of magic happens between the winters of Denver and the winters in Bozeman, but it certainly isn't anything that makes Montana winters more brutal. The real story here is jobs, and recognition that Mexicans won't move to where there are no jobs is key to understanding immigration. If it was about weather, Toluca would be depopulated, as would most places in the high sierra from EdoMex to Chihuahua.
2) The similarities that the migrants described when talking about Montana compared to Mexico: beautiful mountains, small towns, farms and ranches, and that rural "lifestyle" that dominates the area. That is perhaps why I like western and south eastern Mexico State so much.
3) The emphasis on the rejection of the presence of Mexicans. This rejection, I would very much be willing to bet, is one not only based in competition for jobs, but also with the indigenous appearance. Montana is an interesting place racially. Never segregated for African Americans, it is a brutally racist place for Native Americans. Indigenous in appearance, Migrants from central and southern Mexico are most certainly running into that same wall. In all fairness, however, as a Montana-born person living in exile in Texas , people from anywhere ***cough cough California*** are generally not welcomed.
4) The "uninviting" nature of the state based on the ability of the ICE folks to enforce laws. I would aver that there is more going on to ICE effectiveness in Montana than just a lower population. ICE can apparently do their job without fences and internal checkpoints.
And finally, I was blown away how yesterday many of the Montana news sources made a big deal out of the busting of 6 Mexicans tied to Pharmaceuticos Collins, a company in GDL supplying chemicals for (wait for it).... meth. Again, we have a local example of how the consumption of drugs in the far-flung corners of the United States ties this nation to drug cartels and it is doubtful we will ever start taking drug uses seriously as a health issue.