The government of the United Mexican States is a Presidential Federal republic. The country's constitution was established in 1917. Mexico's government is divided into three levels, namely the federal Union, the state government, and the municipal government.
The federal Union also has three branches of government, namely the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.The Executive branch of the government is composed of the President of Mexico, who is not only the head of state, but also the commander in chief of the military. The President appoints the members of the Cabinet.
The Legislative branch of government is composed of the Senate, the Congress of the Union, and the Chamber of Deputies. Among the roles of the Legislative branch are making the laws of the country and approving the national budget.The Judiciary branch of the government is made up of the Supreme Court of Justice. The Supreme Court is composed of 11 judges, all appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.
Most government officials are elected by registered citizens, while others are appointed to their posts. There are 8 parties represented in the Congress, the 3 most dominant being the conservative Partido Accion Nacional, or PAN; the liberal Partido de la Revolucion Democratica, or PRD; and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI. From 1929 to 2000, the dominant party in Mexico was the PRI. The first non-PRI Mexican president elected was Vicente Fox in 2000, who was a PAN candidate. Mexico is made up of 31 free states, led by a governor for a 6-year term and representative for 3-year terms.
The states are divided into municipalities, governed by a mayor. Mexico's foreign policy was previously guided by the Doctrina Estrada, wherein foreign governments should not get involved with Mexican politics. However, it was recently changed to the Castañeda Doctrine, which led to a greater involvement of the country in foreign affairs.
It is important for foreigners to know about the immigration policy of the Mexican government. Immigration law requires that authorities keep a record of all the people who enter and exit the country, and make sure that no individual violates their visa status. Individuals who enter the country under false pretenses, those who violate their terms, or those who help illegal immigrants will either be deported or imprisoned.