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Foreigners One Step Closer To Owning Mexican Beach Property

The Mexican constitutional restriction barring foreigners from buying land near the nation’s borders and oceanfront properties may soon be lifted.

On Tuesday, the lower house of Mexico’s congress passed a measure allowing foreigners to skip over dubious middlemen to buy residential property within 31 miles of the coast and 62 miles of the nation’s borders.

But measure faces a long road before becoming a law. It still needs to be passed in the senate and by a majority in the country’s state legislature.

Although similar measures have been proposed, the Associated Press reports, it has never been backed “by figures as influential as [Manlio Fabio] Beltrones the PRI’s congressional leader.”

The current restriction serves as a reminder to many Mexicans of a not-so-pleasant past.

Those are strong sentiments in a country frequently invaded by foreign powers in the 19th and early 20th century. Mexico set up the restrictions to ensure national security and avoid the creation of foreign enclaves like the one that grew up in a former Mexican province known as Texas, where the foreigners eventually rebelled and split from Mexico. “For historical reasons, it was considered risky to allow foreigners to establish themselves permanently on the coast and the borders,” according to Beltrones’ proposal, but it says “the conditions that led the Constitution to limit such purchases have been overcome.”