Thursday, May 23, 2024

Mexican Data Reports that Migration to U.S. Has Decreased Dramatically

Census data from the Mexican government indicates a dramatic decline in the number of Mexican immigrants entering the United States.

The recently released data shows that about 226,000 fewer people emigrated from Mexico to other countries during the year that ended in August 2008 than during the previous year, a decline of 25 percent.

All but a small fraction of emigration (both legal and illegal) from Mexico was to the United States. Due to a past surge in immigration, the Mexican-born population in the United States has grown since the early 1990s, dipping briefly only right after the September 11th attacks.

According to Mexican and American researchers, reasons for the current immigration decline are attributed to the lack of jobs in the ailing U.S. economy. Demographers say that the new evidence shows that immigrants from Mexico, who are usually drawn by jobs, are responding to the labor market by staying away.

Senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, Jeffery Passel, says, “If jobs are available, people come. If jobs are not available, people don’t come.”

Along the border, signs of the decrease in immigration are apparent. Only two beds are filled in a shelter in Mexico that houses migrants hoping to enter the United States. On the American side, near Calexico, Calif., Border Patrol vans return empty to their base after searching the desert for illegal crossers.

Some researchers argue that the drop in crossings from Mexico proves that tough law enforcement at the border and in American workplaces reduces illegal immigration.  . Border Patrol expanded its force by 17 percent in one year, to nearly 17,500 agents.

According to Professor Wayne Cornelius, the director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, immigrants are not forgoing immigration forever;this perhaps is a more temporary thing. “They are hoping that the economy in the United States will improve.”

José Luis Z., 16, of the state of Michoacán, came to the United States to plant trees in Washington state., However, after the job fell through, and he heard from others that there was increased patrolling along the border, he returned home to Mexico, “I thought it would be easy, but now I see how people suffer. There is work back home but it doesn’t pay anything.”

New York Times