More Mexicans leaving the U.S., than entering
Sad trend hasn't been seen since the Great Depression
It's a sad comment on how the United States has slipped in the world's
estimation as a golden land of opportunity. According to a report from
the Pew Hispanic Center, Mexican immigration to the United States has
receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans
appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way
Nearly 1.4 million Mexicans moved from the United States to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, double the number who did so a decade earlier.
"I think the massive boom in Mexican immigration is over and I don't think it will ever return to the numbers we saw in the 1990s and 2000s," Douglas Massey, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University says.
Massey cites the fact that nearly 1.4 million Mexicans moved from the United States to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, double the number who did so a decade earlier. The number of Mexicans who moved to the United States during that period fell to less than half of the three million who came between 1995 and 2000.
The political implications behind these statistics could be highly significant, as both Republican and Democratic parties struggle with immigration policies to win the increasingly important Latino vote.
Illegal immigration has traditionally been one of the most emotional political issues in the country, one that dominated much of the Republican presidential contest and has proven complicated for President Obama.
The Mexican-born population, which had been increasing since 1970, peaked at 12.6 million in 2007 and has dropped to 12 million since then, according to the recent study.
Hard facts backing up these figures are tightened border controls, a weak U.S. job and housing construction market and a rise in deportations and a decline in Mexican birthrates. The study used U.S. and Mexican census figures and Mexican government surveys. Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States have also dropped drastically.
Whether this remains either temporary or permanent, it could have significant implications for the United States. Many Mexican immigrants work in agriculture and construction.
One in 10 people born in Mexico live in the United States, and more than half entered illegally. Most live in California and Texas and about 120,000 live in the Washington region.
The report does not specify how many of those who moved to Mexico had been in the United States illegally. But the statistics imply that many of them had been. The number of undocumented Mexicans here dropped from 7 million in 2007 to 6.1 million in 2011, while the number of those here legally increased slightly, from 5.6 million in 2007 to 5.8 million in 2011.
"The diminished flow appears largely to be a drop in unauthorized immigrants," Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew and a co-author of the report says. He said an estimated 5 to 35 percent of the recent returnees to Mexico were deported.
Half of those returning to Mexico took their entire families, including more than 100,000 U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants. Children born in the United States to Mexican nationals are citizens of both countries.
Another factor is a lower birth rate in Mexico. In 1960, a typical Mexican woman was expected to have more than seven children, but by 2009 that number had dropped to just over two - a decline that presages a sharp reduction in the number of young workers seeking to come to the United States.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Mexicans, illegal immigrations, U.S., decline
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