Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North

Damien Cave, New York Times, July 6, 2011

The extraordinary Mexican migration that delivered millions of illegal immigrants to the United States over the past 30 years has sputtered to a trickle, and research points to a surprising cause: unheralded changes in Mexico that have made staying home more attractive.

A growing body of evidence suggests that a mix of developments–expanding economic and educational opportunities, rising border crime and shrinking families–are suppressing illegal traffic as much as economic slowdowns or immigrant crackdowns in the United States.

{snip}

Douglas S. Massey, co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, an extensive, long-term survey in Mexican emigration hubs, said his research showed that interest in heading to the United States for the first time had fallen to its lowest level since at least the 1950s. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,” Mr. Massey said, referring to illegal traffic. “For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”

{snip}

American census figures analyzed by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center also show that the illegal Mexican population in the United States has shrunk and that fewer than 100,000 illegal border-crossers and visa-violators from Mexico settled in the United States in 2010, down from about 525,000 annually from 2000 to 2004. Although some advocates for more limited immigration argue that the Pew studies offer estimates that do not include short-term migrants, most experts agree that far fewer illegal immigrants have been arriving in recent years.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • RandyB

    This is the sort of thing we should be trying to encourage. Remember when NAFTA was being debated, one of the arguements in its favor is that it would improve Mexican incomes and discourage use of the US border as its social safety net? We should be demanding that our foreign policy include livable conditions across our borders.

  • AM

    Now only if the ones here will start going back home, we will get somewhere.

  • Question Diversity

    Relative to the rest of the world, Mexico is doing pretty good. There’s no reason (other than its rotten plutocratic political system) that Mexicans can’t have a decent standard of living Mexico. I used to think that if the Chavez-style left took power in Mexico, they’d dismantle that system and discourage northward “migration.” But even the Mexican left is now own board with dumping Mexicans on Uncle Gringo.

  • Bud

    Propaganda for amnesty.

  • Anonymous

    I’d feel better if it was true. This is simply propaganda for amnesty. The border is in no way secure nor has the net flow of illegals fallen to zero.

  • TL

    Northern migration has decreased overall due to the fact that migrants no longer travel back and forth annually. Increased enforcement and lax welfare enforcement in the US has resulted in fewer migrants going home for the holidays only to cross again after the New Year. Roughly 10% of the population of Mexico resides in the US and once the women “drop their anchors” here, few voluntarily return to the motherland.

  • Mr.White

    This is nothing more than another attempt by the MSM to push amnesty by telling us the crisis is over regarding illegal invaders; so we should simply give those who remain amnesty!, Illegal invaders will never stop coming, so long as they can drop anchor, thereby receiving many benefits of citizenship (including voting), such as welfare via their anchors and a social security number mailed straight to their door, which they then use to steal work.

    No matter how bad things appear to be in this country for illegal invaders, it’s still better than in Mexico, since Mexico does not as yet subsidize the reckless breeding habits of their citizens. There are too many goodies in this country, all for the taking, which they do very well! Besides, there are still too many states that have the welcome mats rolled out for illegal invaders.

  • Anastacia

    The politically incorrect thing that people don’t seem to want to say, is that the ones that move to the US tend to be the lesser-off Mexicans—the ones who are either of indigenous descent or Mestizo. The minority of Mexicans who are entirely of Spanish descent don’t come here…and of course they wouldn’t need to, as the majority of white (entirely Spanish descent) Mexicans live decent lives. But of course, Mexican people will deny there is a racial continuum in their nation—even though it’s fairly obvious there is. (100% Spanish-descent Mexicans making up the majority of people on TV and films in Mexico, the standard of living generally being tied to how white you are etc…)

  • Anonymous

    I also think this is a sham article. It’s based on low estimates of total illegals already here. Wherever I drive all over the East Coast and into the midwest, every other neighborhood looks like Mexico now.

  • Anonymous

    @ 4 — Bud

    I’m not sure if this is just propaganda for amnesty. I’ve been traveling there for years on business and I have to say that the country has changed big time in last 15 years. What’s most interesting the birth rates in Mexico have dropped below those of US. The country is no longer cheap for foreign visitors. It means that emigration does not make such an economic sence like it did years ago. Here is another story on this topic:

    http://m.ocregister.com/news/immigration-307579-illegal-mexican.html?

  • Anonymous

    Mexico is sending less inmigrants because their fertility rate is dropping to 2 sons per family. Thats the reason.

  • Ciccio

    Lovely little puff piece sponsored by? For all the puff Mexico’s GDP per person is still only a third of those in the US and as long as can earn three times as much over the border as at home they will try cross that border. I would agree to let the status quo stay subject only to one little condition. The cost of the illegal aliens welfare/medicaid/crime/education/whatever by deducted from the $100 million PER DAY that the US pays to the Mexican state oil company for oil.

  • Anonymous

    Mexico fertility rate stands now at 1.7 children per female. That’s lower than US and even lower than many European countries where rates picked up lately. Mexico population will start to gray soon.

  • Ben

    I don’t know if it is nessairly a great thing. Let me explain.

    Part of the reason I believe foreign immigrants illegally cross over determines how desirable the nation that they’re trying to get to is. If Mexico is becoming a better incentive to stay that leads to the idea that the US is on a downward track (from the very illegal immigration in the first place).

    People don’t try to come to new places (especially illegally), with finances or even lives on the line, unless there is huge benefit over problems staying home.

  • Lone Star Rebel

    Last week I was laid off my job. My boss just happened to be a Mexican national who has to return to Mexico periodically to renew her visa. She couldn’t give me a good reason for my dismissal except that she thought I was racist. She has no oversight because the owner of the business is a wealthy real estate investor living in Minnesota and could care less what happens down here in Texas. Within an hour of my dismissal she had hired a member of her family to replace me.

    I don’t think they’re going home any time soon and I still believe that the invasion is still on. I’ve had more than one Mestizo tell me that they’re going to take over. I think we’re not too far off from that becoming a reality.

  • Anonymous

    Even if this were true 9which I doubt), Most of America (the small to mid- sized cities), has yet to see the worst of the flood.

    Just like a TIDAL WAVE (what we caved into calling a Tsunami), the first wave pushes far inland, then succeeding waves go deeper, relentlessly.

    Let me explain:

    The Mestizos swamped the big cities. This we know, for they are smoking craters.

    Then the wave of blacks poured out of said large cities, to swamp medium sized cities, like Colorado Springs. (It is ALARMING, how literally every day now, one sees more straight- out of South Central- Blacks roaming about all parts of this once mostly white, mostly good city. They are as alien as martians would be, and it’s like an airliner full of them gets dumped here every stinking day.

    And another follow- on wave: the Mestizos, along with every other third world rabble, roll into tiny hinterland towns where oil, meatpacking, farming, etc., will pay them peanuts, and where the white locals will see their lives ruined by the zoo- like atmosphere.

    And that’s still just the first series of waves:

    Now they have more kids, and the kids have kids.

    It was over a long time ago. Save a catastrophic turn of events (massive war, disease, etc., this is a done deal.