Mexicans Who Enter the United States Illegally Lack Education

Foreign News Report, National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, February 9, 2009

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Diario Xalapa (Xalapa, Veracruz) 2/9/09 (also in others of same, large national paper chain)

“Migration of illiterates increases 20%”

A study by the National Institute of Educational Evaluation (“INEE”) (of Mexico) reveals that the number of illiterate youths–from 15 to 29 years of age–who emigrate to the United States in search of better living opportunities increased by 20 percent.

It shows that this portion of the population–which did not finish basic education–went from 40 percent in 2004 to 60.2 percent in 2007. (Sic) According to its reports they come mainly from Chiapas, Durango, Veracruz, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Guerrero, states which have the highest level of poverty and marginalization as well as indigenous population.

The study “Educational Panorama of Mexico, 2008” edited by INEE, points out the differences in migratory displacement of youths without basic education.

The most critical situation is in the state of Chiapas, where 81% of emigrant youths did not complete their basic education; it is followed by Durango with 79%, Guerrero with 72%.

In contrast, more than half of the 32.7 percent of youths who had completed their basic education came from Coahuila, Mexico, Sonora and Morelos. Further, 7.1% of those who had reached a middle or higher scholastic level came from three states: Sinaloa, Sonora and the Distrito Federal.

For INEE, these national level percentages demonstrate the possible educational de-capitalization of Mexico, because of the search for better income.

According to a “Poll about Migration in the Northern Border of Mexico,” the migratory crossings of Mexican youths from 15 to 29 years who have been in some U.S. border locality, (the respondents) stated that they would cross to work, to seek work or to reunite with family, and that they lacked immigration documents. It (the study) holds that the National Educational System has the task of elaborating strategies to reduce its vulnerability by increasing its schooling, at least reaching its basic level, so that they may face the U.S. labor market demands with better educational backgrounds.

“According to specialists in the matter, youths drop out of school between 15 and 29 years of age and become part of the labor market. In the case of Mexico, part of this population opts for migrating to the United States of America in search of better work opportunities because of the low employment capability at the national level.

The specialists agree that some youths lean towards migration as an alternative to social mobility, which induces backwardness or abandonment of schooling.

The majority of the emigrants head toward the United States of America.

In 2007, it points out, the total of Mexican displacements heading to the United States to work, to look for work or to reunite themselves with relatives, and who lacked immigration documents, according to the “Poll about Migration in the Northern Border of Mexico”, was 896 thousand 709 crossings a year, of which 55 percent, that is, 429 thousand 970 migratory displacements, were by youths between 15 and 29 years of age.

In general, it underlines, the average of school years completed by the migrant youths is 7.7 (average between 2000, 2005 and 2007), lower than the years needed to complete a basic education, which shows that, in general, the migration of undocumented Mexicans to the United States is one of low educational qualifications.

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