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Fewer Mexicans immigrating to U.S.

Much has been made of the passage of certain immigration bills in some southern states in this country. As we wrote about last week, the controversial immigration law passed in Arizona has made its way all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Presumably the main focus of the laws in these states, some of which share a border with Mexico, are individuals residing in the neighboring country who are making their way to the United States without authorization.

In light of the passage of those laws, a study recently released by the Pew Hispanic Center will likely be of interest. The study found that the number of residents of Mexico entering the U.S. without visas has declined.

The study, which apparently focused on statistics generated for a span of five years starting in 2005 and ending in 2010, cites many factors for the decline. These factors include:

  • The economy in the U.S.
  • Border enforcement that makes it more difficult to enter the country
  • A rise in the number of deportations
  • The physical difficulty involved in making the trip to the U.S.
  • A decline in the number of individuals in Mexico who are of an age that would attempt the crossing
  • Better economic conditions in Mexico

It is worth noting that recent state-enacted immigration laws such as Arizona's SB 1070 were not found to be factors. The information used in the study was culled from a time period prior to the laws' enactment.

In addition to fewer people from Mexico entering the U.S., the numbers indicate that more individuals born in Mexico who are in the U.S. are choosing to go home. This essentially results in a net standstill regarding Mexican immigration.

Whether this trend will continue or immigration will again pick up remains to be seen. It is likely that the decision the U.S. Supreme Court reaches in the case regarding the Arizona bill will play a role.

Source: KPCC, "Net migration from Mexico has stopped - now what?" Leslie Berestein Rojas, April 23, 2012

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