Many Mexicans still immigrate to the U.S. But the numbers are not as large as they were a few years ago.
And a substantial number of Mexicans are returning to Mexico, either by choice or due to deportation.
The statistics are detailed in a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center. The report helps to provide national context to what is going on with family-based immigration in Minnesota and neighboring states.
Susan Brower, the Minnesota state demographer, says the number of immigrants born in Mexico who live in Minnesota has leveled off in recent year at about 60,000. She believes that a decline in the number of available jobs has something to do with this.
The Pew Center report confirms that Minnesota’s experience mirrors the nation’s. Overall, about 1.4 million Mexicans and their children arrived in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010. But an equal number returned to Mexico.
The challenging U.S. economy is one reason for fewer arrivals. Simply put, there are not as many jobs available as there used to be.
There are other factors as well. These include a Mexican birthrate that continues to decline and dangerous drug cartels that make border crossings more difficult. Stepped-up U.S. immigration enforcement efforts also make crossings harder.
To be sure, many Mexicans still see the U.S. as a land of opportunity. The immigration tide has not turned completely. But now the flow of people goes both ways.
John Keller of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota believes the Pew report shows the need for immigration law reform. The reform should allow immigrants who are undocumented but law-abiding and have U.S.-born children to remain in the U.S. legally and contribute to society here.
Source: “State’s immigration tide shifts back to Mexico,” Allie Shah and Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune, 4-30-12