Mexican Immigration to the U.S. Reaches Unprecedented Low

By Dania Vargas Austryjak

Demographic study shows 57% decrease.

A demographic study from the University of Texas San Antonio and the University of New Hampshire, demonstrates, by comparing census figures that Mexican immigration to the United States has fallen since 2003, showing an important decrease.

Between 2003 and 2007 the numbers were at 1.9 million. This is contrasted with the same number between 2008 and 2012, of just 819,000. In other words, a drop of 57%.

There are different reasons addressed by the lead author of the study and Dean of the College of Public Policy at the University of Texas, San Antonio (UTSA), Rogelio Saenz. One possibility is how the recession caused a decrease in job opportunities, including those usually accepted by Mexican immigrants.

Immigration mexico

Another reason is that 45 to 55 years ago, the average Mexican family was larger than today (more children). As a result, a larger segment of Mexico’s population was made up of young people, the same ones who felt compelled to leave Mexico in search of job opportunities abroad because of the lack of jobs in their own country. Now birth rates in Mexico and the U.S. are similar. "There is no longer the excess labor force that Mexico had just a few decades ago," Saenz told Reuters.

On the other hand, Mexico’s own economy has grown, which is another factor which may have influenced the dip in immigration. Nowadays, Mexican immigrants arrive in the U.S. as investors and job creators. Saenz shared with Reuters that “They are far more likely to be naturalized U.S. citizens coming back, English-speaking, better educated, older, and female, than in the past.”

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