Regardless of where you stand on various matters of immigration, you can at least acknowledge that immigrants typically come in search of better opportunities than they have at home. People don’t just up and leave their families and friends, because they think they’ll be worse off in a new place.
So it’s an indicator of how dismal things are here that even the poorest Mexicans aren’t too jazzed about making the trip north.
The flow of immigrants from Mexico to the United States has declined sharply since mid-decade, but there is no evidence of an increase during this period in the number of Mexican-born migrants returning home from the U.S., according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic centre of government data from both countries.
The Mexican-born population in the U.S., which had been growing earlier in the decade, was 11.5 million in early 2009. That figure is not significantly different from the 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in 2008 or the 11.2 million in 2007.
The current recession has had a harsh impact on employment of Latino immigrants, raising the question of whether an increased number of Mexican-born residents are choosing to return home. This new Hispanic centre analysis finds no support for that hypothesis in government data from the United States or Mexico.
Our guess, too, is that this won’t rebound even when the economy improves, since the construction industry — a big provider of immigrant jobs — will almost certainly lag the rebound. And as the sand states deal with their budgetary woes, we’d expect politicians to really whack away at any services deemed too helpful to illegal immigrants.
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