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Mexican invasion of US a myth – new research

25 November 20150 comments

mexican borderMore Mexicans are leaving than arriving in the United States, reversing a trend of 50-years of mass migration, according to a new study.

Slightly more than 1 million Mexicans and their families, including American-born children, left the U.S. for Mexico from 2009 to 2014 and during the same time just 870,000 Mexicans came to the US, according to a report by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

The result was a net flow to Mexico of 140,000.

The desire to reunite families was the main reason more Mexicans are moving south than north, the study found.

And the sluggish US economic recovery and tougher border enforcement were other key factors.

“The era of mass migration from Mexico is at an end,” said Pew’s director of Hispanic research Mark Hugo Lopez.

The finding follows a Pew study in 2012 that found net migration between the two countries was near zero, so this represents a turning point in one of the largest mass migrations in US history.

More than 16 million Mexicans moved to the United States from 1965 to 2015, more than from any other country.

“This is something that we’ve seen coming. It’s been almost 10 years that migration from Mexico has really slowed down,” Mr Lopez said.

The findings are at odds with comments about an ‘out-of-control border’ that have featured prominently in the latest US presidential campaign.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has even called for Mexico to pay for a fence to run the entire length of the 1,954-mile frontier.

The Pew Center report said there were 11.7 million Mexicans living in the US last year, down from a peak of 12.8 million in 2007.

This figure includes 5.6 million living in the US illegally, down from 6.9 million in 2007.

In significant development, the US Border Patrol arrested more non-Mexicans than Mexicans in the 2014 fiscal year, as more Central Americans attempted to enter the US, mostly through South Texas.

The researchers analysed US and Mexican census data and a 2014 survey by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography.

The Mexican questionnaire asked about residential history, and found that 61 per cent of those who reported living in the US in 2009 but were back in Mexico last year had returned to join or start a family.

Sophia Sourris
AMES Australia Staff Writer