A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pew report says numbers of Mexicans coming to U.S. drops, while number of Mexicans returning home rises

Stories about report cite UCSD immigration experts Wayne Cornelius, David Fitzgerald; Cornelius tells New York Times his latest data does not back report's finding of a large return migration

A Pew Hispanic Center report says the number of Mexicans coming to the United States illegally has dropped significantly and that more Mexicans are returning home.  The report said about 6.1 million Mexicans were in the United States illegally in 2011, down from nearly 7 million in 2007. It attributed the drop to a combination of factors, including heightened U.S. border enforcement and deportations, the weakness in the U.S. economy, and Mexico's drop in its birth rate. The report is entitled "Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less."

The Los Angeles Times made the report its lead story on Tuesday's front page. The paper quoted David Fitzgerald, a sociology professor with the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California San Diego, as saying, "I think by far the most important factor is the downturn in the U.S. job market, and the second factor is the concentrated border enforcement activity."
The New York Times quoted UCSD's Wayne Cornelius, co-director of UC's Center of Expertise on Migration and Health, as saying his latest field research showed no signs of increased return migration.

MexicoPerspective's Feb. 13 story on immigration quoted former Pew Hispanic Center director Roberto Suro as saying that migration to the U.S. has stalled, but that he did not see signs of increased migration back to Mexico.

The Pew Hispanic Center's webpage on the report.
PDF version of the report.
The report in HTML format.
Los Angeles Times: "Report finds wave of Mexican immigration to U.S. has ended"
Mitt Romney's immigration/Hispanic vote problem.
Update, April 25: Comedian Jay Leno's take on the Pew report.
Update, April 26: Colegio de la Frontera Norte researcher adds his institution's numbers on returning Mexicans to the discussion. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).