Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adios a Los Estados Unidos

This is not really new; I first heard about it a few weeks ago. Net migration form Mexico to the United States is now zero:

Net Migration From Mexico Hits Zero (Yahoo News):

Mexican migration into the United States has come to a standstill and may soon reverse, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. This marks a dramatic change in the wave of Mexican migration that brought 12 million people to America over four decades.

About 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the United States between 2005 and 2010, which is roughly the same number of Mexicans who left over the same period.

The number of illegal immigrants from Mexico dropped from 7 million in 2007, a peak, to 6.1 million in 2011. The report attributes the drop to the drastic decline in birthrates in Mexico, the increasingly dangerous passage across the border, and the flagging American economy. A higher percentage of deported migrants now say in surveys that they will not attempt to come back into the United States (compared to 10 years ago).

The United States' estimated 12 million Mexican immigrants represent the largest chunk of immigrants in any country in the world. Mexico has sent more immigrants to the States over the past four decades than any other nation.
The US Has Finally Done It: Mexican Immigrants Become Emigrants (Zero Hedge):
You know its bad when...the net flow of Mexicans into the US has fallen so much that there is a high probability that it is now in reverse ending around forty years of inward migration. The Pew Hispanic Center notes that the standstill - after more than 12 million current immigrants have entered the US - more than half of whom are illegal - appears to be the result of many factors including a weakened US job and construction market, tougher border enforcement, a rise in deportations, growing dangers associated with border crossing, a long-term decline in Mexico's birth rate, and changing (read perhaps more opportunistic) economic conditions in Mexico (especially if you work at WalMex). This sharp downward trend in net migration has led to the first significant decrease in at least two decades in the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. - to 6.1 million in 2011, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007. In the five years from 2005 to 2010, about 1.4m Mexicans immigrated to the US – exactly the same number of Mexican immigrants and their US-born children who quit the US and moved back or were deported to Mexico. By contrast, in the previous five years to 2000 some 3m Mexicans came to the US and fewer than 700,000 left it. It will be interesting to see the spin that the Obama and Romney camps put on this hot-button topic as the 'Dream Act' turns into a nightmare and hardline anti-illegal immigration stances become, well, less relevant as Mexicans become Mexican'ts.
Number Of Undocumented Immigrants From Mexico Who Are Entering and Leaving U.S. Hits Net Zero (ThinkProgess):
According to Mexican census data, 1 million undocumented immigrants returned to Mexico from the U.S. between 2005 and 2010 — more than three times the number who said they had returned from 2000 to 2004. The majority of these immigrants are returning to their homes for good, leading to a massive shift in Mexico, which has relied on billions in remittances as a form of social welfare.
Home again in Mexico: Illegal immigration hits net zero (Christian Science Monitor)
At this time of year in this tiny rural outpost that sits on a mountainside in Guanajuato State, most able-bodied men are gone. They're off plucking and cutting chicken in processing plants in Georgia or pruning the backyards of Seattle.

But this year, Pedro Laguna and his wife, Silvia Arellano, are clearing rocks from their yard to prepare a field for corn. They've returned home to Tamaula, Mexico, with their four young children, after 20 years in the United States working illegally. Pedro's cousin Jorge Laguna and his brothers are planting garbanzo beans in the plot behind their father's home. Their next-door neighbor Gregorio Zambrano is also home: One recent morning he badgered a visiting social worker for funds to start a honey-production enterprise.

Since the Monitor last visited here in 2007, a major demographic shift has transformed this dusty village of 230. Migrants have come home, and with them have come other important changes. In 2007, there was no running water, no high school, no paved roads. A simple water pipeline, installed in February, runs to each of the 50-some homes. On a recent day the first high school class, including eight students ages 15 to 40, was finishing up math homework. And now, the main roads are paved.

"We can turn on the water and wash our clothes," says Pedro's uncle, Rodolfo Laguna, who spent 12 years working illegally in a chicken plant in Athens, Ga., before returning home in 2010 after both he and his son lost their jobs.

This is the new face of rural Mexico. Villages emptied out in the 1980s and '90s in one of the largest waves of migration in history. Today there are clear signs that a human tide is returning to towns both small and large across Mexico.

One million Mexicans said they returned from the US between 2005 and 2010, according to a new dem-ographic study of Mexican census data. That's three times the number who said they'd returned in the previous five-year period.

And they aren't just home for a visit: One prominent sociologist in the US has counted "net zero" migration for the first time since the 1960s.

Experts say the implications for both nations are enormous – from the draining of a labor pool in the US to the need for a radical shift in policies in Mexico, which has long depended on the billions of dollars in migrant remittances as a social welfare cornerstone.

Mexico-US Migration Slips After 40 Years of Growth (BBC)
The rate of Mexican immigration to the US has stalled or maybe even gone into reverse, an analysis shows, ending a four-decade-long trend.

A Pew Hispanic Center study shows immigration began to slow five years ago and may have reversed by 2010.

Economic factors, increased border control, and lower Mexican birth rates were all cited as factors. More than 12 million migrants entered the US from Mexico since 1970, more than half legally, the report says.

"Looking back over the entire span of US history, no country has ever seen as many of its people immigrate to this country as Mexico has in the past four decades," the report's authors note.
I've said on many occasions that if you want to see the United States' future, look at Mexico (poor or nonexistant public services, small middle class with vast poverty, corrupt institutions, hard class divisions with heriditary wealth and lack of mobility, etc.). See this article in which a former minister in Mexico openly questions why any country would want to intentionally dismantle it's middle class as the US is doing when so many nations are striving so hard to create one.

If you're a Mexican, there is no benefit to coming to the U.S. anymore if the U.S. is essentially just another version of Mexico, one where you are a foreigner, seperated from your family, don't speak the language and are a second-class citizen with no rights (and the weather's crummier in many cases). Why not stay in Mexico.

This is also a sign of just how bad the U.S. economy is. As reported yesterday, the U.S. is essentailly a low-wage economy with no worker rights. Social mobility is gone, schools are terrible, college is unaffordable, the infrastructure is crumbling. Mexicans are finally relizing this isn't the El Norte of the 1960s, or even the 1980s anymore.

In fact, it seems like Mexico is moving ahead. There's also a cultural factor too - several dissidents from the U.S. went to Mexico to escape the cultural maladies that affect the U.S. (Morris Berman and the late Joe Bageant). It's interesting to note the contrast between the U.S. where state legislatures are passing resolutions denouncing urban planning as international Agenda 21 socialist conspiracies, and Mexico which has enshrined climate changed goals into law and goals to reach 35 percent renewable power:
Following a vote in its Senate on Thursday evening, Mexico is poised to become just the second country in the world to enshrine long-term climate targets into national legislation. The margin of the vote was huge - 78-0 - indicating that all political parties have found common ground on this issue. Now all that's needed is the signature of President Felipe Calderon, which is expected to materialise next week.
The bill enshrines a number of measures in law, including: 30% reduction in emission growth measured against a "business as usual" pathway by 2020, and 50% by 2050, 35% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2024, obligation for government agencies to use renewables, and establishment of a national mechanism for reporting on emissions in various sectors.
Inside Mexico's Climate Revolution (BBC)

Imagine, the United States used to lead the world. Those days are long gone.


  1. It the Mexican government is ethical and stable, can provide reasonably good economic conditions, capability for growth and can overcome the drug cartels- there is no reason for Mexicans to come to America and many now here, may wish to go home. This would benefit both countries - and it would be a pleasure seeing our U.S. politicians worry about earning the middle class vote- the one paying the bills, rather than appeasing immigrants with "entitlements" for their votes.

  2. This ties into that:

    * Illegal migration has not stopped because of stricter border enforcement, which Massey characterizes as a waste of money at best and counterproductive at worst.

    * There are indeed more undocumented Mexicans living in the United States than there were 20 years ago, but that is because fewer migrants are returning home — not because more are sneaking into the country.

    * And the reason that fewer Mexican citizens are returning home is because we have stepped up border enforcement so dramatically.

    Mull over that last point for a minute. If Congress had done nothing to secure the border over the last two decades — if it had just left the border alone — there might be as many as 2 million fewer Mexicans living in the United States today, Massey believes.


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