What are Donald Trump and some of the other Republican candidates for president to do now that a new study shows that more Mexicans have been leaving the U.S. in the last five years than have been coming into this country?
The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends study takes away the convenient scapegoat that the GOP candidates have pointed to for many of America’s social and economic problems. Pew found that from 2009 to 2014 about 1 million Mexicans and their families left the U.S. for Mexico.
They’ve also taken with them their U.S.-born children, the ones Republicans and conservative commentators like to point to as so-called anchor babies. Those anchors apparently aren’t enough to hold those families in the United States.
In the same five-year period, 870,000 Mexicans entered the U.S., resulting in a 140,000 fewer Mexicans in this country. It’s the lowest flow of Mexican migrants into the U.S. since the 1990s.
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Pew noted that there were 11.7 million Mexicans living in the United States in 2014, which was down from a peak of 12.8 million in 2007.
“The decline in the flow of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. is due to several reasons,” the study notes. “The slow recovery of the U.S. economy after the Great Recession may have made the U.S. less attractive to potential Mexican migrants and may have pushed out some Mexican immigrants as the U.S. job market deteriorated.
“In addition, stricter enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border may have contributed to the reduction of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S. in recent years.
“A majority of the 1 million who left the U.S. for Mexico between 2009 and 2014 left of their own accord, according to the Mexican government’s ENADID survey data. The Mexican survey also showed that six in 10 (61 percent) return migrants — those who reported they had been living in the U.S. five years earlier but as of 2014 were back in Mexico — cited family reunification as the main reason for their return. By comparison, 14 percent of Mexico’s return migrants said the reason for their return was deportation from the U.S.”
The study notes that 28 percent of all U.S. immigrants came from Mexico in 2013. From 1965 to 2015, more than 16 million Mexicans moved to the U.S. — more than from any other nation. Certainly the anti-immigration rhetoric from many politicians, criminalizing people who enter this country legally and illegally from Mexico may have contributed to the reversal of the migration to the U.S.
The push people have been feeling to leave now is about as strong as the pull of families in Mexico wanting folks to return.
It looks like the need for a 1,954-mile wall along the U.S. border with Mexico that some GOP candidates have been proposing is out, unless the presidential hopefuls want it to keep the Mexicans who are here from leaving. If the trend continues, it may become increasingly difficult for some companies and farmers to find enough workers to fill the jobs they have because of the exodus.