Net Migration from Mexico: Now Zero or Less!

The Pew Hispanic Center has an eye-catching headline on a May 3 press release, which I have not seen much coverage of in the mass media: “Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less.” The research account headed by a former student of mine (talented demographer Jeffrey Passel) at University of Texas begins with this:

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—most of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed, according to a new analysis of government data from both countries by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and broader economic conditions in Mexico.

Lots of interesting and revealing data in this report (pdf for researchers here), some of it countering much political conventional wisdom.

Do these data pose a problem for our many nativistic politicians and anti-Mexican-immigrant pundits, and their often racist arguments?


  1. See my shocked face – :~|

    Mass media reports? I’m pretty sure I heard it on MSNBC recently. Either on the MHP show or earlier this when she guest hosted for Al Sharpton.

    Problem for nativists? Well, yes and no. Yes in that it undercuts their argument, but no in that they never really relied on facts in the first place. Ie, the southwest border has been among the safest places in the US for several years, and they still complained about drug and immigration violence.

  2. Cbtu77

    I think it’s amazing that the Pew Hispanic Center can get illegals to do a poll. Is there an 800 number they call when they get across to let people know they just committed felony?

    From murders to suicides, Arizona is consistently among the most deadly states in the nation for gun violence, federal records show.

    Over a nine-year span, the state’s rate of gun deaths of all types ranked seventh in the United States and sixth for gun-involved slayings, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of death reports compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The rankings are based on data from 1999 to 2007, the most recent statistics available from the CDC.

    Read more:

  3. It’s one of the safest parts of the United States, and it’s getting safer.

    It’s the U.S.-Mexico border, and as politicians say more federal troops are needed to fight rising violence, government data show it isn’t so dangerous.

    The top four big cities in America with the lowest rates of violent crime — San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin — are in border states, according to a new FBI report. And an in-house Customs and Border Protection report shows that Border Patrol agents face far less danger than street cops in most U.S. cities.

    Let’s not forget we’re talking about the border region, not just Arizona.

    The Pew Hispanic Center isn’t the only organization that collects data on immigration. It’s called the “Hispanic Center” because they focus their research on that particular population. It’s not an ethnic advocacy group. It’s part of Pew Research Center. You know, “Pew polls.”

    Also, we shouldn’t forget that the overwhelming majority of violence is intra-racial. That means that if American citizens living in Arizona are concerned about gun violence, they should probably take a look at their gun laws rather than immigration.

  4. Seattle in Texas

    Is there any way this website can send back comments for revising when dehumanizing language is used to refer to human beings since all comments are moderated? Such as when people use words like, “illegals”? It shouldn’t be too difficult for people who speak like this to revise their comments in ways that reflect pro-human orientations…even if they personally are not pro-human.

    I don’t have a problem with bad grammar, “poorly structured written comments”, typos, slang, or whatever, etc. and appreciate folks who do come on and leave more laid back comments that do not conform to, or measure up to, the “white standards” with relation to what constitutes proper written communication. Usually you can get the gist and context. But dehumanizing language, such as that above, is truly disturbing. It necessarily and actively reinforces white supremacy, if not Nazism…sometimes I’m not even sure of the difference between the two to be honest.

    Just a thought or suggestion. We all are bound to possibly encounter this type of language every single day channeled through the media, depending on location–the local stores and restaurants, etc., etc., etc., and it would not hurt to have a social space where people are forced to use pro-human language if they want to leave comments…in my own humble opinion…just my thoughts.

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