Princeton Mexican Migrant Project: illegal flow of migrants to the United States has nearly stopped

Last week The Mexican Migrant Project from Princeton released a report that shows that for the first time since the 1950’s illegal migration from Mexico into the United States has nearly stopped.

This has occurred for a number of reasons, some of it can be attributed to the hard work of the Department of Homeland Security, the bad economic state of the United States, and finally and this is just now being reported with more frequency the bottle necking of the Narco-Traficantes along the southwest  border.

Over the past two years there has been the historic build of National Guard and Border Patrol officials along the Southwest Border. Going further back, the Border Patrol had largely closed off the border in Texas and California, pushing the majority of drug and human trafficking into Arizona. Since then

DHS and The National Guard have been flooding sectors along the Arizona Border where heavy traffic has once occurred. This strategy has largely been a success in that it has made the Mexican drug cartels skittish about engaging in violence along the American side of the Arizona border. The other consequence
of this is that the human smuggling business has now co-mingled with the drug smuggling one.

The final contributor to the decline of illegal entry of migrants may be surprising to many American’s: Mexico’s economy is rebounding. George Will in a recent round table incorrectly noted recently that the situation along the United States-Mexico border was unique because in no other place in the world is the worlds largest economy share a physical border with a developing nation. As it turns out, Mr. Will is wrong, Mexico is far from a developing nation. If all of holds by the end of the year Mexico will be our number 2 trading partner. It may surprise Mr. Will to note that we do more trading with Mexico then Germany, Great Britain and France combined.

While much of Mexico’s wealth is grossly distributed, a fact which is ironically becoming more and more true here in the United States, the economy there has actually become more and more stable in recent years which has contributed greatly to the decline of migrants traveling to the United States to look for work.

In fact a recent New York Times article by Damien Cave shows that there is in fact:

“A growing body of evidence suggests that a mix of developments — expanding economic and educational opportunities, rising border crime and shrinking families — are suppressing illegal traffic as much as economic slowdowns or immigrant crackdowns in the United States.”

Perhaps even more shocking is the fact that according to experts at Princeton’s Mexican Migrant Project say that: “research showed that interest in heading to the United States for the first time had fallen to its lowest level since at least the 1950s. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,”

Mr. Massey said, referring to illegal traffic. “For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”

The Princeton report  also notes that part of the drop in migration may also be attributed to the size of Mexican families shrinking, which has in turn shrunk the pool of likely migrants: “Despite the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico, birth control efforts have pushed down the fertility rate to about 2 children per woman from 6.8 in 1970, according to government figures. So while Mexico added about one million new potential job seekers annually in the 1990s, since 2007 that figure has fallen to an average of 800,000, according to government birth records. By 2030, it is expected to drop to 300,000.”

This has led to cultural shift in Mexico, where the Per Capita gross domestic product and family income have each jumped more than 45 percent since 2000,  According to one prominent economist, Roberto Newell. Despite all the depictions of Mexico as “nearly a failed state,” he argued, “the conventional wisdom is
wrong.”

Lets hope the next time George Will decides to make disparaging comments about Mexico he gets his facts right.

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This entry was posted in Economic Story, The Intermestic Story and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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