A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans now leave the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.
It is the first reversal in the trend since the Depression, and experts say that a declining Mexican birthrate and other factors may make it permanent.
”œI think the massive boom in Mexican immigration is over and I don’t think it will ever return to the numbers we saw in the 1990s and 2000s,” said Douglas Massey, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University and co-director of the Mexican Migration Project, which has been gathering data on the subject for 30 years.
Nearly 1.4 million Mexicans moved from the United States to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, double the number who came a decade earlier. The number of Mexicans who moved to the United States during that period fell to less than half of the 3 million who came between 1995 and 2000.
The trend could have major political consequences, underscoring the delicate dance by the Republican and Democratic parties as they struggle with immigration policies and court the increasingly important Latino vote.
Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero””and Perhaps Less
Pew Hispanic Center, by Jeffrey Passel, D’Vera Cohn & Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, April 23
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””more than half 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 by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.
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 changing economic conditions in Mexico.
Complete Report: Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero””and Perhaps Less