With Mexican economy improving, fewer cross the border

September 21, 2011

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(AP/Gregory Bull)
Education reform in Mexico has made the country more appealing to parents who may otherwise have immigrated to the U.S.

Last year, under President Obama, deportations of undocumented workers climbed to a record 393,000 – 10 percent more than deportations under President Bush two years earlier. The pace of company audits in the U.S. has also almost quadrupled since President Bush’s final years in office, according to the Washington Post.

While the national debate on immigration is as rancorous as ever, in the past few years, a quiet paradigm shift in Mexican immigration to the United States has been underway. New statistics show that the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico to the U.S. has slowed to a halt.

Douglas Massey, co-director of Princeton University’s Mexican Migration Project, has spent the past three decades collecting information from emigration hubs in Mexico and sharing this research with U.S. government officials. According to Massey, a new era of U.S.-Mexican migration is upon us. The reasons range from improved education and job opportunities in Mexico to unforgiving border security and unemployment in the U.S.

He joins us to discuss what these new numbers mean for U.S.-Mexican relations.

For more on this topic, read Douglas Massey’s recent op-ed in The New York Times, “Borderline Ridiculous.”