From Germany to Mexico: How America’s source of immigrants has changed over a century

May 27, 2014


Germany_Mexico_locatorPew Research Center, 5/27/14

With more than 40 million immigrants, the United States is the top destination in the worldfor those moving from one country to another. Mexico, which shares a nearly 2,000-mile border with the U.S., is the source of the largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States.

But today’s volume of immigrants, in some ways, is a return to America’s past. A century ago, the U.S. experienced another large wave of immigrants. Although smaller at 18.2 million, they hailed largely from Europe. Many Americans can trace their roots to that wave of migrants from 1890-1919, when Germany dominated as the country sending the most immigrants to many of the U.S. states, although the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy were also strongly represented.

In 1910, Germany was the top country of birth among U.S. immigrants, accounting for 18% of all immigrants (or 2.5 million) in the United States. Germans made up the biggest immigrant group in 17 states and the District of Columbia, while Mexico accounted for the most immigrants in just three states (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). Behind Germany, the second-most number of immigrants in the U.S. were from Russia and the countries that would become the USSR (11%, or 1.6 million).

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Why Immigrants Boomerang to Mexico

January 17, 2014

border2The National Journal, 01/17/2014

Mexican immigrants are returning home in significant numbers but it’s not mainly due to the tepid U.S. economy, according to a survey released Tuesday. Returning migrants said family and nostalgia drew them back to Mexico, trumping joblessness, health and other concerns.

A historic wave of immigration from Mexico has dried up in recent years. A 2012 report by the Pew Research Center found that net migration to the U.S. from Mexico had reached net zero and was possibly moving in reverse. There are several reasons for the shift, with the struggling U.S. economy and a plummeting birth rate in Mexico at the top of the list.

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Immigration Slows, Lowers Proportion of Latin Americans in US

September 21, 2012

Fox News Latino, 9/21/12

Immigration to the United States last year had its smallest increase in a  decade, and the proportion of Latin Americans among immigrants fell, according  to calculations published Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The calculations show that last year in the United States the number of  foreign-born residents totaled 40.4 million, equivalent to 13 percent of the  total population.

But the increase of 400,000 immigrants was the smallest number in a decade  and the proportion of Latin Americans within that group fell from 54 percent of  immigrants in 2010 to 52.6 percent last year, at the same time that the  proportion of immigrants from Asia and Africa rose.

A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center found that the largest immigration  flow in history from a single country – Mexico – to the United States has ended  and the flow of Mexicans may well have reversed.

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In second Mexico vote, this time of migrants, Vazquez Mota wins

July 5, 2012

The Los Angeles Times, 07/02/2012

Josefina Vázquez Mota

The tiny but closely watched migrant segment of the Mexican electorate voted firmly for Josefina Vazquez Mota of the governing National Action Party (PAN), an opposite result to her third-place showing in the national race.

The results announced Monday by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) also showed a 23% increase in voter-abroad participation over the 2006 election, the first time Mexicans living abroad had the right to vote.

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Immigrants express shock at return of Mexico’s PRI

July 3, 2012

The Associated Press, 07/03/2012

Mexico’s new president may dissuade some immigrants from returning home, despite promising economic opportunities there and a faltering U.S. job market.

The vast majority of the 40,000 Mexican expatriates who voted in Sunday’s election cast ballots against President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto. Many immigrants said Monday that they were shocked his Institutional Revolutionary Party — which largely convinced them to leave their homeland — has returned to power.

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A right, little by little. The extraterritorial vote and its Kafkian amendments. [in Spanish]

June 20, 2012

Xóchitl Bada op-ed

In this op-ed Dr. Bada discusses voting as a Mexican living abroad, and how it is limited by Mexican electoral laws.  The first is the need for a voters card, which can only be obtained in Mexico, and the second is lack of information in the United States.  Bada says that, for example, many Mexicans abroad did not know that they could use their cards from 2003 or 2009, and that there are other obstacles to obtaining a card once they are actually in Mexico.  Once people actually get a card, Bada says, they then encounter continued problems with actually sending in their vote.  She says that over the next six years civil society groups in the U.S. should work together to petition the Mexican government for change in the laws.

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Op-ed: Immigration and the New Old Me

May 16, 2012

New America Foundation, 5/16/12

Los Angeles

Despite my family’s rootedness in Southern California, migration has had an inordinate effect on my life. Now that it has come to a virtual halt, how do I see myself? Angeleno, as always.

The news that Mexican immigration to the United States has come to a virtual halt has me thinking about all the ways that will change things. It will affect politics, culture, labor and the nation’s racial climate. And it will also change how we see each other and ourselves as Americans and as Californians, me included.

I’m one of those mythical native Californians you might have read about. I was born near the corner of Sunset and Vermont in Hollywood. My father was born in L.A. and baptized, as was I, at La Placita Church downtown. My mom was born in northern San Diego County and baptized at the San Antonio de Pala mission there. My paternal great-grandfather arrived in the U.S. — Arizona — from Mexico in 1893. My family has been American so long that sometimes I think I should wear one of those buckled Pilgrim hats.

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Op-Ed: Demonization, Mexicans and hate crimes

May 11, 2009

San Francisco Chronicle, Edward Schumacher-Matos, 5/11/2009

mexican immigrantDemonization of Mexican and other Latino immigrants is fueling hate crimes and violence against them, and it’s time for America’s leaders and media to put a stop to it all.

The swine-flu scapegoating of Mexicans over the past two weeks by some radio and television talk show hosts reflects the abandon with which many local officials, anti-immigrant groups and even an unthinking mainstream media create popular resentments, dehumanize immigrants and provide justification for the extremists among us to act violently.

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Mexico’s Banorte offers insurance for immigrants in U.S.

April 21, 2009

Reuters, 4/21/2009

banorteBanorte, one of Mexico’s leading banks, has begun to offer life insurance to immigrants working in the United States to protect their families back home.

The insurance, being rolled out first in the state of Zacatecas, covers the death of immigrants working abroad and will pay their families up to 50,000 pesos ($3,758) as well as costs and arrangements for repatriation to Mexico and a funeral.

Around 12 million illegal immigrants are thought to be in the United States, most of them working in low-paying jobs in agriculture, the service industry and construction.

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