November 23, 2012
The Economist, 11/24/2012
NEXT week the leaders of North America’s two most populous countries are due to meet for a neighbourly chat in Washington, DC. The re-elected Barack Obama and Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, have plenty to talk about: Mexico is changing in ways that will profoundly affect its big northern neighbour, and unless America rethinks its outdated picture of life across the border, both countries risk forgoing the benefits promised by Mexico’s rise.
The White House does not spend much time looking south. During six hours of televised campaign debates this year, neither Mr Obama nor his vice-president mentioned Mexico directly. That is extraordinary. One in ten Mexican citizens lives in the United States. Include their American-born descendants and you have about 33m people (or around a tenth of America’s population). And Mexico itself is more than the bloody appendix of American imaginations. In terms of GDP it ranks just ahead of South Korea. In 2011 the Mexican economy grew faster than Brazil’s—and will do so again in 2012.
April 24, 2012
A news story covering the release of this report by Pew Hispanic Center was featured on NPR. The story “Immigration from Mexico to the U.S. comes to a standstill” can be read here.
Pew Hispanic Center, 4/24/12
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.
The report is based on the Center’s analysis of data from five different Mexican government sources and four U.S. government sources.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 23, 2012
For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It’s in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants. It even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies?
In Gustavo Arellano‘s new book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, he explains our love of all things folded into a tortilla. I recently joined him for a 150-mile tour of Southern California’s taco trail, visiting cultural touchstones in the evolution of the Mexican snack in America. Here’s our tour.
Stop One: Cielito Lindo Food Stand, Olvera Street, Los Angeles: Since the 1930s, this tiny stand — located in the heart of historic L.A. — has been famous for its rolled, fried taquitos, covered in avocado sauce. Arellano thinks of the food stand as a Plymouth Rock of tacos, one place where the Mexican staple met a broader American audience.
April 8, 2012
CSR Monitor, 4/8/12
At this time of year in this tiny rural outpost that sits on a mountainside in Guanajuato State, most able-bodied men are gone. They’re off plucking and cutting chicken in processing plants in Georgia or pruning the backyards of Seattle.
But this year, Pedro Laguna and his wife, Silvia Arellano, are clearing rocks from their yard to prepare a field for corn. They’ve returned home to Tamaula, Mexico, with their four young children, after 20 years in the United States working illegally. Pedro’s cousin Jorge Laguna and his brothers are planting garbanzo beans in the plot behind their father’s home. Their next-door neighbor Gregorio Zambrano is also home: One recent morning he badgered a visiting social worker for funds to start a honey-production enterprise.
Since the Monitor last visited here in 2007, a major demographic shift has transformed this dusty village of 230. Migrants have come home, and with them have come other important changes. In 2007, there was no running water, no high school, no paved roads.
August 12, 2011
The Los Angeles Times, 8/12/11
Lawmakers in California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York have sought for several months to withdraw from Secure Communities, a supposedly voluntary federal fingerprint-sharing program designed to identify and deport dangerous immigrants. The Obama administration is now trying to make the states’ opposition moot — a tactic that may provide the legal basis for expanding Secure Communities but does nothing to improve the program’s damaged credibility.
August 10, 2011
If it seems that debates over immigration bills have spread from border states to across the country, that’s because they have.
In the first half of 2011, legislatures in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have introduced a record number of bills or resolutions relating to immigrants or refugees, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
August 9, 2011
The New York Times, 8/9/11
NOGALES, Ariz. — An American immigration agent bounded up the steps of a bus about to cross the United States-Mexico border recently and demanded to see the papers of all those aboard. “Papers!” he shouted, eyeing passengers warily as he walked up and down the aisle.
Such checks are not surprising given all the attention focused on illegal immigration these days. But this bus full of migrants was leaving the United States, not entering it.
August 8, 2011
Washington Post, 8/8/11
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s net outflow of migrants has fallen to “almost nothing,” as fewer migrants entered Mexico, but the number leaving dropped even faster, the government’s statistical unit said Monday.
A report by the National Statistics Institute says Mexico lost about 0.09 percent of its population to migration as reflected in quarterly surveys carried out between March 2010 and March 2011.
August 8, 2011
Center for American Progress, 8/8/11
The New York Times reported last month that the “extraordinary Mexican migration” of the past three decades that brought millions of people to America “has sputtered to a trickle.” Net unauthorized migration from Mexico—the combined number of undocumented immigrants entering and leaving the country—has been reduced to nil.
But the fact that the great migration slowed is not in and of itself major news. Scholars point out that the Great Recession and enhanced border security severely cut down on the number of Mexican immigrants seeking to enter the United States. When this decline in attempted entries is coupled with historically high rates of apprehensions at the border, we are left with a dramatic decline in undocumented immigration.
August 1, 2011
Immigration Policy Center, 8/1/11
Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases a summary of recent data on Mexican migration to and from the United States. This data provides an important reminder that as migration patterns change over time, so too must U.S. immigration policies. Fewer Mexicans are migrating to the United States, fewer Mexican immigrants in the United States are returning home, and immigrants from Mexico are parents to a new generation of Mexican Americans who are U.S. citizens.
New reports from the Pew Hispanic Center and the RAND Corporation provide useful information about the state of immigration today. Although this data deals with Mexican immigrants as a whole and not just the unauthorized, it is a useful indicator of what is taking place in the unauthorized population. More than half (55 percent) of Mexican immigrants in the United States are unauthorized, and roughly three-fifths (59 percent) of all unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico.
Read the rest of this entry »