2/11/2016 Pew Research Center
Pope Francis is expected to make immigration a major theme of his visit to Mexico. By traveling northward across Mexico, he intends to symbolically retrace the journey of Mexican and Central American migrants traveling to the United States. After the pope leaves Mexico City, his route will begin in the southern state of Chiapas, which shares a long border with Guatemala, and end in Ciudad Juárez, located across the U.S.-Mexico border from El Paso, Texas, a longtime entry point to the U.S.
U.S. immigration from Latin America has shifted over the past two decades. From 1965 to 2015, more than 16 million Mexicans migrated to the U.S. in one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. But over the past decade, Mexican migration to the U.S. has slowed dramatically. Today, Mexico increasingly serves as a land bridge for Central American immigrants traveling to the U.S.