NEW PUBLICATION | Bilingual, Bicultural, Not Yet Binational: Undocumented Immigrant Youth in Mexico & the United States

jill-anderson-coverBy Jill Anderson

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An entire generation of children, adolescents and young adults has been caught in the crucible of increasing criminalization of immigrants coupled with neoliberal globalization policies in Mexico and the United States. These are first- and second-generation immigrant youth who are bicultural, often bilingual, but rarely recognized as binational citizens in either of their countries. Since 2005, an estimated two million Mexicans have returned to Mexico after having lived in the United States, including over 500,000 U.S.-born children. As of 2005, the population of Mexican-origin immigrant youth in the United States (first- and second-generation) reached an estimated 6.9 million. They have come of age in conditions of extreme vulnerability due to their undocumented status or the undocumented status of their parents.

The challenges that immigrant youth face in the aftermath of deportation and return are varied. Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and alienation are commonly described as key factors during the first months to years of return. These young people have experienced family separation, a sense of alienation, and human rights violations during detention and deportation. Systemic and inter-personal discrimination against deportees and migrants among the non-migrant population in Mexico can make an already challenging situation more difficult. For some, an accent, a lack of language proficiency in Spanish, and/or tattoos make it difficult to “blend in,” find jobs, or continue their studies. In addition to emotional and socio-cultural stress, there are also facing systemic educational, employment and political barriers to local integration and stability.

This paper examines the phenomenon of binational immigrant youth and, in the interest of constructing a binational agenda that privileges the human security and socio-economic integration of immigrant youth in the United States and Mexico in the short- and long-term, proposes a list of binational public policy recommendations.

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Global Migration Flows

08/10/2016 International Organization for Migration (IOM)

world map.pngThe GLOBAL MIGRATION FLOWS interactive app tracks migrants around the world. This application is now being hosted by IOM.int. It is endlessly fascinating to explore where we’re from. The underlying data for the map was published by the UN DESA in 2015.

Using the app:
Choose whether you want to access information about migrants leaving a country (Outward) or migrants entering a country (Inward). Then click on a country and watch the pattern of migration to or from the chosen country. Countries that neither send nor receive migrants will fade out. Hover over a country or over a migrant cluster to access the data. Each circle represents up to 20,000 migrants.

This migration visualization tool is being developed by Locus Insight in collaboration with IOM. Locus Insight is a data visualization studio dedicated to clarifying complex data through engaging interactive charts. Our work is informed by an intelligent understanding of current world topics and animated by the latest interactive data technology.

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Ancient Mayan languages are creating problems for today’s immigration courts

08/09/2016 Los Angeles Times

mayanThe day Vinicio Nicolas found out whether he would be allowed to stay in the United States, and hopefully far from the gang trying to recruit him in Guatemala, he brought along an interpreter.

With the stakes so high, he wanted someone who spoke his native tongue. He had arrived in the U.S. just eight months before, and his English wasn’t good. But neither was his Spanish.

The language the 15-year-old needed an interpreter to wrestle with — for the sake of his future — was an ancient Mayan one called Q’anjob’al, or Kanjobal.

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Americans’ views of immigrants marked by widening partisan, generational divides

4/15/2016 Pew Research Center

Pew_Research_Center_logoRepublicans and Democrats continue to disagree deeply over immigration policies, including how to deal with undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and whether to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Underlying these differences is a substantial – and growing – partisan divide over whether immigrants generally are a strength or burden on the country.

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Border apprehensions, views of immigrants, 10 demographic trends

pew hispanic trends

April 15, 2016

Apprehensions of Mexican migrants at U.S. borders reach near-historic low

The number of Mexican migrants apprehended at U.S. borders in fiscal 2015 dropped to the lowest levels in nearly 50 years. This change comes after a period in which net migration of Mexicans to the U.S. had fallen to lows not seen since the 1940s. READ MORE >

Americans’ views of immigrants marked by widening partisan, generational divides

Republicans and Democrats continue to disagree deeply over immigration policies, including how to deal with undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and whether to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Underlying these differences is a substantial – and growing – partisan divide over whether immigrants generally are a strength or burden on the country. READ MORE >

10 demographic trends that are shaping the U.S. and the world

Americans are more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and the U.S. is projected to be even more diverse in the coming decades. These demographic changes are shifting the electorate – and American politics. The 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history due to strong growth among Hispanic eligible voters, particularly U.S.-born youth.
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Demographic research: From multiracial children to gender identity, what demographers are studying now

Latinos in the 2016 Election: State Fact Sheets

The state fact sheets contain data on the size and social and economic characteristics of the Hispanic and non-Hispanic eligible voter populations. READ MORE >

April 19 primary: New York
April 19 primary: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

Now or never: Trump’s Mexico wall threat encourages migration to US

4/5/2016 The Guardian

mexican immigrantCatalina Maldonado wanted to flee El Salvador for the US to protect her son from danger. After learning of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, she decided it was now or maybe never.

If the Republican candidate’s supporters might be delighted that some in Central America are treating the prospect of a wall-raising President Trump with high seriousness, in the short term it appears his rhetoric may be encouraging – not dissuading – migrants to head north to escape poverty and violence.

“We heard he wants to build those walls. That’s why we came,” Maldonado said. “A lot of people are talking about it in El Salvador. They say really bad things about him,” the 34-year-old added through a translator in a shelter in Texas’s Rio Grande valley, the centre of the 2014 surge in unauthorized crossings by families and unaccompanied minors and still the busiest route.

More than half of the lone children and families caught crossing the south-west border this fiscal year have been apprehended in the area, which offers the shortest journey from Central America, has sizable populations on both sides of the frontier, flat terrain and dense scrubland and where the only barrier between the US and Mexico is natural: the narrow, serpentine Rio Grande river.

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How Mexican immigrants ended ‘separate but equal’ in California

3/2/2016 Los Angeles Times

In the coverage of the 2016 election cycle, you’ll hear this time and again: Latinos — immigrants and their families — are playing an important role in electing the next U.S. president. They are the largest minority group in the nation, and they are poised to make a major impact on American democracy.

It won’t be the first time. Seventy years ago, Mexican immigrants moved American civil rights forward, away from racial segregation toward integration and equality. It happened eight years before the Supreme Court began to dismantle segregation by handing down its decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.

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