Legal migration has increased in the past five years, thanks in large part to better management of the visa process by American consulates in Mexico, says Peter Rousmaniere, columnist for Risk & Insurance, and an expert in workers compensation. But, he writes, illegal migration has declined, and not primarily due to stronger immigration enforcement by the United States. The major factors are smaller families, better education resources in Mexico, and better job projects in Mexico if one is educated.
Rousmaniere runs a blog called Working Immigrants that collects and exchanges information on the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, and mobility. A Harvard College and Harvard Business School graduate, he brings 20 years’ experience in worker safety and health to this effort.
He was drawn to a July 6 New York Times article by Damien Cave titled Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North — Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States.
Specifically, Rousmaniere was inspired by this quote from Douglas S. Massey: “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped. … For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.” Massey is co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, an extensive, long-term survey in Mexican emigration hubs. He said his research showed interest in heading to the United States for the first time had fallen to its lowest level since at least the 1950s, according to the Times article.
Cave writes in his article, “American census figures analyzed by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center also show that the illegal Mexican population in the United States has shrunk and that fewer than 100,000 illegal border-crossers and visa-violators from Mexico settled in the United States in 2010, down from about 525,000 annually from 2000 to 2004.”
Cave goes on to report, “Deportations have reached record highs as total border apprehensions and apprehensions of Mexicans have fallen by more than 70 percent since 2000.”
Cave also sites use of birth control (smaller families), better education and employment opportunities, and better government services such as trash pick up as motivations for staying in Mexico. These reasons, coupled with an easing of legal immigration requirements and an increase in laws making living in the U.S. illegally much more difficult, are reasons for the decline in illegal immigration, Cave reports.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing, publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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