24 April 2012

Decades long trend ends as Mexico to US immigration falls

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A recent report has revealed that the rate of Mexico to US immigration has fallen for the first time in 40 years.

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The number of Mexicans entering the US has fallen for the first time since the Great Depression.

The report, published by nonpartisan research body the Pew Hispanic Center which investigates the influence Hispanic communities have on America as a nation, claims that US immigration figures show the first decline in migration figures from Mexico since the Great Depression.

"I think the massive boom in Mexican immigration is over," said Professor Douglas Massey from Princeton University's sociology and public affairs. "I don't think it will ever return to the numbers we saw in the 1990s and 2000s."

Nearly 1.5 million Mexicans entered the United States between 2005 and 2010, less than half the number in the preceding decade in what the report labelled a 'notable reversal of the historic pattern'.

"We really haven't seen anything like this in the last 30 or 40 years years," said the Pew Hispanic Center's Jeffrey Passel, who co-wrote the report.

The debate as to the reasons by the trend is likely to be ongoing although toughened border security combined with a struggling economy's poor labour market is being touted as the likely cause.

The number of Mexican immigrants in the United States has been a contentious issue for decades; almost 60% of the nation's illegal immigrants are reportedly from Mexico.

Many analysts expect the report's findings to have large political consequences, particularly in the upcoming presidential election. A shrinking Hispanic population could be good news for the Republican Party, whose ability to appeal to Hispanic voters has been questioned.

Conversely, President Obama enjoyed a significant majority of Hispanic votes in his 2008 election victory although record numbers of deportations during his administration, which are also likely to have affected the report's findings, combined with his failure to secure the comprehensive immigration reform he promised have damaged his standing among some Hispanics.

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