Economic Downturn Forces Mexican Immigrants to Return to Mexico

With the U.S. economy in doldrums, a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center states that Mexican immigration to the United States has come down drastically. It is widely believed that the undocumented workers from Mexico find it hard to get jobs in the United States due to the downturn. They have also begun to leave the United States and return to Mexico.

The Mexican-born population in the United States is close to 12 million and more than half of them are living illegally here. The latest study also confirms that the Mexicans entering the United States now is almost equal to the number of Mexicans migrating away from the country. Some of the other reasons for the migration are Mexican demographics and U.S. Border Enforcement.

Recently, in a radio interview Professor Rafael Fernandez de Castro from the Autonomous Institute of Technology in Mexico, said that the main reason for the migration is due to the lack of jobs in the United States especially in the construction industry. The siege against the Mexican population, in places like Arizona and Alabama, is also a big deterring factor, he adds. For undocumented workers, it is better to return to Mexico that has better living conditions than to stay back in the United States where there is no employment.

Meanwhile, with Arizona’s controversial law that has triggered a national debate on illegal immigration, the Supreme Court has highlighted that the Mexican population has fallen considerably. This news has come at a time when the Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments on Arizona’s new law that immigrants have to carry their registration document always and that police officers can question anyone they believe to be in the country illegally. Currently this is the key issue in the presidential campaign.

The law was passed by the Republican Governor Jan Brewer and has been praised by presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who was in turn endorsed by the bill’s author Kris Kobach. Though President Obama has challenged the law and won a victory in the lower courts to prevent four of its provisions from taking effect, neither Obama or Romney are in a big hurry to weigh the decline in immigration. Both of them also declined to comment on this issue.

In his 2008 campaign President Obama had promised to enact comprehensive immigration reform, however once he came to power, his administration failed to tackle these issues, focusing only on health care reform. While Republicans widely opposed the bill, even five Democrats voted to block it. However, the Latinos favor Obama and have a very unfavorable view of Romney. The Democrats however dub Romney an “extreme presidential candidate ever” on the issue of immigration. Romney has been mocked by his own party members for his “self deportation” policy.

It is also expected that President Obama will outperform himself among Latinos and win over two-thirds of the Latino vote he earned when he came to power. It is also believed that he will get an even higher percentage in 2012. While both sides have avoided discussing the drop in immigration from Mexico, it is believed that the recent drop in immigration is enough evidence of Obama’s efforts to address the issue.