Fewer Coming, Fewer Leaving, and 3/5 of Unauthorized Have Been Here for a Decade or Longer
Washington D.C. – On August 1, 2011, the Immigration Policy Center released a summary of recent data on Mexican migration to and from the United States. This data provides an important reminder that as migration patterns change over time, so too must U.S. immigration policies. Fewer Mexicans are migrating to the United States, fewer Mexican immigrants in the United States are returning home, and immigrants from Mexico are parents to a new generation of Mexican Americans who are U.S. citizens.
New reports from the Pew Hispanic Center and the RAND Corporation provide useful information about the state of immigration today. Although this data deals with Mexican immigrants as a whole and not just the unauthorized, it is a useful indicator of what is taking place in the unauthorized population. More than half (55 percent) of Mexican immigrants in the United States are unauthorized, and roughly three-fifths (59 percent) of all unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico.
The data reveals an emerging new reality: fewer immigrants are coming, fewer are leaving, and a majority of the unauthorized population has been here for a decade or longer. These trends suggest that our immigration policies must transition away from the current efforts to drive out unauthorized immigrants with deep roots in this country. We need a more nuanced set of policies that help immigrants who are already living here and contributing to the U.S. economy to more fully integrate into U.S. society.
To view the fact sheet in its entirety, see:
- Mexican Migration Patterns Signal a New Immigration Reality (IPC Fact Check, August 1, 2011)