Mexican Folks Are Crossing the Border -- the Other Way, According to Pew Research

It wouldn't be surprising to anyone that Mexican people are crossing the border between Mexico and the United States, but according to research, they're actually going the other way -- leaving the United States and going to Mexico.

According to a report released today by the Pew Hispanic Center, it appears that more Mexican people went back to Mexico than came into the United States between 2005 and 2010.

It's not certain, since the entry and exit numbers are pretty close, but if more Mexicans are leaving the United States than they are coming in, it would be the first time that's happened since the 1930s.

The same analysis a decade ago wasn't even close -- around 3 million Mexicans immigrated to the United States, while fewer than 700,000 Mexicans and their U.S.-born kids left the United States for Mexico.

The declaration from Pew's report: "The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill."

"Why?" is the obvious question, and while there's no precise answer, but there are some obvious assumptions.

"The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the
growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico's
birth rates and broader economic conditions in Mexico," the report says.

Pew says the "data...are sketchy," but it appears that most of the 1.4 million people who migrated from the United States to Mexico did so voluntarily, while the portion of people who were deported is pretty unclear -- between 5 percent and 35 percent, according to the report.

No matter the cause for the ins and outs of Mexican people, Pew says these numbers indicate "the first significant decrease in at least two decades in the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants living in the U.S."

The Mexican-American population, however, is still growing in the United States, and some time between 2000 and 2010, births passed immigration as the top reason for growth of the Mexican-American population.

The quick points from Pew can be found by clicking here, and the entire report can be found here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley