US - Mexico Migration
By far, Mexicans constitute the largest source of immigration to the United States, making up nearly a third of the 32.5 million foreign born living in the United States. Mexican immigrants, legal and unauthorized, have come to play a central role in the economies on either side of the border and in community life across the United States. Why, then, has reaching a thoughtful accommodation between the two countries on migration been so difficult?
This Special Issue of The Source provides a window on the legacy of Mexican migration to the United States. It tackles, in one place, some of the thorniest issues that continue to make progress in this area painstakingly slow, politically perilous, and socially complex for both governments.
The January 2004 announcement by US President George W. Bush of intentions to move forward with a
temporary worker program was the first sign since September 11 that the US was willing to discuss immigration
in a framework that goes beyond the security one. From Mexico's side, President Vicente Fox signaled his cautious but optimistic support. There remain, however, significant stumbling blocks on the path to progress in this area.
The following resources and articles by seasoned analysts in both countries tackle the historical, practical, demographic, and political factors that make this migration relationship among the most intriguing and trend-setting in the world.
MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou looks at the
"Mexico" factor in US immigration reform and maps out the historic challenges and opportunities in US-Mexico relations in the wake of President Bush's immigration reform proposal.
Jeffrey Passel of the Urban Institute provides a context for understanding
the presence of and growth of Mexican immigrants in the United States.
Gustavo Mohar, former chief negotiator for migration affairs at the Mexican Embassy in the US, discusses the
interest of Mexican negotiators in
shared responsibility over US-Mexico migration issues.
Jorge Durand of the University of Guadalajara examines Mexico's
100-year history of migration policy that has transformed migrants from traitors to heroes.
MPI Senior Fellow and former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner examines the challenges and opportunities,
past and present, posed by temporary migrant labor programs.
Francisco Alba of El Colegio de México updates our
Mexico country profile, addressing the "tense immobility" that has characterized US-Mexico migration discussions.
Spotlights and Maps
MPI's Elizabeth Grieco and Brian Ray outline the characteristics of
Mexican immigrants in the US workforce.
See also Elizabeth Grieco's Spotlight on
the foreign born from Mexico in the US.
View a map of the United States showing
the distribution of Mexican immigrants in the United States by county.
MPI's Maia Jachimowicz outlines the latest developments affecting US immigration policy, focusing on the
Bush administration's proposed budget for FY2005.
New Data Resources
Differences in the major sending countries have helped create unique immigrant populations in Australia, Canada, and the United States.
View information by migrant groups or by region.
A new MPI publication,
"Putting Data to Work for Immigrants and Communities" by Suzette Brooks Masters, Kimberly Hamilton, and Jill Wilson, makes the case for the importance of demographic data and provides resources and guidance for small organizations looking for migration data and training.
On behalf of the Source team, thank you for your comments and
Kimberly Hamilton, Ph.D
The Migration Information Source is a project of the
2002-2013 Migration Policy Institute.
All rights reserved.
Migration Information Source, ISSN 1946-4037
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