Mexican Immigrants Drops to Decade Low

The analysis of census data from both the U.S. and Mexican governments, being released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, highlights the impact of the economic downturn on Mexican immigrants, many of whom enter the United States illegally. The study found that immigrants arriving from Mexico fell by 249,000 from March 2008 to March 2009, down nearly 60 percent from the previous year. As a result, the annual inflow of immigrants is now 175,000, having steadily decreased from a peak of 653,000 in 2005, before the bursting of the housing bubble dried up construction and other low-wage jobs.

The total population of Mexican-born immigrants in the U.S. also edged lower in the past year, from 11.6 million to 11.5 million, according to the study by Pew, an independent research group. Up to 85 percent of immigrants are believed to be in the country illegally.

Recent raid by enforcement made more dangerous and expensive to get into the U.S., once people get here, they’re reluctant to leave. Rising unemployment in the U.S. resulted in the sharp decline in the number of Mexican immigrants who crossed the border in comparison to the past year to the lowest level in a decade, even while undocumented workers already here are opting to stay. Mexican immigrants in US are opting not to return to Mexico, because many of them are betting the economy will improve as well as perhaps hoping that immigration reform could soon pave the way for U.S. citizenship. Condition in Mexico too is worse.