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Historic wave of Mexican immigration at a standstill, report says

April 23, 2012 |  4:39 pm

Migrants thread their way along footpaths just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in 2007

The number of Mexican migrants to the United States dropped significantly while the number of those returning home increased, bringing net migration from Mexico to a statistical standstill, according to a report published Monday.

Mexican immigration to U.S. stallsThe shift over the last several years marks a significant change after four decades of historic immigration from Mexico, according to the report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

“The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill,” the report says.

The downward trend in migration started about five years ago, according to the report.

During that time the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico residing in the U.S. fell sharply from 7 million to about 6.1 million. At the same time, the number of legal Mexican immigrants residing in the U.S. increased slightly from 5.6 million to 5.8 million. Those estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report attributes the changes to several factors, including the weakened economy, increased border enforcement, a rise in deportations, growing dangers at the border and a long-term decline in Mexican birth rates.


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-- Paloma Esquivel

Photo: Migrants thread their way along footpaths just north of the Mexico/Arizona border in 2007. A new report says immigration from Mexico, both legal and illegal, has come to a statistical standstill. Credit: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times