US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The U.S. still holds powerful attraction to Mexican immigrants

Father Tom Joyce CMF | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Migration from Mexico has clearly declined because of the recession and, the anti-immigrant nativists will insist, because of stepped-up enforcement at the borders. There is debate which of these causes has been most responsible. But while hard times and hard enforcement may have stemmed the tide a bit, desperate migrants continue to brave the Arizona desert and crash the gates at San Ysidro, CA.

The decline is probably only temporary. The interest in coming to this country continues strong and has not greatly waned because of the lack of jobs in the U.S. or the return of discouraged workers. The Pew Research Center has just released a poll – part of its Global Attitudes Project – that finds the U.S. still holds a great attraction to most Mexicans. It found that half of Mexicans think those who moved to the U.S have a better life. If anything, the perception is even stronger than in the past. It is not that they view “el norte” as the promised land or are unmindful of the hard times. But with the increase of violence due to the drug wars (as in Juarez), being in the U.S. to many seems better than staying. While the flow of the undocumented may have subsided for the time being, the attitudes the poll uncovered may forebode a renewed increase of migrations in the not-too-distant future.