In recent decades, immigration to the United States from Mexico has been at an all-time high. However, this trend may have changed.
According to the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, current Mexican emigration to the United States is at its lowest point since the 1950s. How much lower? In 2010, based on census data, the Pew Hispanic Center showed that 100,000 illegal immigrants came to the United States from Mexico in 2010- a high number, but significantly less than the 525,000 each year from 2000-2004.
Reasons why illegal immigration may have decreased are numerous, but the reasons that many are choosing to stay in Mexico relate strongly to the reasons why Enrique and his mother chose to leave Honduras in Sonia Nazario’s book.
Damien Cave, a New York Times correspondent based in Mexico City, identified many of these factors in a recent article. One is smaller family sizes, which have decreased the number of job seekers in Mexico significantly since the 1990s. In addition, thanks to new educational opportunities, many students say they are more educated than their parents, and have no desire to go to the United States, especially as wages in Mexico have also increased in recent years. Some maintain that it is increased border patrol that is discouraging potential immigrants.
At the same time, illegal immigration from other regions, such as Central America, where Enrique began his dangerous journey, have not slowed as significantly.
For more information, read “Better Lives for Mexicans cuts Allure of Going North.”