Mexican migration assessing the root causes
Scott, Petrocelli D.
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This thesis asks two major questions. Does Mexican migration (authorized and unauthorized) pose a threat to the United States? What are the major forces, or "push" factors, compelling migration from Mexico to the United States? The thesis focuses on a number of potential factors driving the migration: political change, crime, poverty, and Mexico's economic growth level and social inequality. It finds that illegal immigration from Mexico poses very little economic threat to the United States, but by complicating U.S. efforts to achieve border security, it may allow for an increased risk of undetected entry of terrorist or narcotrafficking elements into the United States. The economic crises of 1982 and 1994 increased migration by directly impacting the political system, economic reforms and social landscape. This caused a three folds increase in migration from 1980 through 2000. In 2000, the Mexican economy recovered and the rate of increase for migration decreased. The upswing in the Mexican economy combined with the democratic transition of 2000 slowed the rate of migration. Instead of pouring more money into short term solutions (i.e., apprehension and fences) the emphasis should be shifted to working on long-term solutions that focus on the source of Mexican migration, economic downturns. With a better understanding of the contributing factors and the degree to which they affect the levels of all economically driven migration, the United States can work with Mexico to develop measures that will reduce and control illegal migration in the long run.
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