Mexicans are staying in Mexico. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,” Mr. Massey, co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, recently said. “For the first time in sixty years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”
Even with border violence, economic crisis, and immigration crackdowns, US policymakers still expected millions of Mexican immigrants to illegally cross the border this year and come north to work. However, evidence is accumulating that shows those days have come to an end. The Pew Hispanic Center has estimated that illegal Mexican entrants have dropped from 525,000 annually in 2000-04 to 100,000 in 2010.
No longer is the long trip north a rite of passage. Mexicans are more highly educated than ever, and the economic value of crossing the border and working in the US has decreased substantially. In an interview with the New York Times Angel Orozco who is currently earning his degree in industrial engineering at the new technological institute in Jalisco, Mexico, said, “I’m not going to go to the States because I’m more concerned with my studies.”
The country that is often looked at as poverty stricken and a cheap vacation spot has grown economically over the last ten years. Mexican President Felipe Calderon told people last April at a banking convention, “On the economic front, our country is doing well. Mexico is a nation that is advancing and advancing with confidence in its future.”
Mexico’s economy rose 5.5 percent last year, the quickest pace in a decade.
If you’d like to read more on this subject have a look at the recent in-depth New York Times article, “Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North,” or the New York Post article, “What if the Mexicans stop coming?”