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Mexican Migration


Mexican Migration: The Mexican Migration Facts consist of a series of short, fun facts for kids providing an overview of Mexican Migration to the United States of America.

Facts about Mexican Migration
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Mexican Migration.

Geography: Mexico-United States border spans four US states & six Mexican states: The length of the border is 1,954 miles (3,145 km). The names of the U.S. states along the border are California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The names of Mexican states along the border are Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.

There are 31 states in Mexico, plus the Federal District.

Mexico-United States border crossings: There are currently 45 U.S.-Mexico border crossings with 330 ports of entry.

El Paso, Texas is often described as the "Mexican Ellis Island" in terms of Mexican Migration.

There are many reasons that people want to move from their homes and are often categorized as economic, social, political and environmental causes. Facts about this are described in Push and Pull factors of Mexican Migration

The Mexican population in America has increased by 50% in each decade since 1970 , with unauthorized migrants accounting for a majority of the growth, followed by legal, family based immigration.

American political policies and US Immigration Laws have had a huge influence on the number of migrants a country receives.

Temporary Mexican migration was welcomed during WW1 and WW2 when many of Americans were drafted into the military.

The Bracero Program (1943 - 1965) encouraged Mexicans to work in America and brought 5,000,000 temporary laborers from Mexico to Work on US railroads and farms.

The Emergency Quota Act (or percentage laws) were passed in 1921. Laws relating to ethnic quotas with per-country limits were replaced during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.#

The Immigration Act of 1924 established the Border Patrol to combat smuggling and illegal immigration and Border stations to formally admit Mexican workers.

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, aka the Hart-Cellar Act, set a maximum annual level of immigration at 300,000 visas

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act granted Legal Status to qualifying Immigrants who had entered the United States illegally before January 1, 1982

In 2006 the Clinton administration saw the passing of the Secure Fence Act authorizing fencing along the US-Mexican Border and sanctioned the use of surveillance technology.

The leading countries of origin of immigrants to the United States are Mexico, India, China, and the Philippines

Between 1991 to 2000 the United States admitted 10-11 million legal migrants. The largest number of Americans residing outside of the United States live in Mexico.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the total population of the United States is over 271 million people. Over 40 million people in America are foreign born.

By far the largest number (over 11 million) were originally born in Mexico followed by India, China, the Philippines and Vietnam

30% of all current U.S. immigrants were born in Mexico

The Mexican foreign-born population in the United States increased significantly over the following years:
4,298,014 in 1990
9,177,487 in 2000
11,711,103 in 2010
This trend has now completely reversed and migratory patterns from Mexico to the United States have changed.

Since 2010, U.S. legislation on illegal immigration has been reinforced. Several American states have criminalized illegal immigration. Deportations under the Obama administration have reached record numbers

Mexican Migration to the United States consists of three main groups of migrants:
Lawful permanent residents (LPR's) - a Green Card Holder
Temporary non-immigrants
Unauthorized aliens

Many Mexicans fall into the 'Unauthorized aliens' category. The sheer length and openness of the US-Mexican border has led to immigration taking place outside of legal channels. According to the Pew project report 51% (6.1 million) of all current Mexican immigrants are unauthorized.

Undocumented, illegal immigrants from Mexico tend to live on the margins of society and are vulnerable to exploitation by the people who smuggle them across the US-Mexican border and from unscrupulous employers who employ illegal immigrants.

The lack of legal documentation makes it virtually impossible to ascertain the exact number of illegal immigrants from Mexico

The people who move from Mexico to the United States predominantly come from the following states: Chiapas, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Guerrero, San Luis PotosŪ and Hidalgo

Most of the migrants to Mexico are male who send money (dollars) to their families in Mexico. The money sent by workers in the U.S. to their country, is called the Spanish "remesas"

Temporary Legal Admissions: Foreign nationals who are admitted to the United States for a temporary period of time, and for an expressed reason, are known as non-immigrants

Temporary Legal Admissions: A citizen of Mexico who wants to enter the United States must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the travelerís passport.

Temporary Legal Admissions: U.S. Visa. Having a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States. A U.S. visa allows travel to a land border crossing, and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the United States

Citizens and permanent residents of Mexico generally must have a non-immigrant visa or Border Crossing Card (also known as a "Laser Visa").

Lawful permanent residents (LPR's): An LPR is any person not a citizen of the United States but is legally recognized and lawfully recorded as a permanent residence as an immigrant and also known as a "Resident Alien Permit Holder" or "Green Card Holder."

Green Card Holder: The process to become a Green Card holder (permanent resident) varies by category and depends on whether a person currently lives inside or outside of the United States. The main categories for obtaining a Green Card are:
Green Card Through Family
Green Card Through a Job
Green Card Through Refugee or Asylum Status
Although a Green Card is usually obtained through a family memberís sponsorship or a job offer there are many other ways a Green Card may be obtained.

Over 90% of Mexican immigrants receiving lawful permanent residence were admitted as family-based immigrants

About 70% of the migrants born in Mexico reside in four states in America:
California had the largest number of foreign-born residents from Mexico

Cities with the greatest number of migrants from Mexico are greater Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas.

According to the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) census about 24% of Mexican immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens

The culture and traditions of Mexico that have have been introduced to America, including Mexican themed food, have helped to improve the acceptance of migrants.

Sources for the above facts and information about Mexican Migration include the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics and the Pew Hispanic Center project report

US American History
US Immigration Laws

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Updated 2018-01-01

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