Mexicans in the USA



United States of America

The Situation in the United States of America

  • According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mexico is the country of origin for the largest numbers of illegal immigrants in the USA with 6,570,000 migrants, which is 57% of all illegal migrants.
United States of America

Advantages for the United States of America

  • Illegal Mexican immigrants have long met a significant portion of the demand for cheap labour in the United States. The majority of the employed men are restaurant workers, janitors, truck drivers, gardeners, construction labourers, material moving workers, or perform other types of manual or other blue collar labour.
United States of America

Disadvantages for the United States of America

  • The illegal entry to the US, via its southern border, of an estimated 500,000 people each year, has led the US government to start building a security fence along the most sensitive areas.
  • Occasionally, tensions have risen between Mexican immigrants and other ethnic groups because of increasing concerns over the availability of working-class jobs to Americans and immigrants from other ethnic groups.
  • Opposition to illegal immigration has been reflected in the emergence of Minutemen groups - citizens who have taken it upon themselves to patrol the US borders and to confront illegal workers in cities around the US.
  • Money sent back to Mexico by the immigrants is money that is lost from the American Economy. In 2003 $13bn was sent to Mexico.

The Situation in Mexico

  • More than half of the estimated 11 million Mexicans residing in the US are there illegally, according to a report by the Mexican government.
  • There are more Zacatecans now living in Los Angeles than in the city of Zacatecas.

Advantages for Mexico

  • The average weekly wage in parts of Mexico is about 600 pesos, or $60. That's about one-sixth of what most immigrants can make in the States. A lot of which will be sent back to Mexico as remittances.
  • Despite the relative stagnation of the US economy, the flow of money keeps growing, according to recent data. In 2003 it increased by 35% - the total amount sent that year to Mexico was more than $13bn.
  • Remittances from Mexicans in the US have become one of Mexico's most important sources of income - second only to oil and surpassing the traditional tourism industry.

Disadvantages for Mexico

  • In Axochiapan, the lure of American money has created a town where fathers and husbands are absent for years on end, women are left alone to raise the children, and the community is growing increasingly dependent on money made elsewhere.
  • In the village of Jomulquillo, a couple of hours from the city of Zacatecas, what hits you as soon as you arrive is the silence. One of the few locals remaining there says that at the moment there are 80 people living in the village - 300 live in Los Angeles. With the empty houses, the closed windows and locked doors, this feels like a ghost town. But the pain of families being separated is somewhat compensated by these remittances that, in the case of Zacatecas, not only help the relatives but also their villages of origin.
  • Critics argue that dependence on remittances can impair local initiative and create no incentives for people to move forward.
  • Women now outnumber men in rural areas and the women have problems finding suitable marriage partners.
  • Young adults tend to migrate, leaving ageing communities behind. With fewer children, these communities will gradually die out.
  • Hundreds of illegal immigrants who cross into the US from Mexico have died in the scorching heat of the Arizona desert.


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