Mexican Immigration in the United States

Introduction

The United States of America has always been a country with immigrants coming from all around the world. The population of the United States consists of multiple cultural and ethnic groups, has many religions and lifestyles, and speaks a variety of languages. The number of immigrants of all ethnicities and nations has increased over the last centuries. These days it is almost impossible to say what a typical American looks like because the population of the biggest cities has become ethnically diverse, there are several generations of people whose parents came to the United States from abroad and stayed there forever.

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One of the largest groups of immigrants in the United States is the group that unites immigrants for various cities and regions of Mexico. The border between the United States and Mexico is stretched for at least two thousand kilometers. Millions of people from Mexico cross it legally and illegally every year. To protect the border from the attempts of illegal immigrants to enter the United States, many patrols and border controlling services had to be organized. These measures require large financial investments from the side of the United States. Besides, the high rate of Mexican immigration causes many other problems of various characters. There are social and cultural issues caused by the number of Mexican citizens in the cities of the USA, there is a financial issue, because the immigrants from Mexico represent a lot of cheap labor, agreeing to work for lower fees and this results in various difficulties in finding well-paid jobs for the American population.

The number of Mexican immigrants started to influence the economy of the United States in a negative way. The way to reduce the rate of Mexican immigration to the USA could be through the elimination of wage differentials and providing according to social policy towards illegal immigrants caught on the territory of the United States. In the case with Mexican immigrants – it’s the farm and agricultural sector of wages.

Background

The history of Mexican immigration started over one hundred and sixty years ago. At first, the number of people of Mexican origin arriving at the United States was very small, it started to grow over generations, and so did the number of Mexican born population of the United States. These days the number of immigrants in the USA only from Mexico is bigger than the total number of immigrants in all other world’s countries. Today the Mexican population represents around thirty-two percent of all immigrants currently staying in the United States. There are several causes of such a huge level of immigration from Mexico.

First of all, there are factors which make people leave their motherland and relocate to other places. One such factor is the lower quality of life in Mexico that forces young and strong people to look for better conditions of life and better-paid jobs; men need to provide for their families; this is why they take a risk and go abroad looking for luck. Of course, there are geographical factors that make the citizens of Mexico go to the United States. Mexico shares its borders with only three other countries, two of which are Guatemala and Belize. Neither of these countries gives as many opportunities as does the United States.

This is why the choice Mexican people make is quite understandable. Besides, the length of the border between the United States and Mexico is very big; it is hard to keep all of the parts of it under constant control; this increases the chances for the illegal immigrants to sneak on the territory of the neighboring country. Thank the efforts of border control and immigration services, a certain number of illegal immigrants is caught and punished every year, some of them get sent back to Mexico, some of them end up imprisoned in the United States.

The border patrols and the imprisonment of illegal immigrants cost the budget of the States millions of dollars and create a serious impact on the country’s economy. Another serious factor that pushes the citizens of Mexico to look for residency in the United States is the level of medicine in their country. Mexico’s medical facilities are poor, and the number of patients one doctor has to handle is incredibly high. The lack of doctors and medical workers is caused partly by the country’s low level of education and general financial conditions in Mexican society. Due to the low wages, most families cannot afford a good education for their children; this is why the job opportunities for the growing up generation of Mexicans are quite low and unattractive.

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There are issues caused by the fact that less than a third of all immigrants from Mexico can speak more or less decent English. As a result, these immigrants become harder to hire, and they cause social problems because of a lack of communication. Besides, when hired, the immigrant workers without the skills of speaking the English language often present work of bad quality and can only be hired for the jobs where very little knowledge and professionalism is required. According to modern statistics, the groups of Mexicans that are not naturalized are more likely to find employment. Statistically, most of the male immigrants from Mexico are involved in construction work of all kinds, while female Mexican immigrants work in personal care services.

The presence of immigrants ready to work for lower wages benefits the economy of the United States, yet there are factors that create negative impacts on the country’s economy, these factors start to occur when the number of immigrants residing in the country begins to grow rapidly as it happened with Mexican immigration over the last five decades.

As the Mexican population in the United States grew – various issues started to rise. The number of Mexican immigrants and Mexican born people had reached the point when it started to create racial and cultural problems for society. It goes without saying that in such a multinational country like the United States, the issues of cultural diversity and battles with racism and discrimination are one of the biggest questions. Yet, the bigger certain ethnical groups become, the stronger they feel to confront other ethnical groups.

The numbers of immigrants from countries like Mexico and the Philippines are quite big; this starts to cause ethnic issues between the representatives of different nationalities, especially between various groups coming from Latin American countries. The problem of illegal immigration has penetrated the life of the United States on many levels and created a lot of discomforts, this is why the question of immigration in America is being studied by many specialists and experts, the statistics are being calculated, and various projects and policies designed to solve this problem are being formulated and applied.

Data

In 2008 the approximate total number of Mexican immigrants living on the territory of the United States of America had reached twelve million seven hundred thousand people (Mexican Immigrants in the United States, 2008, par. 1). The number of unauthorized immigrants dwelling in the USA these days counts over fifty percent of the total number of immigrants. Statistically, immigrants from Mexico today represent close to four percent of all American population (Mexican Immigrants in the United States, par. 4).

Among all groups of Latin Americans living on the territory of the US, Mexicans represent the largest group. Initially, immigrants coming from Mexico were choosing to settle down in two states – Texas and California, these two locations eventually became traditional for the Mexicans to stay in, but eventually, these statistics started to change. Modern immigrants are more likely to head to such states as Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, or Georgia. The regions of Mexico that are the largest sources of illegal immigrants to the US are the big cities. The quality of life in bigger cities is a little bit better than in rural areas and villages, yet the opportunities to relocate are also better. Besides, people from rural regions have their own land and are mostly involved in agricultural work; they try to develop in Mexico, start their own business, and provide for the family. At the moment, the rate of unemployment in Mexico has reached forty percent, and accordingly, over forty percent of the population of Mexico lives below the line of poverty (GCSE Case Studies – Migration – Mexico to the USA, par.2).

The average pay for a worker in Mexico is a little bit more than four dollars per hour (Illegal Immigration from Mexico, par. 2). Judging from these numbers, there are serious reasons for the Mexican population to risk everything and try to illegally enter the territory of the United States in order to be able to live in better conditions. Even the low paid jobs these immigrants will be able to find in the US are much better than the work they would have to do in their own country. Around six billion dollars earned by immigrants in the United States are sent back to Mexico every year.

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Policy

People migrations have increased all over the world together with the process of globalization – free flow of ideas provided by the internet, free flow of money through investments and international funds, free form of goods on the world’s markets resulted as an active flow of people moving from one country to another, hunting the opportunities, sometimes illegally. Causes of migration are instabilities of the markets when markets are imperfect or inaccessible – migrations occur. Markets penetrate peripheral nations, and this makes some of their population mobiles. Negative fiscal effects of migration occur when migrants have children, whose education falls on local governments, and when migrants use resources of the social welfare net of the welfare state. On the other hand, migrants pay taxes and bring in some levels of human capital.

The question of national identity in the USA rose with the appearance of new nations on the country’s territory. Immigration started to be welcomed by the capitalistic society willing to receive low-cost labor. According to the Network theory, the cost of migration declines over time, once networks are developed, governments lose the power to control migration. Migration has a multiplier effect – each worker brings at least one more immigrant along within ten years; this is how flows of migrants become self-perpetuating.

After the decades of the constant flow of immigration on the territory of the US, the problem of confrontation between the immigrant population and the Americans became bigger, and an immigration policy started to be necessary. Over the years the country’s policy towards immigrants lost its consistency, various political leaders had different attitudes towards this issue. The policy was liberalized and then restricted several times. In the 90s, the government of the United States has used Simon’s principle in order to reduce the level of immigration in the country. According to that principle, unauthorized immigrants were denied access to social benefits and medical services. This helped reduce the number of immigrants in the US.

The peak of Mexican immigration has happened in 2007 and 2008, and then the numbers of illegal and unauthorized workers living in the US started to go down. This was caused by many factors. First of all, the economic crisis has influenced the real estate business, and the number of construction sites had decreased significantly, logically, the number of workers needed for the labor of this type has also gone lower. Besides, the number of Mexican immigrants arriving in the United States started to equal the number of people leaving the country, so the Mexican population stopped growing. At the same time, the financial situation in Mexico improved, and the country started to provide better opportunities for its citizens – social welfare and labor market policies in sending country are the factors in reducing migration.

Moreover, today many techniques that are used for illegal immigration are known to the border control services of the United States. According to the opinions of the experts, the downfall of immigration from Mexico is a temporary happening, and soon the number of people crossing the border illegally will start to grow again. This is why the country’s immigration policies have to be prepared. The control of illegal immigration has to be improved not only on the borders but inside of the country. Immigrant labor benefits the economy of the country; the problem is that the number of illegal workers is too large. Besides, the most important individual characteristics, such as education, professionalism, and language skills, are often not matched. President Obama has discussed the opportunities of new immigration reform to be created; besides, he is determined to extend the reprieves from deportation by giving the young immigrant workers the opportunity to receive a work permit. This is the way to turn the Brain drain into the brain circulation.

To my mind, the policy has to be directed at the reduction of a number of illegal workers through better control of the borders, the elimination of wage differentials, and application of social and care conditions for the people living on the territory of the United States of America without an authorization. The liberal position about migrations says that as long as this process carries benefits for the country, it should be supported.

Works Cited

GCSE Case Studies – Migration – Mexico to the USA. SLN. n. d. Web.

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Illegal Immigration from Mexico. US Immigration Support. 2012. Web.

Mexican Immigrants in the United States. MPI. 2010. Web.

Mexican Immigrants in the United States, 2008. Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Web.

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