The number of undocumented Mexicans in the United States has declined.
According to estimates by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the number of compatriots in an illegal situation rose from 7.7 million, its peak shortly before the start of the Great Recession in 2008/09, to 5.2 million in mid-2021.
The civil organization highlights in an analysis released Tuesday the increasing diversification of the United States’ illegal population, a result of both the decline in the population of undocumented Mexican immigrants and the growing diversity of nationalities arriving at the border. from inside and outside the hemisphere.
“In addition to voluntary and forced returns and other factors driving this decline, it is likely that more Mexican migrants used legal routes to reach the United States, including the H-2A visa for seasonal agricultural work, so “Fewer people migrated illegally.” “irregularly,” he emphasizes.
From 2008 to 2021, more illegal Mexican immigrants left the United States than new arrivals each year.
“Many moved to the United States during the economic boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s to work in construction, agriculture or the service sector. The 2008-09 recession greatly reduced employment opportunities and many immigrants returned to Mexico,” he points out.
“In addition, conditions in Mexico had changed. Reducing family size reduced pressure on people to work abroad to support their families, and job opportunities began to increase as the Mexican economy recovered. from the financial crises of the 1980s and 1990s.”
The population decline of the large number of illegal Mexican immigrants was offset by an increase in irregular immigrants from other countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and Venezuela.
The MPI estimates that there were approximately 11.2 million illegal immigrants living in the United States in 2021, an increase of 200,000 compared to 2019. The increase is due in part to an increase in irregular arrivals at the US-Mexico border.
“These border arrivals represented an increasing mix of nationalities from the Americas and increasingly from outside the hemisphere,” he notes.
“The increase is also due to the increasing number of Europeans who have overstayed their non-immigrant visas.”