The Changing Patterns of Return Migration from the USA to Mexico and Their Policy Implications

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines changes in the characteristics of contemporary return migration to Mexico in a period dominated by tighter border controls and rising levels of involuntary, and therefore unplanned, return migration. We use the complete set of individual and household records of the 2005 Population Count of Mexico to establish a reliable benchmark against which to compare previous and subsequent migration patterns observed in the Mexican censuses and counts of 1995 and 2000 and, to a more limited extent, the 2010 Mexican Census. Our data suggest that individuals returning to Mexico today are choosing a different set of destination locales than in the past, in which returnees primarily returned to small rural communities in the Center-West of Mexico. In particular, they are now increasingly attracted to border cities, prosperous small towns, and growing metropolitan areas in Mexico. These attractive destinations for return appear to be less dependent on prior patterns of out-migration than on emerging patterns of economic opportunity within Mexico.

References

  1. Arias, Patricia. 2009. Del arraigo a la diáspora: dilemas de la familia rural. Guadalajara, México: Universidad de Guadalajara.Google Scholar
  2. Alarcón, R. 1992. Norteñización: Self-perpetuating migration from a Mexican town. In U.S.-Mexico relations: Labour market interdependence, ed. J. Bustamante, R.A. Hinojosa, and C. Reynolds, 302–318. San Francisco: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Black, R., and S. Gent. 2004. Defining, measuring and influencing sustainable return: The case of the Balkans. Sussex, England: Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty.Google Scholar
  4. Borjas, G.J., and B. Bratsberg. 1996. Who leaves? The outmigration of the foreign-born. The Review of Economics and Statistics 78(1): 165–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen, Y., and Y. Haberfeld. 2001. Self-selection and return migration: Israeli-born Jews returning home from the United States during the 1980s. Population Studies 55(1): 79–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cornelius, W.A. 2008. Introducción. Disuade el Control Fronterizo la Inmigración Documentada? In Los Impactos del Control Fronterizo Sobre la Migración Mexicana: Perspectivas desde las Comunidades de Origen, ed. W.A. Cornelius and J.M. Lewis, 13–30. Ciudad de México: Publicaciones de la Casa Chata/ CIESAS, CCIS, CIESAS-Occidente.Google Scholar
  7. Donato, K.M., C. Tolbert, A. Nucci, and Y. Kawano. 2008. Changing faces, changing places: The emergence of new nonmetropolitan immigrant gateways. In New faces in new places: The changing geography of American immigration, ed. D. Massey. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Durand, J., D. Massey, and R. Zenteno. 2001. Mexican immigration to the United States: Continuities and changes [Report]. Latin American Research Review 36(1): 107–127.Google Scholar
  9. Escobar, A. 2008a. Mexican policy and Mexico-U.S. migration. In Mexico-U.S. migration management: A binational approach, ed. A. Escobar and S. Martin. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  10. ————. 2008b. Pobreza y Migración Internacional en el México Rural: un Enfoque Antropológico. In Pobreza y Migración Internacional, ed. A. Escobar, 9–38. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social.Google Scholar
  11. Escobar, Agustin, Mercedes Gonzalez, and Bryan Roberts. 1987. Migration, labour markets and the international economy: Jalisco, Mexico and the United States. In Migrants, workers, and the social order, ed. J. Eades, 42–64. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  12. Fuentes, J., H. L’Esperance, R. Perez, and C. White. 2008. Impactos de las Políticas Migratorias Estadounidenses sobre la Conducta Migratoria. In Los Impactos del Control Fronterizo Sobre la Migración Mexicana: Perspectivas desde las Comunidades de Origen, ed. W.A. Cornelius and J.M. Lewis, 71–94. Ciudad de México: Publicaciones de la Casa Chata/CIESAS, CCIS and CIESAS-Occidente.Google Scholar
  13. Fussell, E. 2004a. Sources of Mexico’s migration stream: Rural, urban and border migrants to the United States. Social Forces 82(3): 937–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. ————. 2004b. Tijuana’s place in the Mexican migration stream: Destination for internal migrants or stepping stone to the United States? In Crossing the border: Research from the Mexican migration project, ed. J. Durand and D. Massey. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Gitter, S., R. Gitter, and D. Southgate. 2008. The impact of return migration to Mexico. Estudios Económicos 23(1): 3–23.Google Scholar
  16. Greene, J. 2016. From Mexico to Hawaii: Tracing the migration history of one family in Sabinilla, Jalisco. In Deportation and return in a border-restricted world: Experiences in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, ed. B. Roberts, N. Rodriguez, and C. Menjivar. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Gutiérrez Najera, L. 2007. Yalalag is no longer Yalalag: Circulating conflict and contesting community in a Zapotec transnational circuit. Unpublished Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
  18. Hagan, J., K. Eschbach, and N. Rodríguez. 2008. U.S. deportation policy, family separation, and circular migration. International Migration Review 42(1): 64–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hagan, J.M., R. Hernandez-Leon, and J.-J. Demonsant. 2015. Skills of the “Unskilled”: Work and mobility among Mexican migrants. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Janssen, E., and A. Escobar. 2008. Remesas y Costo de Oportunidad. El Caso Mexicano. In Pobreza y Migración Internacional, ed. A. Escobar, 245–264. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social.Google Scholar
  21. Kandel, W., and D. Massey. 2002. The culture of Mexican migration: A theoretical and empirical analysis. Social Forces 80(3): 981–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lam, K.-C. 1986. Imperfect information, specificity of schooling and rate of return migration. Economics Letters 21: 283–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. ————. 1994. Outmigration of foreign-born members in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'Economique 27(2): 352–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leach, M.A., and F.D. Bean. 2008. The structure and dynamics of Mexican migration to new destinations in the United States. In New faces in new places: The changing geography of American immigration, ed. D. Massey. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Leite, P., and A. Prieto. 2006. Migración Internacional en México: Balance y Retos Políticos. In La Situación Demográfica de México, ed. Consejo Nacional de Población, 149–165. Mexico City: CONAPO.Google Scholar
  26. Lindstrom, D. 1996. Economic opportunity in Mexico and return migration from the United States. Demography 33(3): 357–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lowell, L., C. Pederzini, and J.S. Passel. 2008. The demography of Mexico-U.S. migration. In Mexico-U.S. migration management: A binational approach, ed. A. Escobar and S. Martin. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  28. Martin, S. 2008. Politics of U.S. immigration reform. In Mexico-U.S. migration management, ed. A. Escobar and S. Martin, 125–144. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  29. Masferrer, C. 2012. Cuando el origen no es destino: ciclo de vida y el retorno como posibles vínculos entre la migración interna e internacional. Coyuntura Demográfica 2: 45–50.Google Scholar
  30. ————. 2015. De regreso a otro lugar: La relación entre la migración interna y de retorno en 2005. In Análisis espacial de las remesas, migración de retorno y crecimiento regional en México, ed. M. Valdivia López and F. Lozano Ascencio. Mexico, Mexico: CRIM-UNAM and Plaza y Valdés Editores.Google Scholar
  31. Masferrer, C., and B.R. Roberts. 2012. Going back home? Changing demography and geography of Mexican return migration. Population Research and Policy Review 31(4): 465–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Massey, D. 1990. Social structure, household strategies, and the cumulative causation of migration. Population Index 56: 3–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. ————. 1999. Why does immigration occur? A theoretical synthesis. In The handbook of international migration. The American experience, ed. C. Hirschman, P. Kasinitz, and J. DeWind, 21–52. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  34. ————. 2005a. Backfire at the border. Why enforcement without legalization cannot stop illegal immigration. Washington, DC: Center for Trade Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  35. ————. 2005b. Five myths about immigration: Common misconceptions underlying U.S. border enforcement policy. Washingont, D.C.: Immigration Policy Center.Google Scholar
  36. Massey, D., J. Durand, and N.J. Malone. 2003. Beyond smoke and mirrors. Mexican immigration in an era of economic integration. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  37. Massey, D., J. Durand, and F. Riosmena. 2006. Capital Social, Política Social y Migración desde Comunidades Tradicionales y Nuevas Comunidades de Origen en México. Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociales 116: 97–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Massey, D., and R. Zenteno. 1999. The dynamics of mass migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96(9): 5328–5335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Medina, D., and C. Menjívar. 2015. The context of return migration: Challenges of mixed-status families in Mexico’s schools. Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(12): 2123–2139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pavit, K. 1997. Cohort and period effects in U.S. migration: How demographic and economic cycles influence the migration schedule. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87(3): 439–450.Google Scholar
  41. Quintana Romero, L., and J.F. Pérez. 2014. Migración de retorno en México: un enfoque de aglomeraciones desde la Nueva Geografía Económica. In: Valdivia López M, Lozano Ascencio F (eds) Análisis espacial de las remesas, migración de retorno y crecimiento regional en México. CRIM-UNAM and Plaza y Valdés Editores, Mexico.Google Scholar
  42. Riosmena, F. 2004. Return versus settlement among undocumented Mexican migrants, 1980 to 1996. In Crossing the border. Research from the Mexican migration project, ed. J. Durand and D. Massey, 265–280. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Roberts, B. 1995. Socially expected durations and the economic adjustment of immigrants. In The economic sociology of immigration: Essays on networks, ethnicity, and entrepreneurship, ed. A. Portes. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  44. ————. 2016. Migration times and ethnic identity: Mexican migration to the United States over three generations. In Deportation and return in a border-restricted world: Experiences in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, ed. B. Roberts, N. Rodriguez, and C. Menjivar. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  45. Roberts, B., R. Frank, and F. Lozano-Asencio. 1999. Transnational migrant communities and Mexican migration to the US. Ethnic and Racial Studies 22(2): 238–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Roberts, B., and E. Hamilton. 2007. La Nueva Geografía de la Emigración: Zonas Emergentes de Atracción y Expulsión, Continuidad y Cambio. In El País Transnacional: Migración Mexicana y Cambio Social a Través de la Frontera, ed. M. Ariza and A. Portes. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.Google Scholar
  47. Ruben, R., M. van Houte, and T. Davids. 2009. What determines the embeddedness of forces-return migrants? Rethinking the role of pre- and post- return assistance. International Migration Review 43(4): 908–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smith, R.C. 2006. Mexican New York. Transnational lives of new immigrants. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  49. Tuirán, R., C. Fuentes, and J.L. Ávila. 2002. Índice de Intensidad Migratoria México-Estados Unidos 2000. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional de Población.Google Scholar
  50. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2009. Yearbook of immigration statistics: 2010. Washington, DC: Office of Immigration Statistics.Google Scholar
  51. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2011. Yearbook of immigration statistics: 2010.Washington, DC: Office of Immigration Statistics.Google Scholar
  52. United Nations Development Programme. 2007. Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano México 2006–2007. Migración y Desarrollo Humano. Mexico City: Mundi-Prensa, UNDP.Google Scholar
  53. Wheatley, C. 2016. Driven “Home”: Stories of voluntary and involuntary reasons for return among migrants in Jalisco and Oaxaca, Mexico. In Deportation and return in a border-restricted world: Experiences in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, ed. B. Roberts, N. Rodriguez, and C. Menjivar. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  54. Zenteno, R. 2008. Pobreza, Marginación y Migración Mexicana a Estados Unidos. In Pobreza y migración internacional, ed. A. Escobar, 85–130. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social.Google Scholar
  55. Zúñiga, V., and E.T. Hamann. 2014. Going to a home you have never been to: The return migration of Mexican and American-Mexican children. Children’s Geographies: 1–13 (ahead-of-print).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Estudios DemográficosUrbanos y Ambientales, El Colegio de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations