Just as mass immigration is making
the United States an
so the extraordinary phenomenon of
from Mexico–what has been called the
"Mexodus" – is turning Mexico into a
pointed out on
, two reports recently released by the
Mexican government show just how entangled the U.S. and
Mexico are today.
The first, "Migration in Mexico and
the World," from the National Population Council (Conapo
revealed that over the last 40 years "registered"
emigration from Mexico exceeded 17 million –
overwhelmingly bound for the U.S. The second, from the
Bank of Mexico,
that in the first half of 2003 – for the
first time – remittances of U.S. dollars to Mexico by
Mexicans in the United States exceeded inflows from
foreign investment and tourism.
I`d like to add two points to
- Mexico`s population is now
approximately 100 million. The Conapo report
puts the number of Mexicans i.e. individuals born in
Mexico now living in the United States at 9.5 million.
Conapo estimates the number of American-born
children of Mexicans as 8.2 million. And it estimates
that there are 7.8 million second-generation
descendants of Mexicans in the United States. [
Llegaron a EU 17 millones de mexicanos By Sonia
Garcia, El Sol de Tijuana. August 29th,
is claiming that,
all told, there are more than 25.5 million Mexican
immigrants and their descendants in the U.S. – excluding
those derived from the pre-1963 presence.
In other words, one out every
five Mexicans in the world now lives in the U.S
Not surprisingly, Conapo
finds that emigration to America now thoroughly
permeates Mexican life. Nearly one in every five Mexican
households (18% - 3.8 million) have "some kind of
with the U.S. and/or
receive remittances. Essentially all (96%) of the 2,350
Mexican municipalities (municipios
) "have some
type of contact with the United States, either through
migration to that nation or returns from there, as well
as through money transfers from the United States."
Well over a third of Mexican municipios
38%) are characterized by Conapo
as having very
high, high or medium "migratory intensity."
in 25 (93 - 4%) is characterized as
having no emigration.
- The Bank of Mexico`s numbers
show that, in the first half of 2003, remittances
jumped by 29% to $6.3 billion. That suggests they
should be well over $12 billion for the year. Many of
those dollars would, of course, have been taxed away
if they had been earned legally in the U.S.
Remittances are certainly understated: the Bank of
Mexico counts dollars brought home by Mexicans
personally as "tourism" rather than what they almost
always are: the import of money gained up north.
, which approves
of remittances, admits that "the great majority of
the money is spent on satisfying basic needs, the
purchase of durable consumer goods or home improvement"
rather than in areas that create Mexican jobs.
Vicente Fox has
Mexicans in America as "heroes"
keep both the U.S. and Mexican economies afloat. But
some Mexicans now
and cities to the U.S. is good for
Mexico. (What it does to America is not their concern).
Roberto Madrazo, the leader of the
Partido Revolucionario Institucional
the monolithic former ruling party,
the dependence on remittances a "clear
indication that we are on the threshold of a social
Madrazo is right. At this point,
American immigration reform may be all that can arrest
Mexico`s slide into complete parasitism.The writer is an attorney in New York.