Pew Hispanic Report

Pew Hispanic Report

Pew Hispanic Report. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

For the last 40 years the largest wave of immigrants from a single country to the U.S. has come to a standstill. Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center talks about a new report just released.

TAYLOR: We think this report has some historic dimensions. This is the immigration wave from Mexico that started roughly 4 decades ago in absolute numbers is the largest immigration wave from a single country in United States history. It has come to a standstill and the reason we’re confident in saying that is this is not a one-year phenomena.

Taylor says the numbers are very solid.

TAYLOR: The most comprehensive numbers we have suggest that in the 5-year period from 2005 to 2010, those coming in from Mexico and those going back to Mexico from the United States were in equilibrium. And as Jeff will explain, our guess is towards the end of that period actually the return flow to Mexico exceeded the inflow.

Jeff Passel, Senior Demographer with the Pew Hispanic Center was one of the co-authors of this report.

PASSEL: We did put together data from a variety of sources. We had new access this fall to the 2010 Mexican census which was a key piece of this because it really is the first thing that shows definitive numbers about people going back to Mexico. We drew on a number of surveys that the Mexican government does

A number of these surveys centered around the migrant population.

PASSEL: The trend of Mexicans moving into the United States has clearly been going down and throughout this 5-year period it dropped substantially. The trend of the flow of people going back to Mexico seems to be going up during this period. Because the two balance out when you put together a decreasing flow to the U.S. and an increasing flow to Mexico, by the end of the 2005 to 2010 period we reached a situation where there were almost certainly more people going to Mexico than coming to the United States.

What that will mean for the ag community at the moment is anyones guess. If the trend holds there may continue to be shortages of seasonal workers. Interestingly, when measured not in absolute numbers but as a share of the immigrant population at the time, immigration waves from Germany and Ireland in the late 19th century equaled or exceeded the modern wave from Mexico.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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