Flow of Illegals `Inevitable': A Mexican Agency Predicts That the Mexican-Born U.S. Population Will at Least Double, Up to 18 Million, by the Year 2030. (Trends)

Article excerpt

The steady, massive flow of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants into the United States cannot be stopped and won't decrease dramatically, even if the Mexican economy blooms, concludes a study by Mexico's National Population Council, a Ministry of the Interior agency. "The migratory phenomenon between Mexico and the United States is structural and permanent," states Mexico's National Population Council in its report, Migration: Mexico-United States. "Diverse factors such as geographic proximity, the asymmetrical and growing economic integration and intense relations and exchanges between both countries make the creation of migratory flow inevitable."

The council's report, published in Mexico in November, was ignored in the United States until David Simcox, board chairman of the nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies, produced an analysis and summary of the document. Given the most favorable scenarios for Mexico's economy and U.S.-Mexican wage ratios, "annual emigration in 2030 will still approach 400,000 a year, 8.3 percent to 11.4 percent higher than the 370,000 estimated for 2000" says Simcox, who has been studying Mexican immigration since 1986.

Other prominent U.S. demographers who study Mexican immigration tend to agree with the study's general observations. "Without reference to politics, and considering only the scientific framework, Mexico and the United States are Siamese twins" says Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, a Harvard Graduate School of Education professor and author who heads the university's Immigration Project. "Immigration from Mexico is our history and our destiny. That is the basic dynamic of the situation seen after 20 years of study."

It's widely believed that Mexicans flock to the United States principally because they are seeking jobs and want to pursue the American Dream. By this account, a widespread rise in the pay of Mexican workers, accompanying a major, large-scale improvement in Mexico's economy, would reduce the number of Mexicans crossing to the United States.

But according to Mexico's population council, "The most favorable economic conditions will express themselves in only slightly lower flows in the constant rate of migration," even if there is a simultaneous fall in the Mexican birthrate. …