The decreased immigration from Mexico may also indicate improved economic conditions in Mexico for newer generations who are choosing to remain in Mexico.
By Alex Gonzalez
The new Pew Research survey shows that the number of Mexican immigrants has sharply decreased, and the growth of the Mexican American population increased by only 13% from 2020 to 2022.
The decline in the number of Mexican immigrants can be seen in a positive light. While the overall Mexican American population grew by a significant 13% from 2020 to 2022, considering they make up 60% (37.2 m) of the total 62.5 million “Hispanic” population in the US, this growth is largely attributed to US-born Mexican Americans.
When it comes to Mexican immigrants, a new trend has emerged – they are predominantly well-educated Mexicans. Furthermore, in regions like Texas, many Mexican immigrants are wealthy business people relocating to Texas or settling in border towns such as Laredo, El Paso, or Brownsville for safety reasons. The decreased immigration from Mexico may also indicate improved economic conditions in Mexico for newer generations who are choosing to remain, despite media reports of violence.
The long-term implications of these trends – reduced Mexican immigration and the growth of US-born Mexican Americans – can be explained by what Tomas Jimenez argues in his book “Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity.” In his book, Jimenez posits that it took two generations for Southern and Eastern Europeans to fully “assimilate” in the US following the cessation of immigration from those regions in 1924. In Jimenez argument, there must be a pause in immigration to enable new generations to seamlessly integrate into “mainstream America.”
While Mexican immigrants will continue to arrive in the US due to North American regional integration and the strong cultural and historical ties between the US and Mexico, the future of Mexican immigration to the US will not primarily consist of undocumented laborers, as has been the historical pattern in the Southwest for over a century. This marks a positive development.