US Now Sends More Immigrants to Mexico

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 9/23/2013 12:05:00 PM
What would Cheech and Chong do about the United States now sending more migrants to Mexico than Mexico sends to the United States? That comedy act is stuck in a time warp where the supposedly backward Mexico always sends its unwashed masses to the United States in search of employment. So are today's uniquely Amerocentric debates about whether to give amnesty to illegal immigrants. Wake up to today's North American reality, boys and girls: On balance, the United States has sent more people to Mexico than vice-versa over the most recently recorded five-year period. The graphic above is from the New York Times, which also offers the thought-provoking companion article about how the real land of opportunity is Mexico:
Rising wages in China and higher transportation costs have made Mexican manufacturing highly competitive again, with some projections suggesting it is already cheaper than China for many industries serving the American market. Europe is sputtering, pushing workers away. And while Mexico’s economy is far from trouble free, its growth easily outpaced the giants of the hemisphere — the United States, Canada and Brazil — in 2011 and 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data, making the country more attractive to fortune seekers worldwide [...]

The shift with Mexico’s northern neighbor is especially stark. Americans now make up more than three-quarters of Mexico’s roughly one million documented foreigners, up from around two-thirds in 2000 [my emphasis], leading to a historic milestone: more Americans have been added to the population of Mexico over the past few years than Mexicans have been added to the population of the United States, according to government data in both nations.
In previous posts I've covered how Mexico is increasingly becoming the North American economic dynamo contrary to outdated beliefs that it is merely an entry route for drugs to the USA or a perennial source of migrants. The implications are meaningful and interesting. First, the emergence of Mexico as a manufacturing hub in the Americas challenges China's role as factory to the world given the latter's geographic disadvantage. Second, the US Census folks do not--and probably cannot--account for such migratory shifts as nearby countries become more progressive than the United States. Hence, expectations that declines in US birth rates will be more than compensated for by migration to the US are probably overstated. Detroitification or depopulation of the US is a very real threat if so. Third, it does bother me that the rest of the world so easily imbibes American prejudices about Mexicans when the latter hold the better cards in today's global political economy.

Make no mistake: the real Americans us folks from the developing world are better off emulating are probably those south of the border with their young, dynamic and manufacturing-savvy economy. Their football team may be doing poorly at the moment, but hey, I would readily forego the World Cup finals for a place at the top of the World Economy league table. Go south, young Yank, go south--but learn Spanish before you do.

Things change, my dear. At this rate I may be laughing my head off hearing Mexican policymakers debating what to do with all those Yanqui "illegals" in a few years' time.