Saturday, November 22, 2008

People are traveling less these days

According to the Mexican government fewer Mexicans are emigrating these days.

Government statistics show that 1.2 million people left Mexico in 2006 and only 814,000 in 2007.

Now, best guess estimates are that the real number in 2006 was more like 2.1 million (I hate it when dyslexics become statisticians!) but even so there has been a decline in people coming to the United States from Mexico.

The Mexican economy is in trouble just like most of the world, but the keys to the downturn are visible enforcement (worksite raids) and unemployment. I find it interesting that in both cases the key component is JOBS. They come here for jobs, live like peasants, and send money home. (Which reminds me, remittances back to Mexico are also down substantially.)

So for now it ain’t worth it. Silent amnesty isn’t a big enough prize to risk the trip north.

But there are some huge incentives looming. First, that Obama and the democrat congress are poised to fast-track amnesty, and the name of the game with amnesty is to prove that you’ve been here a long time. In 1986 the test was at least four years documented proof that you were undocumented in the USA. (Sounds funny, doesn’t it?)

The second incentive is a perception that under Obama the USA is wide open to opportunity in the form of socialist programs (which already exist, with more on the way) and protection from discrimination.

Obama stumped full opportunity for all for the last two years. If you want to you can go to college, get health insurance, get a job, have every dream fulfilled. That sounds a lot better than street battles and corrupt officials in Mexico.

It will be interesting to see the numbers starting around November 5, 2008 going forward.

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