The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

US/Mexico Cycle: The End of an Era

US-Mexico BorderMexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT) released today a "first of-its-kind" study on a developing trend in US-Mexico immigration: reentry. The study, "The US/Mexico Cycle: The End of an Era", utilizes information from in-person interviews with 600 returning migrants in order to detail the factors that are driving historic numbers of Mexican immigrants to return to their home country.

"During the study, several important key findings emerged from the data including:

  • Most immigrants from Mexico were part of a circular migratory system and never intended to permanently stay in the U.S. They stayed due to environmental factors.
  • A full 89% chose to return to Mexico on their own despite the general belief that most returned through deportation.
  • The three primary reasons for return migration centered on family matters that caused them to return, nostalgia for their country of origin and the inability to find jobs in the U.S.
  • Most return migrants hold a very positive view of the U.S. and respect its system of laws and processes.
  • More than half report that they will not return to the U.S. while 30% say they plan to return. Of those that plan to return, over 90% say they wish to return legally.
  • More than half of return migrants left family behind in the U.S., signaling a continued bond between the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Upon their return home, more migrants worked, more were self-employed and more made business investments in their communities as a result of their experience in the U.S."

For a more in-depth look at these key findings, MATT has made available the Summary Presentation on its website.

In order to prompt discussion on the effects this immigration trend does and will have on the U.S. and Mexico, MATT is also making available the study's raw data on its website (housed in a Microsoft Office Excel file) and welcomes individuals and organizations to further analyze its findings.