As U.S. Job Opportunities Fade, More Mexicans Look Homeward
After a historic immigration wave, many Mexicans and other Latin Americans are preparing to return to their homelands amid the deepening recession here. Mexicans who reside in the U.S. sought Mexican citizenship for their U.S.-born children in record numbers last year.
The number of people caught trying to sneak into the U.S. along the border with Mexico is at its lowest level since the mid-1970s. While some of the drop-off is the result of stricter border enforcement, the weaker U.S. economy is likely the main deterrent. Border Patrol agents apprehended 705,000 people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30. That is down from 858,638 a year before and from 1.1 million two years earlier.
U.S. nationality has long been regarded as a prized commodity for immigrants from developing countries. Anti-illegal immigrant activists accuse Latin American migrants of giving birth to "anchor babies" in the U.S. in order to secure welfare and other benefits.