A Revolving Door No More? A Statistical Profile of Mexican Adults Repatriated from the United States
Repeat migration is slowing significantly for Mexican adults removed from the United States. An official survey of Mexican adults removed or voluntarily returned by the U.S. government found an 80 percent drop in the number intending to seek re-entry, from 471,000 in 2005 to 95,000 in 2015. Overall, the share of Mexican returnees saying they intended to return to the United States fell from 95 percent in 2005 to 49 percent in 2015.
This stark shift in the decision-making of Mexican returnees represents an important aspect of the changing dynamics of U.S.-Mexico migration—one worth considering as U.S. policymakers contemplate appropriating vast new sums for additional border enforcement.
This report provides a statistical profile of Mexican adults repatriated from the United States between 2005 and 2015. Using representative data collected in the Mexican Northern Border Survey (EMIF Norte) and repatriation data from the Mexican Interior Ministry, it explores the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of deportees, their immigration histories, and information on their future migration plans and minor children left behind in the United States.
While a number of factors likely contribute to the decision of repatriated adults to forgo repeat illegal migration and instead remain in Mexico, this trend has profound implications for governments and communities on both sides of the border. For Mexico, it highlights the importance of building out reception services to ensure the successful social and economic reintegration of repatriated Mexican adults who can contribute to future economic growth in Mexico. Such programs, as well as economic conditions in both Mexico and the United States, will determine whether the revolving door of migration continues to slow.
II. An Overview of Adults Repatriated from the United States in 2005-15
A. Numbers Repatriated
B. Years of U.S. Residence
C. Intentions to Return to the United States or Remain in Mexico
III. A Detailed Profile of Adults Repatriated in 2015
A. Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics
B. Immigration Experiences
C. Mexican Consular Contact
D. Minor Children Left in the United States
E. Intended Return Destination in Mexico