Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Policies That Increase Mexican Migration

Rebecca Galemba has a post at The Monkey Cage arguing that putting Mexican troops at the Guatemala border will not deter migration and will increase human rights abuses. At the very end she drops two intriguing sentences:

Making it harder for border residents to earn their livelihoods by traveling back and forth is the real security concern for residents. It could actually propel more to migrate to the United States.
We need to explore this further. If local residents feel under siege, they will get out. That means going to Mexican cities (internal displacement) and to the United States.

Indeed, one of the serious challenges for any sort of immigration policy is failure to understand likely consequences. The sharp uptick of enforcement after the passage of IRCA in 1986 prompted many people to remain in the U.S. rather than return to Mexico, which was the opposite of the intent. When NAFTA hit small Mexican farmers, it increased emigration, the opposite of the intent. This might fall into that category as well.


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