Monday, October 5, 2009

Immigration News Roundup - October 5, 2009

1. UN Human Development Report challenges common migration misconceptions: Allowing for migration—both within and between countries—has the potential to increase people’s freedom and improve the lives of millions around the world, according to the 2009 Human Development Report launched here today. Titled "Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development", the report casts new light on some common misconceptions. For example, most migrants do not cross national borders, but instead move within their own country: 740 million people are internal migrants, almost four times the number of international migrants. Among international migrants, less than 30 percent move from developing to developed countries.

Contrary to commonly held beliefs, migrants typically boost economic output and give more than they take. Detailed investigations show that immigration generally increases employment in host communities, does not crowd out locals from the job market and improves rates of investment in new businesses and initiatives. Overall, the impact of migrants on public finances—both national and local—is relatively small, while there is ample evidence of gains in other areas such as social diversity and the capacity for innovation.

At the report site you will also find multimedia resources, a quiz, and an interactive map. Even I, who thought I knew a lot about this topic, only got an average score on the quiz. And the map is useful for those who think the United States is being overrun by Spanish speakers. Yes, Mexico does account for a huge majority of our immigrants, which is not surprising given the history and proximity of our two countries (Mexico is also the primary destination of emigrants from the United States). But after that -- in order of number of immigrants -- come the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Germany, and India. Not El Salvador and Guatemala. Not Cuba...

2. More statistics from La Frontera:

  • Children crossing borders-1: Aurelio Alemán Bueno, the regional delegate for the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Migración, told EFE that the number of Mexican unaccompanied minors being repatriated across the border in the Tamaulipas region has increased 11.1%. Some 5,000 children have been deported by the United States back to Mexico as opposed to 4,500 in 2008. The children are placed in the hands of the municipal family services systems (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia). Alemán said the increase in the number being sent back reflects the increase in the number of children crossing the border to look for work in the first place.

  • Children crossing borders - 2: Thirty-three percent of minors who leave the United States without the authorization of one or both parents end up in Mexico, according to the United States consul in Monterey, Bruce Williamson. Most of these are custody dispute cases. Monica Rios, the legal director for Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, said that there are currently about 500 such cases (from the United States) in the Mexican judicial system. There are about 30 cases involving children from Spain and a handful from Central American countries.

  • The Grass is Greener en los EEUU: A new survey by Pew Global Attitudes finds that Mexicans overwhelmingly are dissatisfied with the direction of their country, and most believe life is better in the U.S. One-in-three would move to the U.S. if they had the opportunity, and more than half of those would do so without authorization.

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