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Published on February 24, 2008

Author: Elliott

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Slide1:  How Border Enforcement Has Reshaped Mexican Migration to the United States Wayne A. Cornelius Director, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies University of California-San Diego U.S. Border Enforcement Expenditures:  U.S. Border Enforcement Expenditures Concentrated border enforcement era FY 2008 spending on border enforcement: $8.8 billion FY 2008 spending on border + internal enforcement: $13 billion Slide3:  Secure Fence Act of 2006: 700 miles of new fencing Slide4:  Currently: 75 miles of fencing + 50 miles of vehicle barriers on U.S.-Mexico border Secure Fence Act of 2006 would build 700 miles of new fencing (fortify about 1/3 of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border) President Bush’s latest immigration reform proposal would build 370 miles of new fencing + 200 miles of vehicle barriers + 300-mile “virtual wall” Now underway: The Secure Border Initiative (a.k.a. “Virtual Fence”):  Now underway: The Secure Border Initiative (a.k.a. “Virtual Fence”) Up to $2 billion project: Dept. of Homeland Security contract to Boeing Co. 1,800 high-tech towers to be built along U.S.-Mexico border (none on Canadian border) Equipped with advanced radar systems, video surveillance cameras Ground sensors to detect movement, sound Vehicle barriers Small unmanned aerial vehicles to be launched from pickup trucks by Border Patrol 28-mile “pilot” segment to be built in Arizona; entire project to be completed within 3-6 years 10-story high Project 28 surveillance tower near Sasabe, Arizona:  10-story high Project 28 surveillance tower near Sasabe, Arizona Slide7:  Bush Administration’s border enforcement build-up will cost nearly $50 billion in next 4 years Slide8:  Operation Jump Start Deployment of National Guard to Southwest border, June 15, 2006 - present Slide9:  Southwest Border Apprehensions FY 06: 1,089,096 FY 94: 1,031,668 Slide10:  Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff shows drop in border apprehensions (news conference, October 30, 2006) Total borderwide apprehensions in FY 2006: 1,089,096 (decrease of 8.4% from FY 2005) Apprehensions were down 30% in 2nd quarter of 2007 Fiscal Year (ended March 31) What explains the drop in Southwest border apprehensions in 2006-07?:  What explains the drop in Southwest border apprehensions in 2006-07? Reduced circularity: Fewer return trips = fewer apprehensions (if migrants aren’t going home, they aren’t getting caught when they return to their jobs in U.S.). Fewer apprehensions DON’T = true deterrence/Border Patrol efficacy -- Migrants are bottled up within U.S. by tougher border enforcement. Cost (coyote fees) + physical risks of reentry are prohibitively high. -- Migrants are delaying return trips in anticipation of “amnesty” legislation, don’t want to jeopardize their eligibility by being apprehended at border Increased use of coyotes = higher probability of successful entry; coyotes eventually will find new routes/modes of entry More crossings being made through legal ports of entry, concealed in vehicles or using false docs = lower probability of apprehension (over 200 million crossings/yr. are made through POES on US-Mex border; close scrutiny impossible) Less U.S. demand for labor: U.S. home construction industry is depressed, jobs magnet is diminished Slide12:  Net growth, 2000-2005: 500,000 per year Stock of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, in millions (estimate by Pew Hispanic Center, March 2006) Year Slide13:  Generalization #1: Physical fortifications (walls) don’t stop determined economic migrants: They go over them, under them, around them. Slide14:  SOURCE: Cornelius 2005 Major Border Patrol Operations New Migration Routes Slide15:  Deflection of illegal entries away from central Arizona to California (San Diego) and Texas (El Paso, Laredo) Slide16:  Generalization #2: Partial militarization of borders only rechannels unauthorized migration flows; it does not reduce them overall. If the probability of apprehension is not uniformly high, migrants will continue to cross in areas where risk of detection remains low. Slide17:  Generalization #3: The unintended consequences of border enforcement are usually more important than the predicted outcome (i.e., deterrence of unwanted immigration). Unintended consequences include: creating new opportunities for professional people-smugglers making borders more lethal (increasing migrant fatalities. higher rates of permanent settlement in migrant-receiving countries Slide18:  Deaths due to unauthorized border crossings, detected in U.S.-Mexico borderlands (total: 4,235) Source: Mexican Consulates/Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations. Includes unidentified bodies and bodies found on both sides of border. Slide19:  Bodies of undocumented border crossers discovered in Pima County, Arizona Slide20:  Migrant-sending towns being studied by CCIS Tlacuitapa, Jal. Tunkas, Yuc. San Miguel Tlacotepec. Oax. Fieldwork completed, 2005-2007:  Fieldwork completed, 2005-2007 2,188 standardized survey interviews: Jalisco, Zacatecas 2005: 603 Yucatán, 2006: 724 Jalisco, 2007: 861 120 semi-structured “life history” interviews, digitally recorded and transcribed 185 survey interviews done in U.S. receiving cities: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Union City, CA; Oklahoma City, OK Circular migration has declined sharply (among migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007):  Circular migration has declined sharply (among migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007) On most recent (or current) trip to U.S., 37% stayed longer than expected 48% of unauthorized migrants interviewed in U.S. had been living there continuously for at least 5 years 64% of interviewees in Tlacuitapa have at least 1 relative who has remained in U.S. due to border enforcement Key indicators: Slide23:  Average duration of duration of stay in U.S. has more than doubled during border build-up Border enforcement build-up Source: CCIS survey of migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007 Slide24:  Social gathering of recently returned migrants, Tlacuitapa, Jan. 2005 Other measures of reduced circularity in migration 81% of migrants interviewed in U.S. receiving communities in January 2007 had not returned to hometown for annual fiestas Why migrants didn’t return to hometown in 2007:  Why migrants didn’t return to hometown in 2007 Slide26:  Whole families increasingly migrate together, leaving hometown houses vacant Uninhabited houses found in Tlacuitapa, Jal., 1995-2007 Slide27:  Source: UCSD survey of migrants from Tunkás, Yucatan, 2006 Apprehensions by time period, among Yucatan migrants Apprehensions by time period, among Jalisco migrants:  Apprehensions by time period, among Jalisco migrants Source: UCSD survey of migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007, N=232. Border Patrol apprehensions on most recent trip to U.S. (among unauthorized Jalisco migrants, 2007):  Border Patrol apprehensions on most recent trip to U.S. (among unauthorized Jalisco migrants, 2007) No apprehensions (entered undetected on first try): 68.5% 1 apprehension: 19.8% 2 apprehensions: 5.4% 3 apprehensions: 2.7% 4 or more: 3.6% (N=257) Slide30:  92% of Jalisco + Zacatecas migrants (2005) were able to enter eventually, on same trip 97% of Yucatan migrants (2006) eventually succeeded, on same trip 92% of Jalisco migrants (2007) were able to enter eventually, on same trip Probability of retry and success after a failed illegal entry (among those apprehended on most recent trip to the border) Source: UCSD surveys of migrants originating in four migrant-sending communities in Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Yucatan, in 2005, 2006, 2007. Slide31:  Most unauthorized migrants now hire coyotes, and pay more for their services Migrants Migrants from Yucatán from Jalisco Used coyote on last trip: 89.8% 81.1% Crossed unassisted: 10.2 18.9 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Median coyote fee paid on last trip (real 2006$): $1,575 $1,743 Source: UCSD surveys of migrants from Tunkas, Yucatan (2006) and Tlacuitapa, Jalisco (2007). N= 304, 227, 165. Slide33:  Coyote fee paid on most recent trip to U.S., among migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jalisco Source: UCSD survey of January 2005. More unauthorized entries are being made through legal ports of entry:  More unauthorized entries are being made through legal ports of entry Passed through a POE: 29.3% (How passed through POE?) Showing false or borrowed papers: 40.4% Hidden in vehicle: 48.0 Bribing a U.S. official: 7.7 Paying a coyote: 1.9 Source: UCSD survey of migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007 Clandestine migrants and potential migrants are highly knowledgeable about intensified border enforcement:  Clandestine migrants and potential migrants are highly knowledgeable about intensified border enforcement 75% of unauthorized migrants from Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Yucatan in 2005-2006 knew about U.S. concentrated border enforcement operations 91% of Jalisco migrants + potential first-timers in 2007 had heard about new border fences approved by U.S. Congress (“el muro”) 73% of Jalisco migrants + potential first-timers in 2007 had heard about National Guard deployment (and 94% believed that National Guardsmen are armed) (N=600-858) Slide36:  97% of migrants and potential migrants from Jalisco (2007) believe it is “very dangerous” to cross the border without papers (81% of Yucatecan migrants, 2006) 80% of Jalisco migrants know someone who died trying to cross border (12% of Yucatecan migrants) Father of migrant who died in Arizona desert in 1998, at son’s gravesite in Tlacuitapa, Jal. Clandestine border crossings are perceived as very dangerous Propensity to migrate to U.S. in next 12 months (among residents of Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007):  Propensity to migrate to U.S. in next 12 months (among residents of Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007) 29.3% of experienced unauthorized migrants were planning to migrate again in 2007 Reason for not going to U.S. in 2007 (among experienced unauthorized migrants in Tlacuitapa, Jalisco):  Reason for not going to U.S. in 2007 (among experienced unauthorized migrants in Tlacuitapa, Jalisco) N=94 Slide39:  Measuring perceived obstacles to illegal entry Relative importance of deterrence factors (among unauthorized migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007):  Relative importance of deterrence factors (among unauthorized migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007) (single greatest concern:) 1. Natural hazards (extreme climate): 48.0% 2. Mexican bandits: 14.9 3. More Border Patrol agents: 13.1 4. New fences (“el muro”): 11.2 5. Mexican police: 5.9 6. National Guard: 5.0 7. Minutemen/vigilantes 1.4 (N=221) Slide41:  The cost/benefit ratio still strongly favors migration (high probability of success in entering or reentering after apprehension, and of gaining U.S. employment). There is very weak evidence that unauthorized migration is being deterred at the point of origin in Mexico, or at the border, but strong evidence that return migration from U.S. to Mexico is being discouraged. Conclusions Basic supply and demand forces are undermining border enforcement:  Basic supply and demand forces are undermining border enforcement Strong and growing U.S. demand for immigrant labor, at all skill levels Extremely limited worksite enforcement, which has no industry-wide impact on demand for unauthorized migrant labor Real-wage gap between Mexico and the United States (at least 10:1 for most low-skilled jobs) continues to grow Family ties with U.S.-based relatives encourage and facilitate migration for family reunification Potential migrants perceive high probability of gaining U.S. employment:  Potential migrants perceive high probability of gaining U.S. employment Question: “How probable is it that you will find a job in the U.S., the next time you go (between 0 and 100%)?” Median response: 80% Source: UCSD survey of migrants from Tlacuitapa, Jalisco (2007), N=188. Slide44:  Most migration is driven by U.S.-pull factors rather than Mexico-push factors Question: “The last time you went to the U.S., would you say that it was mainly to escape conditions in Mexico, or because of the opportunities that the U.S. offers?” Migrants Migrants from Yucatán from Jalisco Conditions in Mexico: 19% 17% Opportunities in U.S.: 81% 83% Source: UCSD surveys of migrants from Tunkas, Yucatan (2006) and Tlacuitapa, Jalisco (2007). N= 226, 349 Social network ties encourage/facilitate migration (among residents of Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007):  Social network ties encourage/facilitate migration (among residents of Tlacuitapa, Jal., 2007) Currently have at least one nuclear family member in the U.S.: 85% (among unauthorized migrants: 94%) Had at least one relative living in U.S. prior to first migration: 91% Obtained most of money to finance most recent migration to U.S. from relatives or friends in U.S.: 54% Obtained current U.S. job in through referral from relative or friend in U.S.: 71% Found coyote used on most recent trip to U.S. through relative or friend in U.S.: 34% (N=193-732) Policy recommendations:  Policy recommendations Focus less on walling ourselves off from the rest of the world – especially Mexico – and more on increasing the rate of return on immigration by integrating immigrants and enhancing the human capital that they bring. Create alternatives to emigration in sending areas (targeted development programs that create higher-paying jobs) Legalize most unauthorized immigrants already here, to reduce vulnerability to employer exploitation and downward pressure on wages Provide more legal entry opportunities for new immigrants, both high-skilled and low-skilled, temporary and permanent (reduce “manufactured illegality”) Questions and further information: Wayne Cornelius Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD Tel. 858-822-4447 wcorneli@ucsd.edu http://www.ccis-ucsd.org :  Questions and further information: Wayne Cornelius Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD Tel. 858-822-4447 wcorneli@ucsd.edu http://www.ccis-ucsd.org

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