Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Columns

January 19, 2014

CEPEDA: Debunking the stereotypes of immigration

(Continued)

Only at the very bottom of the list did researchers find a scant 1.7 percent of respondents who said their return was influenced by anti-immigrant rhetoric.

And when returning immigrants arrived back in Mexico, more believed that they were better able to find jobs, become self-employed and make more business investments in their communities as a result of their experiences north of the border.

Once home, the 600 returning immigrants who sat for in-depth interviews reported holding a very positive view of the U.S. and a genuine respect for its system of laws and processes.

More than half said they will not return to the U.S., but 30 percent did say they planned to come back — most likely because about half of them left family behind in the U.S.

Notably, of those who said they planned to return, more than 90 percent made clear that they wish to someday return legally.

Though MATT’s research was conducted as part of its “Yo Soy Mexico” (”I am Mexico”) initiative, which works to match returning immigrants with job, education and investment opportunities in Mexico, this eye-opening data must give pause to those of us primarily concerned with immigration reform efforts stateside.

Understanding that the ebbing of one of the largest migrations in history was not due to our own flagging economy but rather a reflection of the strong pull of family, culture and life “back home” in Mexico speaks to our country’s need for flexible guest worker programs.

Such a change in how people can come here and then return would allow our border security measures to focus on regulating illegal immigration instead of inadvertently causing temporary workers to feel like they have to stay put here or be banished from this country forever.

“This is a big eye-opening moment,” said Aracely Garcia-Granados, executive director of MATT. “We were under the assumption that all these people want is to come and stay, to take advantage of everything and that we need to keep them out. Instead, we confirm that Mexican migration is circular and that immigrants have a great respect for our system of laws and want to do things legally.”

For me, the findings underscore how an immigration reform offering legalization, as opposed to a politically fraught expedited pathway to citizenship, could be a workable compromise. Giving workers the legal right to live and work in both countries at different times of their lives would benefit the economies of Mexico and the United States.

Esther J. Cepeda is a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group. She can be reached at estherjcepeda@washpost.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The sheer dumbness of an enormous dome There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 22, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 21, 2014

  • LYONS: When academic committees play 'police' If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.E

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.