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Mexican Immigrants Hunkering Down, Staying Put During Bad Economy, Say Santa Monica Researchers

Mexicans.
Mexicans.
Kate Gardiner

Bad news, John & Ken:

While the New York Times recently reported that would-be Mexican immigrants are staying away from our crap economy in droves in favor of improving prospects at home, the ones who already crossed the border are staying put more often than not.

That according to a new study from Santa Monica's RAND think tank, which states:

Fewer Mexican immigrants returned home from the United States during 2008 and 2009 than in the two years prior to the start of the recession ...

Lead author Michael Rendall says, "Migration in both directions between the United States and Mexico slowed during the recession, but our findings show there was no rush by Mexican immigrants to return home."

Now, if the car wash/babysitting/hotel-room cleaning biz isn't good here, and things are improving back home, what the hell?

The theory, according to RAND, is that immigrants who came here are staying put longer because it's taking them longer to reach their monetary target. In other words, they had a number in their heads, and it's taking longer to reach it because of the slow traffic outside Home Depot.

RAND:

... Return migration to Mexico during the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2007 totaled 117,120 and 133,490, the numbers dropped to 95,238 and 79,959 during the fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009 ...

So, sorry immigrant haters. You can always do your part to hasten their return to Mexico by depending on migrant labor for your everyday needs -- from restaurants to valets to lawn care.

Oh wait, you already do. Hypocrites.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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