Understanding poverty in Mexico can help us further understand immigration rates into the United States and how to create more effective policies regarding immigration in the U.S.
Immigrants from Mexico typically have a higher rate of poverty than those who are native to their country, which is referring to American natives. Approximately 25 percent of Mexican born immigrants live in conditions that are considered impoverished while living in the U.S.
This means that many immigrants that migrate to the U.S. are eligible for state-funded programs, despite having immigrant status. This leads to the controversy that many hear about in the U.S. Numerous policies regarding immigration take into consideration that many immigrants are living in poverty, and would be in need of government assistance in order to sustain a normal and healthy life.
Mexican immigrants have been the largest group of immigrants to migrate to the U.S. since the 1980s and therefore, it is not surprising that many immigration policies are directed more so to that group of the population. This is particularly important because this means that policies take into consideration that many immigrations are living in impoverished conditions and will therefore be more dependent on the government.
This is a largely contributing factor to the strict policies regarding immigration and deportation over the last twenty years or so in the U.S. Becoming a U.S. citizen and immigration into the U.S. particularly from Mexico is more difficult than it has ever been and the economic pull has much to do with such strict policies.
Poverty stricken Mexican immigrants have traveled to the U.S. with hopes for more economic prosperity, however, this is often more difficult than many immigrants anticipate. Despite finding minimum wage jobs, if that, many do not make enough money to find themselves or their families living above the poverty line. Therefore, many continue living under a poverty status and are depending on the state and government funding.
Unfortunately, a great deal Mexican immigrants find themselves continuing to live in poverty after leaving their native country, on their journey to live out the American Dream. That being said, the U.S. government has created policies with these conditions and potential outcomes in mind.
– Alexandrea Jacinto
Sources: Center for Immigration Studies, Migration Policy Institute