Mexico-U.S. Migration: Past, Present, and Future Trends —and, Are There Other Mexicos in Our Future?

Wednesday November 06

  • By: Maryland School of Public Policy, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Norman and Florence Brody Family Foundation
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Time Zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada)
  • Location:
    Washington Marriott
    1221 22nd Street, NW
    Washington, DC

Between 1970 and 2011, the total foreign-born population in the U.S. (authorized and not) about quadrupled (rising from about 9.7 million to about 40.4 million). As a percentage of the total population it more than doubled (from about 4.7 percent to about 13.0 percent). In 2011, more migrants were from Mexico (11.7 million) than any other country, providing 30 percent of the foreign-born population and far surpassing the next two countries, India and China (each with only 5 percent of the foreign-born total). The total number of Mexican migrants increased more than fifteen-fold from 1970 to 2011. Why did so many Mexicans come to this country? And why, since about 2005, has net migration from Mexico apparently fallen to about zero (with as many Mexicans returning to their place of birth as are entering the country)? Is this change likely to be permanent? Finally, regardless of whether there might be an indefinite pause in Mexican migration, are there other Mexicos-in Latin America or elsewhere-in our future? And what are the implications for policy?


  • Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland School of Public Policy (moderator);
  • Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies;
  • Jason Marczak, Deputy Director, Arsht Latin America Center, Atlantic Council;
  • Jeffrey Passel, Senior Demographer, Pew Hispanic Center; and
  • Andrew Selee, Vice President for Programs and Founding Director, Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center.

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