Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rural Return Migration: Mexico

Last year, 400,000 Mexicans returned to Mexico from the United States. Rural communities are bursting at the seams trying to deal with the influx of repats. On the balance, the growth is good:

"The difficulties in finding a job in the US and the threat of new immigration laws in states like Arizona have led to a curb in migration," says Carmen Dorantes, director of Hidalgo's government office to help returning migrants.

"Mexicans who live there are now deciding to return, or at least send some members of their families back to Mexico," she says. ...

... "People come with their assets to establish new businesses. Those returning may speak three languages - English, Spanish and their local indigenous language. They have new skills. In a way, it will be easier for them to find a job than for those who never left the country," Mrs Dorantes says.

And that might cause some misgivings in the local communities, as the returning migrants change the make-up of their home towns, local authorities fear.

Emphasis added. I've seen similar behavior in Rust Belt cities. Locals are less than welcoming to repats. Going home can be hard. For example, return migrants to Ireland experience social isolation. You might be from there. But you no longer belong.

The part I put in bold face type speaks to the economic development that occurs thanks to migration. Better to leave than to stay. People develop, not places.

No comments: