Though Mexico continues to be characterized by high levels of emigration and in the last two decades has been more and more a transit country for migrants travelling to the United States, immigration has increased significantly in recent years. In 2013, Mexico saw more than 60,700 permanent immigrants enter the country, almost three times the average of the three previous years. Although temporary migration has decreased, particularly in comparison to 2012, total immigrants to the country in 2013 were some 65% higher than the previous year.
The foreign-born population has grown somewhat in recent years but continued to be less than one percent of the total population in 2013.
Regular migration of Mexicans to the United States has continued to increase and in 2013 was 13% greater than in 2010. At the same time, estimates of irregular immigration show important decreases in the number of Mexicans entering the United States since the economic crisis, with a decline of approximately one million in total between 2007 and 2012, according to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Centre.
The recovery of the U.S. economy is undoubtedly related to the positive results of the labor market outcomes for Mexican migrants observed in OECD countries in general, considering that more than 85 percent of Mexican emigrants reside in the United States. The unemployment rate for Mexican workers in the United States and Europe declined around two percentage points from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, with falls recorded for both men and women.
Between 2012 and 2013, Mexico saw an increase of 60% in the number of asylum requests, with 1,296 requests recorded in 2013. Most petitioners were from Honduras, El Salvador and Cuba. In the same year, 1,779 refugees lived in Mexico, most of them of Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran origin.
Mexico continues to be the largest recipient of remittances in all of Latin America, in absolute terms, with 21.6 billion dollars being remitted in 2013 (approximately 2% of Gross Domestic Product), almost all from the United States. Nevertheless, the amount of remittances actually declined relative to 2012, by about -3.8%.
The current government administration’s 2013-2018 National Development Plan includes a Special Migration Program 2014-2018. The program’s state aim is to promote an integral, inter-sectorial, participative immigration policy based on promoting human rights, sustainable development, gender, interculturality and human security.
From 2008 to 2013, more than 16,000 Mexicans have left Spain and returned to Mexico, according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute. Between 2010 and 2013, more than 1.5 million Mexican migrants have been repatriated by U.S. authorities, according to Mexican government figures. Since 2014, the government, through the National Migration Institute, has implemented the “We Are Mexican” initiative (“Somos Mexicanos”), which widens the reach of the Human Repatriation Programme, implemented since 2007. The program seeks to serve the immediate needs of repatriated nationals, providing them with information, orientation, food, shelter, medical assistance, telephone calls to relatives, relocation and ease of return to their communities of origin as well as employment and social integration.
Further, the Paisano Program, established in 1989, is a program that supports Mexican migrants that temporary visit the country in relation to address the information needs during their entry into, transfer through or exit from Mexico. Paisano facilitates administrative migratory process and customs regulations, importation of vehicles, health and sanitary regulations in addition to aid with the functions of consulates abroad through information to obtain, renew and apostille documents.
Beginning in 2014, the government of Mexico launched the Southern Border Programme (“Frontera Sur”), which seeks to deliver Border Worker and Regional Visitor cards to citizens of Guatemala and Belize with the objective of regularizing border crossings into the country. In addition to interinstitutional actions for the protection of migrants, it also seeks to combat organized crime, social crime prevention and access to public and social services.
In November 2012, in the framework of the Pacific Alliance, Mexico announced the abolition of visas previously necessary for Colombian and Peruvian nationals to enter its territory. Under this new regulation, Colombians and Peruvians may enter and stay in Mexico for up to six months without visas, provided that the activities they conduct are non-remunerative, such as tourism, transit or business.
From May 2013, citizens of Brazil visiting the country for the same purposes (tourism, transit or business) are also exempt from any visa requirement.
Recent trends in migrant’s flows and stocks and in labor market outcomes of emigrants
|Migration inflows (foreign nationals)||Persons||Per 1000 inhabitants||Percent change|
|Permanent migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Temporary migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Migration outflows (nationals)||Persons||% of total||% change|
|From unstandardised destination country data||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|Asylum seekers and refugees||Per million inhabitants||Number of persons|
|Inflows of asylum seekers||8.8135995792545||6.3085809443674||6.7109386156237||10.594086363008||8.1068013755635||1296|
|Refugees resident in the country||11.833466230087||14.049787840245||12.577838095867||14.967416767491||13.357127233422||1831|
|Components of population growth||Per 1000 inhabitants|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage of the total population||Persons||% change|
|Remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|GDP/per capita ((PPP ) in constant 2011 international dollars)||3.8||2.8||2.7||-0.2||2.3||9649.4450065739|
|Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States||Percentages|