Ironic: I was just talking about Mexico with a Mexican-born friend who is now a Naturalized citizen of the United States. To her I mentioned the fortuitous occasion to chat it up with an American businessman at the local auto repair shop a few months ago. This middle-aged guy was glued to his laptop while also bobbling his cell phone from cheek to cheek as he typed. His car was up on the rack, as was mine. We waited. He sat a few seats away, within earshot, so I had a choice to either relocate elsewhere or stay seated and overhear his business discussion—he didn’t seem to mind. It was Walmart, so discretion doesn’t officially apply.
As I waited for my wheels, I kept overhearing him use phraseology such as “When we move” and “The economy down there,” among similar references. Either relocating his company or family, I thought.
So he gets off the phone, looks at me, chuckles, then says “Getting things together. I’m moving my family to Mexico.”
As an OpsLens contributor, editor and digital content manager, I am privy to all-things-immigration under the scope of our National Security and Politics categories. Since this man was revealing his intent to relocate to Mexico, I reciprocated: “Wow, that’s different!” He bit the bait and elaborated: he wanted a change; his company (which he never detailed) would do just fine down there; his wife and kids were thumbs-up with the major plan; despite Mexico’s chronic economic woes, his financial accounting would sustain them well enough. That got me wondering about the dangers he was undertaking as an American in a foreign land where life is reportedly difficult and perilous.
Before I could diplomatically question the safety aspect of his plan, he went into how he and his wife took several trips down there. His octave rose when thrice he detailed how many armed Mexican “federales” (part lore, part slang referring to either the Mexican military or state police, depending on the context) who are “all over the place.” He emphasized how guns are so prevalent “in public down there,” wielded by all officials of the state. He blinked a lot when he revealed the weapons part. Ambivalence? Culture shock?
Back to the chat with my friend…and the message behind the title of this piece. I shared the above story with her; she seemed vexed by any appeal for anyone moving to Mexico. Instead, she implored departing there, followed by her litany of reasons for doing so. The words “government corruption” and “injustices” left her lips many times. The dangers are so very real, she stated with discernible angst. (Now middle-age, she left Mexico when she was 14, and all her family are now in the United States, legally.) My Mexican buddy declared, “No way. I am so done with Mexico!”
So it came as a stunner today when I read a report published by Business Insider which emphasized that there are more Americans and Mexicans moving from the United States to Mexico. This, after I read a release yesterday from the office of U.S. Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a man I admire and respect for his military service and intestinal fortitude to attain a congressional seat successfully (in his first term). Rep. Crenshaw’s material was titled “1 Million” and expounded on the premise “That’s how many migrants will cross our border illegally this year.”
Although Rep. Crenshaw’s statement elaborated more on “Democrats’ denial” of the border crisis, it did underscore a large number of immigrants illegally breaching our nation’s southern barrier. And this is contrary to the Business Insider‘s claim that “Mexicans and US-born immigrants are moving from America to its southern neighbor in droves.” Droves? Doesn’t get any more head-scratchy than that.
Exploring how that contrarian scenario came about, the background reportedly stems from Mexico’s National Survey of Demographic Dynamics 2014. It asserts that during a six-year period (2009-2014), approximately one million Mexicans (to include their children born in the U.S.) did an about-face and departed back to Mexico. So who’s right and who is wrong: Rep. Crenshaw or the Mexican “survey”?
According to the Pew Research Center, family reunification accounts for those Mexican-born folks sojourning south. Incidentally, the researcher who hypothesized the aforementioned reason used the phrases “is due to” and “may be due to” in the same sentence. So it’s a mere guess; he doesn’t quite know why. Nonetheless, that doesn’t answer why Americans are allegedly heading south.
Coupled with the reverse exodus, U.S. Census stats claim 870,000 Mexicans trekked to America during that same six-year span. That same data collection emphasized that number was smaller than those Americans who migrated to Mexico. For what it is worth, census data are never empirical. Like the Mexican data cited above, numbers are gathered via a “survey,” and surveys ballpark, at best. So who is to say with relative accuracy what the real numbers are?
As Angela Gonzalez-Barerra explored the factors (or lack thereof): “Measuring migration flows between Mexico and the U.S. is challenging because there are no official counts of how many Mexican immigrants enter and leave the U.S. each year. This report uses the best available government data from both countries to estimate the size of these flows.” Some of that may be accurate but we do know the United States Department of Homeland Security, particularly its Border Patrol agents, do document head counts when they apprehend immigrants illegally attempting to cross our southern border.
As well, U.S. Customs officials process papers daily, so we are aware of Mexican nationals seeking habitancy in America. Biased as I may be as a retired law enforcement officer, I believe the cops’ numbers are more sound than a survey or, similarly, a non-mandatory census collection.
We are surely not complacent when it comes to immigration woes, certainly not since President Trump came on board to tidy up our illegal migrants dilemma.
Thus to some statistical degree the purported southward flow of Mexican folks is in contrast to the NBC report (via Newsmax) regarding a “Record Throng of Over 1K Migrants Arrested at Border” article which was published May 30, one day before the Business Insider assertions.
Erick Mack with Newsmax stated, “Border Patrol set a record Wednesday morning [May 29], apprehending 1,036 migrants attempting to illegally cross the southern U.S. border near El Paso, Texas, snapping the previous high of 424 set last month.” This directly correlates with the Memorial Day weekend construction of a portion of El Paso, Texas border wall funded and built by the folks we now know as We Build The Wall, Inc.
According to Michelle Mark, Mexico’s statisticians hold that roughly 799,000 Americans are residing among the Mexican populace. And it is a rather gray area (illegality) which Mexican authorities reportedly claim they have zero interest in enforcing. How different our respective nations are, or aren’t.
I wondered if this so-called “southward flow” is some carefully orchestrated message by the left, unrelenting in its efforts to torpedo President Trump and his immigration reform policies? After all, we have seen media entities push propaganda toward that end. In this instance, pushing the narrative south, despite the unceasing illegal migrants’ blitz and the woes thereof, seems strange. Something’s off…
I can tell you I know of only one American vamoosing south, and he has a nice Land Rover tuned by Walmart’s auto techs.