This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, November 19, 2015

US Says No to Syrians; Mexicans Say No to US

In the wake of last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris, the US House of Representatives today voted to "pause" the projected flow of Syrian refugees into the US. The Senate will have to vote on this soon, and of course President Obama will veto it, but the veto may be overturned. All of this comes amidst fears about refugees that seem widely overblown, given the very different screening processes used by the US compared to Europe, as I have already noted, and is discussed today by BBC News.

In the meantime, Donald Trump popped up again with his call to build a wall across the US-Mexico border after five Syrians were detained in Honduras. But, wait a minute! They were detained--the system works.

Also in the meantime, Pew Research Center came out with new data confirming the trend of more Mexicans leaving the US to return home than coming into the US. The Washington Post covered the story:
Between 1995 and 2000, with the U.S. economy booming, nearly 3 million Mexicans migrated to the United States. Taking out the 670,000 that moved back to Mexico, the result was an increase of over 2 million Mexican residents. In 1990, half of those migrants were under the age of 30.
That is probably still a conception that Americans hold about Mexican migrants: The numbers keep increasing as young men cross the border. But it's not quite right. 
New data from Pew Research reveals that, since 2009, 140,000 more Mexican migrants left the United States than arrived. That's a faster reverse migration than even the period before and during the recession.
The graph below tells the story. Why are people leaving? Mainly to rejoin their families, although a greater number have been deported during the Obama administration than during previous administrations.


It is probably correct to say that although the US is a nation of immigrants, Americans don't like immigrants any more than any other country does. Xenophobia seems to be hard-wired in the human brain.

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