More Mexicans have left the U.S. than have migrated to it in recent years, data show, a reversal of the largest flow of incoming migrants in modern U.S. history and a significant new chapter in the immigration narrative that has long dominated U.S. politics and culture.
Some have returned to reconnect with family or take advantage of new opportunities in Mexico, where a declining birth rate means less competition for jobs. Others have been forced out, either deported, like Tetatzin, or deciding to leave because, in Donald Trump’s America, they felt less welcome.
In any case, the trend has sparked both hope and concern in Mexico. Many view the large numbers coming back as brimming with potential. Many returnees bring home English and other skills learned in the U.S. But others in Mexico are concerned; they fear unwanted competition for jobs, or worry that deportees sent home for committing crimes could worsen the country’s already high levels of violence.
It takes a heart of stone not to laugh. Of course, it’s not all roses. When the family in the story moved to Mexico, they took a young girl away from her biological father.
Angela played with one of her schoolmates, Karen, skipping around with a wide smile on her face.
Her parents knew that one day, things would change.
“I’m good here,” Angela would say, even though the phone calls with her birth father, back in Michigan, sometimes hurt. His family, mostly U.S. citizens, didn’t want her living in Mexico, where even if the economy had improved, homicide rates were soaring.