Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

The New Picture of Mexicans in the U.S.A.

June 11, 2012
Plain English Version

Years ago, crossing the border from Mexico and returning to Mexico was common. In 1996, Congress began restricting immigration. They made federal benefits harder to get, deportation easier and limited civil rights.There were further restrictions in the USA Patriot Act of 2001.

Today, very few Mexicans are crossing the border without papers. One reason is the weakness of the U.S. economy. It is also more dangerous and more costly.

Undocumented migration was about 55 of every 1,000 Mexican men in 1999. By 2010 it had fallen to 9 per 1,000. The same rate as in the 1960s.

Legal immigration is rising rapidly. The number of Mexicans entering:

  • as legal temporary workers    1995—27,000      2010—517,000
  • on business visas                         1995—256,000   2010—880,000
  • as exchange visitors                   1995—5,000        2010—30,000

The number of Mexicans arriving as legal permanent residents is also growing. Since 2005 an average of 160,000 persons arrived each year. Almost all of them are relatives of American citizens.

One reason is that Mexicans in the U.S. are becoming citizens. In the ten years before 1996, an average of 29,000 became naturalized citizens. Since 1996, the average has been 125,000 a year.

Many permanent residents do not settle in the U.S. The traditional pattern was to go back and forth as temporary workers. When the U.S. made border crossing dangerous and costly many people stayed in the U.S.

The problem of illegal border crossing is taking care of itself.

The remaining challenge is the legal status of the 11.5 million undocumented people living in the United States.

The New York Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Sitting, Standing, Moving: The Road to Health 

At some jobs, you stand all day. At some other jobs, you are sitting at a desk. Whether standing or sitting, eight hours of...

Protecting the Unborn and Newborn From Asthma

The number of people with asthma is growing. About 300 million people worldwide have it. About 26 million people in America have it. Only...

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!