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Mexico to USA Migration Case Study

Migration is the movement of people from one area to another, be it across the road, or to the other side of the earth. Everyday over 2000 Mexicans try and cross the 2000km border that spans between Mexico and the USA. The immigrants walk for miles to try and illegally enter the country and for many it is a wasted journey as they are returned shortly after by the US border patrol police.

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The immigrants usually travel in groups of 10 and up, friends and families together as a large group. To try and make the journey easier they will often travel lightly, meaning they carry no heavy, but vital, supplies such as food and water. This often leads to things such as dehydration and death as they cross the hot and dry border.

Another way the immigrants will try and gain access is through human smugglers, whereby the immigrants will pay the smugglers large sums of money to smuggle them across the border. Once across the border it’s now a game of ‘hide and seek’ with the immigration officers. After crossing the border without being caught they will usually meet in some form of safe house, usually provided by the human smugglers. Once they are settled they will often rent houses in large groups so that can cut the costs dramatically and easily afford it. They can’t stay for long though as eventually they would be caught, so to keep their trail clean they move from house to house as not to alert the police.


People migrate places for many different reasons be it for family or money ect. These reasons can be classified as 4 different categories; economic, social, political or environmental:

* Economic migration – moving to find work or to follow a particular career path only available in such place

* Social Migration – moving for a better quality of life or to live with or closer to family or friends

* Political Migration – moving to escape/avoid political disputes, persecution or war.

* Environmental Migration – moving to escape natural disasters such as flooding

For the reasons above many people choose to migrate. For example migrants who move country to find work for money and food. Other migrants are forced during times of war and natural disaster.


Below is a map of the USA and Mexico. The map shows the movement of migrants as the cross the USA/Mexico border. The highest rates of migrants are found to be from the bordering states living in the USA’s bordering states. The arrows on the map point from where most Mexican migrants come from, and where they usually end up. They want the journey to be as quick as possible; they don’t travel far and often stay in the neighboring states.

Migrant Movement

Border between Mexico and the USA


Just like everything in life there is always something that makes you want do something else. The same applies to the Mexican migrants and there are many ‘push and pull’ factors for why the Mexican migrants would want to migrate.

Push Factors

Push factors are the reasons why people are pushed away from and what to leave an area. There are many push factors for why migrants would want to leave their country and I have listed the most common below. They are all traits of an LEDC, where most migrants come for.

* Lack of services – often a problem in LEDC’s where most migrants are from. Poor countries cannot afford to provide good quality services as MEDC’s do.

* Lack of safety – often a problem in LEDC’s, people cannot afford to pay for repairs and safety equipment ect and things go to ruin.

* High crime – often a problem in poorer countries as people cannot find work or don’t earn enough money to make ends meet, many people turn to crime.

* Crop failure – this isn’t just something you seen in poor countries but for a poor country it is a big loss and could be the final push someone needs to just get out of their old life.

* Drought – this often leads to crop failure and as I mentioned above this can be a big problem for someone relying on it to feed their family.

* Flooding – flooding is serious business and can cause masses of damage even destroying houses, losing your house could make you want to migrate to a better life.

* Poverty – nobody likes having no money, well imagine spending everyday barely making ends meet, you’d want change and quick.

* War – refuges often migrate to escape the terror and dangers of war as civilian casualties are often high in LEDC wars.

Pull Factors

Pull factors are the reasons why people want to and are pulled towards an area. There are many factors for why migrants would want to live in another country and I have listed the most common below. They are all traits of an MEDC, where most migrants migrate to.

* Higher employment – as is often the case in MEDC’s there is much more jobs available with much higher wages.

* More wealth – In MEDC’s people on average tend to have more money, due to the higher paid jobs.

* Better services – More money means better services, things such as emergency personnel, education ect.

* Safer, less crime – Places with more money tend to have less crime as people can afford to pay their way.

* Political stability – Less chance of a political breakdown and wars breaking out.

* More fertile land – less chance of losing crops and crops will be stronger and better than ever earring the farmer more money for his work.

* Lower risk of natural hazards – natural disasters destroy just about everything from your home to your family. Moving away from them would be the best option.


Immigration has both positive and its negative effects on the countries. The major problem that Mexico has with the immigration of its people to the USA is that the majority of migrants are young, without families. This means that old people are left behind in Mexico and this has no good effects on Mexico’s population. The older people cannot look after themselves or even boost the population for that matter. This is truer as in Mexico it’s usually the men who migrate leaving the women behind to look after their family whilst the men bring money in from a job in the USA. There is also the big problem with Mexico’s economy.

The country is already very poor and with most people immigrating to America to find work there is no way money is every going to get back into Mexico’s economy. For this reason many people turn to the drugs business producing and exporting drugs to distribute across the USA. Although this brings money into the country its accounts for m any deaths across the country and is not taxed and therefore the government looses out again.

In the USA, Immigrants cost the country millions of us dollars a year. The money is spent on enforcing the border patrols and the migrants being held for deportation. The problem the USA have is that the Mexican’s take all of the low paid, labor intensive jobs and are very happy and grateful of the opportunity. Americans on the other hand are less for the idea and as the Mexicans become more popular racial attacks are often a big problem.

For the USA though the Mexicans doing the low paid jobs is perfectly good for the economy, the work gets done at a low price, and the workers are enthusiastic, very great full of the opportunity they have gotten, what more could you ask for? Problems arise in America when immigrants start to gain sate benefits. With the migrants being illegal they’re not on record and hence are not accounted for the distribution of benefits, America could lose lots of money through benefit fraud.


One of the most important methods of stopping illegal immigration America uses is border patrol security. This method involves the border between Mexico and the USA being patrolled by security officers in order to try and stop any immigrants from illegally entering the country. The officers use many methods of enforcement and even have drones that can fly the border and spot any intruders. The officers are armed and will take down anybody trying to breach security, sounds harsh but essentially what the immigrants are doing is putting the countries security at risk by crossing the border as they cannot keep tabs on who is entering.


My opinion on Mexico-America immigration is slightly mixed. On one hand for America’s sake I think that more of an effort should be made to control immigration so as not ruin both Mexico’s and America’s economy. This will also stop Mexico’s population for dropping, which if it did drop would result in the economy of Mexico being even worse. As long as the immigration is controlled and not stopped then I am sure that the relationship will work and that America would benefit economically from it.

On the other hand though it doesn’t feel right not allowing the Mexicans access to America, because they’re immigrants. At the end of the day the USA was originally founded by immigrants from Europe, not to mention the fact that during the Mexico-US war, the USA ‘stole’ (some argue it was paid for) ; Texas, Arizona, new Mexico and California from Mexico. In my opinion they have every right to enter America as they will.