Mexican immigration to the U.S. will drive increased trade and investment, boosting prosperity in both countries, according to new research. Most political discourse on immigration from Mexico to the United States is emotional, with elected officials in the United States using fiery political rhetoric and focusing on illegal immigration. The study suggests that Americans need to move beyond rhetoric and focus on economic facts.
“We find a generally positive and significant relationship between Mexican and US immigration and Mexican and US imports, exports and inward FDI. [foreign direct investment] From the United States to Mexico,” conclude economists Michael Gove and Liliana Meza-Gonzalez. Gove is a Professor of Economics at North He University of Georgia, and González is a professor and researcher in the Department of International Studies at the University of Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
In their study, two economists looked at 10 years of data from 2008 to 2017 to estimate “the potential contribution of immigrants to international trade and foreign direct investment.” Gove and González conclude:
Ronald Reagan proposed the North American Free Trade Agreement. “The first idea was Ronald Reagan’s,” said former Mexican congressman and diplomat Agustín Barrios Gómez. “He proposed it to then-president Jose López Portillo . We knew that we were directly dependent on a strong and cooperative Mexico, and without a stable and cooperative Mexico, there would be no American superpower.”
The original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) included several measures to facilitate the free movement of foreign professionals between the United States and Mexico and Canada. But Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton said they would seek congressional approval if the deal included broader immigration provisions to allow more Mexicans to work legally in the United States. I knew it was impossible.
A major cause of illegal immigration from Mexico is the restrictions on legal means for Mexicans to work in the United States. President George W. Bush sought to remedy that through a proposed U.S.-Mexico immigration deal that included expanded work visas and broader immigration enforcement cooperation between the two countries. The deal was nearly complete, but after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it became impossible to obtain congressional approval, and the effort was largely abandoned before it could become a formal deal. it was done.
Donald Trump’s vision for Mexican immigration was different from previous presidents. In his first speech as a presidential candidate, Trump said many Mexicans were rapists who committed crimes against Americans. rice field. In contrast, in a book out in 2021, George W. Bush, who served as president from January 2001 until his January 2009, writes about the family values and work ethics of Mexican immigrants.
Trump threatened to terminate NAFTA, but it was eventually renamed and updated, making parts “controlled trade” instead of “free trade.” Trump gained influence over Mexico in immigration enforcement not by an agreement to legally accept more Mexican workers, but by threatening to harm the Mexican economy with punitive tariffs. .
According to Gove and Gonzalez, “transnational networks that link migrants to their countries of origin generally facilitate economic activity that benefits both the United States and Mexico. will give you”.
The economist makes several policy recommendations. First, the United States needs to “make more avenues for more regular immigration from Mexico.” Gove and González support increasing visas for skilled and unskilled workers from Mexico.
According to Randall K. Johnson testimony before the Senate in March 2015 on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “A well-structured expansion of temporary worker programs can help economic growth and border control efforts. “Currently existing temporary worker programs are very difficult to use and have unrealistically low levels of employment,” said Johnson, now a Distinguished Immigration Fellow at Cornell Law School. is limited to,” he said.
According to Gove and González, increasing the opportunities for Mexican workers to become permanent residents of the United States will boost trade and investment and improve living standards in both countries. Additional investment in the human capital of those coming to the United States would also help both countries. “To promote the beneficial economic dynamics of the country tied to immigration flows to the United States, the Mexican government can emphasize the quality of education and the use of remittances in the human capital of potential immigrants.” they write.
Gove and González conclude that American and Mexican societies are closely connected. Their research found that Mexican immigration to the United States benefits both countries.