The economic incentives facing illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. : a case study at Hood River, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ws859h66r

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  • Illegal Mexican migration to the U.S. appears to have increased substantially over the past fifteen years. Most illegal Mexican aliens migrate with the aim of obtaining better employment opportunities and higher earnings in the U.S. than are available in Mexico. The potential impacts of this migration on various U.S. interests, however, are not agreed upon by scholars in the field. In fact, little empirical data on illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. have been collected, especially with regard to the economic incentives for their migration. This study is an attempt to obtain empirical data on illegal Mexican aliens who are employed in the U.S. The principle aim of this research is to describe a random sample of illegal Mexican aliens surveyed at Hood River, Oregon, where they were employed in agricultural harvest activities. Specific attention is placed on the earnings differential for illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. and foregone earnings in Mexico as a measure of the economic incentive for illegal migration. The study finds that illegal Mexican aliens interviewed at Hood River generally conform to the demographic profile described in previous studies. but that the data on their earnings and expenditures are considerably different. Both wage earnings and living costs in the U.S. appear to be considerably higher for most illegal Mexican aliens than indicated by previous studies, and their differential between potential U.S. and Mexican earnings is substantial. Illegal Mexican aliens at Hood River had gross earnings of approximately six-times their foregone Mexican earnings by working in the U.S. for roughly the same period of time. By accounting for expenses that the illegal aliens face in the U.S., this amount is reduced to four-times their foregone earnings. The study concludes that considerable illegal Mexican migration will likely continue in the near future and that further research on other aspects of the phenomenon and in other geographic regions would be useful. Several specific suggestions for future research are also outlined.
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