In a new eye-opening article recently published by the New York Times, Damien Cave gives us an idea of how migration flows are changing in Latin America. While migration used to be an important but one-sided issue in EU-LAC negotiations, it has become a rather neglected issue recently. Why? Because it has lost much relevance as migration flows have nearly been equalled – with Europe in crisis, more Europeans look for job opportunities in LAC than Latinos in Europe.
Damien Cave illustrates how Mexico is increasingly becoming an immigrant destination. The country’s documented foreign-born population nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010 and, taking the case of US-Mexican migration, migration flows has equalled. As many Mexicans moved north of the border from 2005 to 2010 as those moving south.
This is partly due to shrinking attractiveness of many traditional destination of Mexican emigrants – the US mainly – and partly due to a booming Mexican economy. Rising wages in countries such as China and higher transportation costs have made Mexican manufacturing even more competitive for foreign non-US companies. At the same time, it remains an attractive production market for US companies. But not only low-wage jobs are on offer, quite the contrary: Mexico has become an avant-garde place for young creatives and start-ups.
If the country now manages to meet the challenges it is facing – crime, corruption and critical inequalities – and follow an economic development model to the benefit of all classes, we are to congratulate!