Patterns of U.S. Migration from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America

Douglas S. Massey, Mariano Sana

Resumen

Abstract

Data from the Latin American Migration Project (LAMP) and the Mexican Migration Project (MMP) is combined to analyze migration patterns for Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Drawing on samples of 31 communities, we document the frequency and timing of migration, the date, duration, destination, and documentation of the first and the most recent U.S. trips, the employment characteristics of migrants on those trips, and migrants’ socioeconomic characteristics and selectivity. Results show that a significant share of the migration is unauthorized. The distinctive features separating Mexican migration from other flows are its concentration in farm labor, lack of educational selectivity, more frequent trips, and shorter durations of stay. All groups are showing a pronounced tendency to settle away from traditional destination areas. The analysis suggests a commonality of basic patterns and processes of migration structured and expressed in distinct ways according to context. This analysis shows that data from the LAMP and the MMP can be combined effectively to undertake comparative quantitative studies.


RESUMEN


Se comparan datos de las encuestas Latin American Migration Project (LAMP) y Mexican Migration Project (MMP) para analizar patrones migratorios a los Estados Unidos desde México, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Nicaragua y Costa Rica. Usando muestras de 31 comunidades, se documenta la frecuencia y tiempos de migración, la fecha, duración, destino y documentación del primer y más reciente viaje a los Estados Unidos, las características laborales de los migrantes en estos viajes, y las características socieconómicas y la selectividad de los migrantes. Los resultados muestran que una proporción significativa de la migración es indocumentada. Las características distintivas de la migración mexicana con respecto a otros flujos son su concentración en el trabajo agrícola, la falta de selectividad educativa, la mayor frecuencia de los viajes y tiempos de estancia más cortos. Todos los grupos muestran una pronunciada tendencia a establecerse lejos de las áreas de destino tradicionales. El análisis sugiere patrones y procesos de migración comunes, estructurados y expresados en maneras distintas de acuerdo al contexto. Este análisis muestra que los datos del LAMP y del MMP pueden conjugarse con efectividad para llevar a cabo estudios cuantitativos comparativos.

Keywords: international migration; migration patterns; surveys; Latin America; Caribbean



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Referencias

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Fecha de recepción: 4 de julio de 2003

Fecha de aceptación: 17 de septiembre de 2003



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