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Victor Zuniga: American immigration was free and two-way

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Victor Zuniga

Dr. Victor Zuniga is currently with the Monterrey Institute of Sociology and Technology.

His research interests are in the areas of international migration. His recent research includes "An Imperfect Rearrangement: Children of Immigrants and Their Families Migrating from the United States to Mexico" and "Generation 0.5: Children's Understanding of International Migration."







American immigration was free and two-way

1.According to the Pew Research Center, 18,954 immigrants with families and 9,297 unaccompanied children attempted to cross the border illegally in February, up 168% and 63% respectively from January. When Biden took office on Jan. 20, some Central Americans took it as a sign that they could try to cross the border into the United States by scrapping some of the previous administration's measures against illegal immigration and advocating "more humane" policies, the Associated Press reported. Reuters reported that the U. S. Government's information is ambiguous, on the one hand, declared the border closed, on the other hand, said unaccompanied children immigrants care. But the United States government has been unable to accommodate and deal with the growing number of unaccompanied child migrants, many of who have been stuck at prison-like border posts for days waiting to be placed in government-run shelters. What do you think of this?


nothing will change about immigrants coming from the Triangle North of Central America, except two circumstances, a) some of the Central Americans will decide to stay in Mexico and Mexican Government will offer visas for residing and working in Mexico; b) U.S. Federal Administration will show a more "human" face about offering asylum to some of families or children coming from Central America. But in general, the lives of those immigrants or migrants in transit is very hard and will continue to be harder. Both governments (U.S. and Mexico) are not interested in getting a solution.

2.Since March 2020, the new Covid-19 has been circulating in the United States. Now, there are more than 30 million cases of Covid-19 in the United States, which has greatly affected the ability of Mexican immigrants to go to the United States?


Covid pandemic has not impacted the volume or the decision to migrate among Mexican immigrants who circulate between Mexico and the United States. And remember that the most important contemporary flux is not from Mexico to the United States, but inversely, the most important is from the United States to Mexico (returning migration of adults, and migration for children born in the United States)

3.This year, Mexico and the United States will launch a new high level economic cooperation mechanism to boost investment in Mexico and address immigration. What do you think of this?


investments in Mexico have nothing to do with immigration processes, decisions, strategies. The U.S. market needs immigrants for fulfilling some segments of its economy. That will not stop just because of increasing investments in the Mexican economy. However, the most important information to be kept is that migration from the U.S. to Mexico is higher than the other way (from Mexico to the U.S.).


4. U.S. President Biden sent border and immigration representatives to Mexico and Guatemala on March 22 to discuss how to deal with the surge in illegal immigration along the U.S. Mexico border, according to the 2021. White House spokesman Jane Psaki said at a press conference that day, the U. S. representative will ask the Mexican and Guatemalan governments to help stop illegal immigrants. How much of a role do you think the Guatemalan government can play?


The President of Guatemala has no power to stop people who want to leave the country. Migrants are much more autonomous than State institutions believe or wish. People from Guatemala have had since 1990's three different types of migration: a) those who go to Southern Mexico for working in touristic zones or agricultural plantations; they are, generally, adults who circulate between the two countries; b) those who are migrants in transit and reach the United States; generally they want to reunify with members of their families already residing in the United States; c) those who do not cross Mexico/U.S. border and stay in northern Mexico.


Organizer: Li Yixiang


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