Though some of us remember Donald Trump as a reality TV star and/or that guy with the sweet Home Alone 2 cameo, many others simply know him as that guy who built an entire presidential campaign around the assertion that Mexican immigrants were "rapists" who brought nothing but "crime" and vaguely defined "drugs" to the United States. For reasons not entirely clear, that message struck a chord with the country’s less-informed citizens, prompting some laughably ridiculous but also kind of terrifying quotes from Trump and a variety of his peers about the future of immigration. Actual facts on immigration, however, paint a much different story.
Between 2009 and 2014, 140,000 more Mexicans returned to Mexico than came into the United States, according to data from a new Pew Research Center report quoted by NBC News. This data also shows that immigration between these countries had actually dropped to its "lowest levels" since the 90s:
About 900,000 Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico from the U.S. between 2009 and 2014, many taking about 100,000 U.S.-born children under age 5 with them. Because they are born to parents of Mexican nationals, Mexico considers Mexican-American children also Mexican nationals, so they were included in the overall total.
During the same time frame, an estimated 870,000 Mexican immigrants left Mexico to come to the U.S.
"I would not say that Mexico has more of a pull," Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, author of the study, tells the Los Angeles Times. "But the United States isn’t as attractive." The team’s conclusions, reached via a thorough investigation of data from Mexican household surveys and censuses from both countries, also noted that a "genuine spike in immigration" did occur between 1970 and 2000 before the Mexican immigrant population started to experience a "precipitous drop off."