May 29, 2013
Immigration News
Deportations and Economic Crisis

A  high-ranking official from the Mexican state of Guerrero told the press
that U.S. deportations of his compatriots are having economic
consequences. Netzahualcoyotl Bustamante Santin, Guerrero state migrant
secretary, said stepped-up deportations mean a significant reduction in
the migrant remittances which have emerged as a mainstay of the Mexican
economy in recent decades, especially in Guerrero and other impoverished
regions of the nation.

According to Bustamante, more than
28,000 migrants from Guerrero were deported from the U.S. in 2012,
putting the southern state in the third place ranking for Mexican
deportees’ place of origin. On a break from a tour of communities in the
northern part of the state,  Bustamante said the economic effects of
deportation could be gauged by comparing the amount of remittances
received in Guerrero between January and March of this year, when $279
million entered the state, with the same months for 2012, when $309
million flowed into the entity.

“Thirty million dollars did not
arrive in Guerrero during 2013, which means a systematic fall in the
reception of remittances in the state,” Bustamante noted.

Taking
a longer view, the migrant affairs official analyzed the five-years
from 2007 to 2012, when migrant remittances in Guerrero declined from
$1.5 billion during the first year of the time period to $1.23 billion
in the last. The surge in deportations and parallel downturn in
remittances, especially during the Obama administration, coincided with
the Great Recession and serious financial blows to Guerrero’s tourism
economy, which has yet to recover.

For instance, Acapulco
continued its historic decline as a foreign tourist destination during
the past few years. While 72,796 foreign tourists visited the port city
in 2009, only 17,448 made the trip in 2012, according to the Acapulco
Municipal Department of Tourism.

A bulwark of the Guerrero
state economy, income from Mexican national and international tourism
stagnated during the same years, declining from about $27.3 billion
pesos in 2009 to $27.2 billion pesos in 2012. If it hadn’t been for
Mexican visitors, the local tourism economy surely would have collapsed.

Perhaps not coincidentally, 2007-2012 also witnessed a major
uptick in narco-violence and other crimes in Guerrero. The state was
considered Mexico’s most violent one in 2012, according to different
press accounts.

Bustamante said the migrant deportations
challenge Guerrero and Mexico to meet new employment needs and create
relevant programs. Like other Mexican states, Guerrero has a limited
budget to support returning migrants. According to Bustamante, the
current state migrant budget of about two million dollars is spread
across 26 municipalities. Based on last year’s deportee numbers, the
budget breaks down to about $70 per migrant.

Sources: El
Sur, May 27, 2013. Articles by Salvador Serna. La Jornada (Guerrero
edition), May 25, 2013. Article by Raymundo Ruiz Aviles.

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico

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