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Mexicans In US Make Less Money Than Any Other Immigrant Group

Aired 12/7/12 on KPBS News.

Mexican immigrants in the U.S. make less on average than immigrants from any other part of the world, according to new research based on U.S. Census and labor data.

Mexican immigrants in the U.S. make less on average than immigrants from any other part of the world, according to new research based on U.S. Census and labor data.

Wikimedia Commons

Mexican immigrants on a grape farm in California.

The nearly 7 million Mexican immigrants who work in the U.S. make, on average, 17 percent less than immigrants from Central America. The figure includes all immigrants regardless of their legal status.

They make 40 percent less than African immigrants and more than two and a half times less than Canadian immigrants, according to a new study from the research wing of the international bank, BBVA.

The relatively low education level of many Mexican immigrants largely explains why they’re at the bottom of the salary scale. Four out of every 10 working-age Mexican immigrants have less than 10 years of formal education, according to the study.

But even among immigrants with professional or post graduate degrees, Mexicans make less than all other groups — around $35,000 a year.

In comparison, highly-educated African immigrants make closer to $45,000 a year, and Europeans make more than $60,000 dollars a year, on average.

The study authors speculate the quality of Mexico’s higher education may be lower than that of other regions.

On the other hand, they found Mexican immigrants with less than 10 years of education actually make more, on average, than any other immigrant group with the same level of study, with the exception of Central Americans.

Comments

Avatar for user 'realtijuana_blogspot'

realtijuana_blogspot | December 7, 2012 at 11:55 a.m. ― 2 years ago

So that was really a Mexican heart surgeon who sold me a bag of oranges on College Boulevard? I swear he looked just like Paul Rodriguez.

BBVA (a transnational bank) issues these reports periodically because they receive millions of dollars as remittances, money sent from Mexicans in the United States to family in Mexico. Remittances are big business and, as such, these reports are meant to predict the future of this income.

Replogle says "The study authors speculate the quality of Mexico’s higher education may be lower than that of other regions." but there is nothing in the report that corroborates this interpretation. What the study really says is that Mexican immigrants take lower-paying jobs because they tend to be high-school drop-outs without immigration papers, such that remittances could be improved were these immigrants to have a higher level and higher quality of education. And yet there is no basis for such a conclusion inasmuch as the U.S. has traditionally employed unskilled labor from Mexico. (There is a political agenda in Mexico about increasing the educational budget that has nothing to do with these remittances. You have similar agendas in the United States because education is also Big Business in your part of the world.)

The study, at page 23, says "Conclusiones: Mayores niveles de escolaridad y con mayor calidad educativa en México, elementos clave para que los migrantes mexicanos sean mejor remunerados". There is similar language on page 33. That means "Conclusions: more years of schooling and an improved quality of education in Mexico are the key elements for Mexican immigrants to get better wages." All that for tomato-pickers and Jack-in-the-Box workers, right?

The quality of Mexico's higher education is not lower than that of the United States. We say this as a collective of fronterizos who have known the educational systems on both sides of the border and all of us agree that the educational system in Baja California is preferable to that of California at all levels. Seriously – and apologies if it sounds like we're doing the dozens – our doctors and dentists are more intelligent that your doctors and dentists. Spend an hour in conversation with one of ours and you will see the difference.

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Avatar for user 'AlbertRonya'

AlbertRonya | December 25, 2012 at 11:57 p.m. ― 1 year, 11 months ago

I think as different region, education is different that matters and so a mexicans get less salary than other people in US .It can happen their education standards is low.
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