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Study Predicts Illegal Migration From Mexico Will Increase When US Economy Rebounds

A new study shows migrants from Mexico are willing to brave tougher border enforcement if they know there's work on the U.S. side. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has more on the study from the Center for Comparative Immigration at the University of California San Diego.

The Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Wayne Cornelius and his team interviewed more than 1,000 people from a small town in the Mexican state Yucatan.

He says three years ago, border enforcement didn't much factor into people's decision to cross.


He says that's still the case, though 87 percent of people they spoke with believe it's very dangerous.

Cornelius says enforcement has indirectly affected people's ability to migrate by making smugglers a necessity.

“Relatives in the United States are the overwhelmingly important source to pay the coyotes' fees. The U.S. recession has reduced their disposable income, so they're no longer able to loan those thousands of dollars.”

Cornelius says most people are waiting to cross until the U.S. economy rebounds.

The study says smuggler's prices have tripled during the last eight years.