Why do Mexicans migrate to the United States? Is there a typical Mexican migrant? Beginning in the 1970s, survey data indicated that the average migrant was a young, unmarried man who was poor, undereducated, and in search of better employment opportunities. This is the general view that most Americans still hold of immigrants from Mexico. On the Move argues that not only does this view of Mexican migrants reinforce the stereotype of their undesirability, but it also fails to capture the true diversity of migrants from Mexico and their evolving migration patterns over time.
Using survey data from over 145,000 Mexicans and in-depth interviews with nearly 140 Mexicans, Filiz Garip reveals a more accurate picture of Mexico-U.S migration. In the last fifty years there have been four primary waves: a male-dominated migration from rural areas in the 1960s and '70s, a second migration of young men from socioeconomically more well-off families during the 1980s, a migration of women joining spouses already in the United States in the late 1980s and ’90s, and a generation of more educated, urban migrants in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For each of these four stages, Garip examines the changing variety of reasons for why people migrate and migrants’ perceptions of their opportunities in Mexico and the United States.
Looking at Mexico-U.S. migration during the last half century, On the Move uncovers the vast mechanisms underlying the flow of people moving between nations.
Filiz Garip is professor of sociology at Cornell University.
"This analytically acute and beautifully written book expands our understanding of Mexican migration flows to the United States. Filiz Garip explores stimulating theoretical questions while bringing her analysis alive through portraits of individuals and families. Her masterful study will reshape how scholars investigate the causes and dynamics of migration movements."--Nancy Foner, coauthor of Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe
"On the Move offers a creative and entirely original analysis to demonstrate convincingly why individuals have migrated from Mexico to the United States at different times for different reasons. Filiz Garip teaches us how seemingly contradictory propositions are often, in fact, quite complementary. Few people in the field today can match the methodological sophistication and substantive knowledge on display in this book."--Douglass Massey, Princeton University
"Mexicans and their descendants make up the largest immigrant group in the United States. Yet our theories for explaining this massive, intergenerational population transfer are incomplete. On the Move offers a comprehensive theory for the changing and diverse nature of Mexican migration: its composition, origins, destinations, and settlement. Groundbreaking in its methodological innovations, rich empirical materials, and policy implications, this book charts a new path for future migration scholarship."--Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations ix
List of Tables xi
1 Why Do People Migrate? Identifying Diverse Mechanisms of Migration 10
2 “Go Work Over There and Come Do Something Here” Circular Migrants 39
3 “We Leave to Help Our Parents Economically” Crisis Migrants 67
4 “Your Place Is Where Your Family Is” Family Migrants 95
5 “Putting Down Roots” Urban Migrants 122
6 Where Do We Go from Here? Conditional Theories and Diverse Policies 153