Tags: Mexico | pew | survey | mexicans

Pew Survey: Many Mexicans Would Still Cross Border Illegally

Image: Pew Survey: Many Mexicans Would Still Cross Border Illegally Migrants walk along the rail tracks after getting off a train during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Ixtepec, southern Mexico, April 29, 2013.

Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013 01:21 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Immigration reform or no immigration reform, many Mexicans say they would still move to the United States illegally if they had the opportunity.

A new survey of 1,000 Mexican adults by the Pew Research Center reveals 35 percent of say they would move north of the border if they could.

That includes 20 percent, who say they would emigrate without authorization from the U.S. government.

Still, not everybody sees the United States as Shangri-La.

Some 61 percent of Mexicans say they have no desire to move — even if they had the means and opportunity to do so.

Mexicans are also less likely than they were a year ago to say that those who move to the U.S., end up having a better life, according to Pew.

Three-in-ten Mexicans say they personally know someone who went to the U.S. but returned to Mexico because they could not find employment.

About a quarter know someone who has been deported or detained by the U.S. government for immigration reasons over the past year.

The survey — released on the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit to Mexico — shows “a clear majority’’ favorable towards the United States and more expressing confidence in Obama.

Roughly two-thirds of Mexicans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. – up from 56 percent a year ago.

The number is also dramatically higher than it was after the passage of Arizona’s restrictive immigration law in 2010, when favorable attitudes toward the U.S. plummeted to 44 percent.

About half of those surveyed expressed confidence in Obama to “do the right thing’’ in dealing with world affairs, compared with 42 percent who said the same in 2012, and 38 percent in 2011.

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