International Migration and Crisis Transition Toward a New Migratory Phase

Author:   Jardón Hernández, Ana Elizabeth
Publisher:   Springer Nature
Reviewer:   Kishlay Kirti

Jardón Hernández, Ana Elizabeth (2017). International Migration and Crisis Transition Toward a New Migratory Phase. Springer Nature. 130 pages. ISBN 978-3-319-43898-6

The United States of America and Mexico shares one of the largest migration corridors in the world. The migration between these two nations has always attracted scholars and policy-makers for many reasons. The border control, undocumented migration, detention, deportation, and the developmental aspects are some the key areas which are indeed the features of this migration. Mexico to the U.S migration is seen as a strategy of getting more opportunities and better living. However the lives of migrants are not easier in the United States. They face various challenges due to government policies and market conditions prevalent in the U.S. 

The book ‘International Migration and Crisis Transition toward a New Migratory Phase’ written by Ana Elizabeth Jardón Hernández is one attempt to portrait the picture of Mexican migrants during the global economic crisis of 2008-09. Ana Elizabeth Jardón Hernández is a fulltime researcher and professor in the Center of Research and Studies on Mobilities and International Migrations at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. Her major contributions are on Mexico-U.S. migration, remittances, development and poverty.

In this book, the author has written about the transformations in the Mexico-U.S. migration due to economic crisis of 2008-09, where her focus is to address the issues of Las Vueltas (one of the seven communities located in the southwest region of the Municipality of Coatepec Harinas in Mexico) communities. In the past community has witnessed a steep decline in the population due to migration. The book is organized in five chapters including its introduction and conclusion and its length is just 130 pages.

The first chapter is the introduction of the book; where the author has discussed the different reasons of Mexico-U.S. migration, changing pattern and demography of migrants and how these changes are associated with the 2008 international economic crisis. Apart from this, she has discussed strict U.S. policy on migration and the Las Vueltas communities.

The second chapter of the book is about the changing pattern of Mexico-U.S migration. Here four factors of migrations are suggested a) the economic crises in Mexico, b) the economic restructuring and demand for labour migrants in the U.S., c) the changes in American migratory policy and d) the maturation of migrants’ transnational networks.  Altogether these factors suggest that expected income is just one of the many reasons that motivate for international migration. The changes in the policy from recruitment to restriction are the main reason for the different migratory pattern between the nations. During the crisis of 2008-09 Latin American migrants recorded a higher unemployment rate than those of the migrants from other countries (p.11).

The third chapter of the book is about changing phases of Las Vueltas migrants to U.S. Historically, the migration of Mexicans to the U.S. can be divided into different phases with some specific characteristics of migrants such as- how do they cross the border? Do they have proper documentation or not? How long they stay? etc. 

Many individuals who migrated after the crisis to the U.S. have decided not to return home because they realize that this is not a convenient moment to do so. Post-crisis undocumented migration from Las Vueltas communities has declined. In this chapter, many examples of migrants have been given where some migrants were severely affected due to crisis and also due to lack of proper documentation. Some of the migrants who stayed for long and obtained citizenship were in a better position as they were getting the benefit of social security. Despite everything, the Mexican migrants want to stay in the U.S. because the condition at their home is even worse.

Chapter four of the book is about the strategies of migration. Here the author has given some examples from her study where she found that without migration, life of Las Vueltas communities would have been very pathetic. If they do not migrate, they would not be able to meet their needs.  Even internal migration has been seen as a strategy due to the pressing need to obtain resources to satisfy their basic needs. Although this strategy does not provide an income equivalent to a Mexian migrant in U.S., it still represents an option for entering labour markets that is significantly better than what can be earned in Las Vueltas. So the case of Las Vueltas is for survival.

Chapter five of the book concludes the study. The Mexico-U.S. migration is an age-old process which has seen many changes in the past. The Las Vueltas communities have also faced difficulty due to the crisis of 2008-09 and their flows have come down due to restrictions and government policies. Many migrants have lost jobs and they were forced to return. Knowing the situation, they have found alternative strategies to survive. They have started working locally and to earn more they have diversified their work towards agriculture, animal husbandry etc. 

In this book, the author has put her words clearly and the book revolves around its theme. It makes it easier for readers to understand. The book is written with the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods which broadens the readers’ vision and knowledge. The qualitative research tool was used to conduct interviews and quantitative research tool was used to statistical analysis of population survey data. 

The book delivers plenty of information on Mexico-U.S. migration. As the book addresses the issue of migration during a crisis; one expects more information on remittance and developmental aspects, which is missing in the book. Further the sample size that is taken in the book to study the crisis is very small and study lags empirical findings.  Overall it is a good book to take a look at Mexico-U.S. migration, and migration and its linkages to the crisis. The book can help researchers of sociology and development studies who wish to study international migration in the underdeveloped region in general or Mexico-U.S. migration in particular.

Kishlay Kirti, PhD Candidate, Department of Economic Studies and Policy, Central University of South Bihar, India. E-mail: [email protected]

© 2012-20 GRFDT, All Rights Reserved.Maintained by GRFDT.Designed by Abhinav Jain