Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The New York Times:Low-Wage Workers From Mexico Dominate Latest Great Wave of Immigrants The calculation Mexican immigrants make is simple: there are jobs across the border at wages that are much higher than in Mexico. In the United States new Mexican immigrants mostly earn poverty wages by American standards, a median income of only $300 a week, the Pew Hispanic Center reported last year. But that is as much as four times what they would make for similar work at home. While Mexicans are coming in ever larger numbers, their legal avenues have not expanded. One result is that Mexican families often have mixed immigration status. There might, say, be a legal resident mother and an illegal father with children who are American citizens because they were born in the United States. For Mexican immigrants the ties of family and religious faith are often more compelling than national allegiance. When immigrants first arrive, they rely on relatives already established in this country to give them shelter and steer them to jobs. Mexicans sent back $20 billion last year to aid families at home, the Inter-American Development Bank reported.