Will Hispanic Immigration Trends Hurt Obama in 2012?
The Pew Hispanic Center drew widespread attention last month when it reported that the seemingly unending migration flow that had brought some 12 million Mexicans, both legally and illegally, to the U.S. over the past four decades had ceased, if not reversed. Using Census and other data from both nations, Pew estimated that from 2005 to 2010, 1.37 million Mexicans arrived in the U.S. (both legally and illegally) while 1.39 million Mexicans already in the U.S. migrated in the opposite direction. "While it is not possible to say so with certainty," Pew concluded, "the trend lines within this latest five-year period suggest that return flow to Mexico probably exceeded the inflow from Mexico during the past year or two."
If sustained, this trend will affect the growth of the Mexican-American population over the long term (especially the very long term). But most experts agree it will have little impact on the evolution of the Hispanic electorate in the U.S. for at least the next several decades.