Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Polleros Getting all the Action

"Chicken herders" (people smugglers) getting more business

El Diario

The proportion of Mexican migrants who hire "polleros" [literally: chicken herders] to cross the border into the United States grew from 28 to 48 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the "Situacion Demografica de Mexico 2009", published by the National Population Council of Mexico (CONAPO). The report warns that the hiring of "polleros" is directly linked to the crossing through risky places, given that the U.S. authorities have reinforced border security at the traditional migrant entry points.

It adds, "In the most recent period, the locations in Sonora are the entry point into the United States for four out of every nine migrants." The study points out that the regular Mexico-U.S. migrant flow has been interrupted due to the difficulty in crossing the border.

Thus, while in 1980 forty-two percent of Mexican migrants reported staying in the U.S. for over 10 years, in 2007 the proportion rose to 58 percent.

CONAPO reports that "It's understandable, given the high costs and risks of reaching the United States, that migrants may seek to maximize their capital investment and postpone their return to Mexico to the last minute." Currently, it notes, the migration of Mexicans is generally undocumented and permanent, and it involves a greater territorial area in both countries.

The migrants now have a more heterogeneous profile and one farther from the traditional one, composed basically of a working age, male, rural population, with a low average of education and employed seasonally in field work. From 1980 to date, the report explains, the average age of Mexican migrants to the U.S. has grown from 28 to 35 years of age.

For another thing, they tend to work more and more in the service sector. The report warns, "Mexicans represent, by far, the principal immigrant group in the United States, but they are enrolled in a political and social context which is little favorable to them."

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