NPR report on social impact back home of Mexican work migration to U.S.

On May 9, NPR ran a first part of a series on the social impact in Mexico of the migration of large numbers of adults to the United States for work. This first part threads a story of a troubled 14 year old whose father, then mother, left for the United States. “When Mexicans migrate to the United States, many leave their children in the care of extended families. That’s causing problems back in their home communities, with children doing poorly in school, dropping out or turning to crime,” reports NPR.

[School headmistress] Antonia Figaroa Ibanez says that more and more parents are leaving their children behind to be cared for by relatives. “It’s affecting us hugely,” she says. “Out of 73 children in one class, 10 have neither of their parents here. That’s a big number.”

Teacher Carmen Sanchez says that when a child’s parents leave, there is a clear consequence. “When they don’t have their father or mother, they lack confidence … in the academic sphere,” she says. “It means that they will be more likely to miss school and to drop out. They are also less respectful of their grandmothers or uncles or their teachers.”

Because crossing the border illegally has become more difficult and costly, migrants don’t want to risk returning to see their families.

More Mexican children and mothers have been coming to the United States, it appears, because only that way can they be with their fathers/husbands.