Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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Showing posts for "Immigration"

Mexicans and the U.S. Melting Pot

by Shannon K. O'Neil
New U.S. citizens say Pledge of Allegiance during naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters). New U.S. citizens say Pledge of Allegiance during naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters).

The integration (once called assimilation) of foreigners into the United States is a long-standing issue. Some fear that today’s immigrants aren’t integrating into U.S. culture and society as past waves did. Mexicans—the largest single group today with some twelve million immigrants—in particular are seen as guilty of maintaining their distance. The late Harvard professor Samuel Huntington summed up these views, writing that Hispanics “threaten to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages,” and generally “lack initiative, self-reliance, and ambition.” Read more »

Changes in Mexican Migration

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A candidate for United States citizenship grips a small American flag during a naturalization ceremony celebrating Bill Of Rights Day in the Federal Hall National Memorial in New York (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). A candidate for United States citizenship grips a small American flag during a naturalization ceremony celebrating Bill Of Rights Day in the Federal Hall National Memorial in New York (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

A recent Pew Hispanic Center report highlights the rather steep declines in the number of Mexicans coming to the United States, as well as the rising numbers leaving for Mexico. Taken together, they show that net migration from 2005 to 2010 reached zero—with inflows and outflows of some 1.4 million individuals (a rough average of 280,000 a year) cancelling each other out. This is a huge migratory shift, and one that reflects many things, including a weaker U.S. economy, a stronger Mexican economy, changing Mexican demographics, rising deportations, and enhanced border security. Read more »

Discussing Mexico’s and Brazil’s Economic Outlook

by Shannon K. O'Neil

This morning, I did an interview with Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio. Always lively hosts, we talked mostly about most about Mexico—its economic prospects, its security situation, and the changing immigration flows to the United States. We also touched on Brazil, and whether one should be bullish or bearish on its future. Read more »

Central America’s Moment

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A gang member flashes a gang sign as police parade suspected gang members they arrested in an overnight raid in San Salvador A gang member flashes a gang sign as police parade suspected gang members they arrested in an overnight raid in San Salvador (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

While Brazil and Mexico (in good and bad ways) tend to fill U.S. headlines regarding Latin America, other nations matter as well for the United States. Among them are the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Though combined their populations total less than thirty million people, these small nations arguably have an outsized effect on the United States, due to a long history of migration and a now growing role in the hemispheric drug pipeline. Read more »

Estimating the Costs of Restrictive Immigration Laws

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Migrant farm workers walk back to their camp with food and other supplies in San Diego Migrant farm workers walk back to their camp with food and other supplies in San Diego (Fred Greaves/Courtesy Reuters).

Much has been written about the rise of restrictive immigration laws in states such as Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia, both by those for and against these measures. What is now emerging are initial assessments of the economic costs and benefits of these policies. Read more »

Illegal Immigration and the 2012 Campaign

by Shannon K. O'Neil

I wrote a piece for CNN Global Public Square entitled “Illegal Immigration and the 2012 Campaign,” which highlights the role illegal immigration plays in the 2012 U.S. presidential race. In it I discuss how the rhetoric does not always match up to current immigration realities, and how the Hispanic vote will affect the upcoming election. Here is a brief excerpt: Read more »

Debating Amnesty and Immigration Policy

by Shannon K. O'Neil

Yesterday I had an exchange with my CFR colleague, Ed Husain (who has a fantastic blog, “The Arab Street,”), about my last post on Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan. I wanted to post it here, to add to the lively debate on the issue of amnesty, and immigration reform more generally, and he graciously agreed. Below is our conversation: Read more »

What’s Wrong With Romney’s “Self-Deportation” Plan

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Republican presidentical candidate Romney speaks as Gingrich listens during the Republican presidential candidates debate in Tampa (Scott Audette/Courtesy Reuters). Republican presidentical candidate Romney speaks as Gingrich listens during the Republican presidential candidates debate in Tampa (Scott Audette/Courtesy Reuters).

During Monday’s Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney put forth his plan for dealing with illegal immigration: self-deportation. Here is how the exchange went:

Debate Moderator Adam Smith: Governor Romney there’s one thing I am confused about, you say you don’t want to round people up and deport them but you also say that they would have to go back to their home countries, and then apply for citizenship. So if you don’t deport them, how do you send them home? Read more »