Why would the American President want to build a wall?

Why did this poster appear in Britain?

UKIP poster.jpg

Why have the SVP in Switzerland produced this poster?


Task 1: The vocab

‘No human being is illegal’: linguists argue against mislabeling of immigrants

Before we go any further we need to sort out some vocab. Every unit has vocab but in this unit the vocabulary is often used incorrectly and often with a rather negative connotation.

“A study by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University analysed 58,000 UK newspaper articles and found that illegal was the most common descriptor for the word immigrants.”

The Lexicon of Global Migration.jpg-large
A satirical look at the use vocabulary in relation to the movement of people.

a) Use dictionaries and the internet to find definitions for the following terms.

  • Migration
  • Immigration
  • Emigration
  • Immigrant
  • Illegal Immigrant
  • Migrant
  • Refugee
  • Asylum Seeker
  • Expat

b) When you have finished the task, read this article from the BBC on the use of these words by the media.

From Mexico to the USA: Economic Migration Case Study.


Mexican Migrant Cartoon. Click here to go to the Geographyalltheway.com activity
Mexican Migrant Cartoon. Click here to go to the Geographyalltheway.com activity

1) Create a table with two columns that shows the comparative economic and social situation in Mexico & USA. Use the CIA factbook to get the data.

a. Birth Rates / 1000 per yr

b. Death Rates / 1000 per yr

c. Infant Mortality Rates /1000 per year

d. Literacy Rates – %

e. Life Expectancy – Yrs

f. GDP PPP $

2) Use this page and resources from geographyalltheway.com and geographypods.com to annotate a copy of Lee’s Model.

Lee’s Model.docx
Mexico puh and pull.PNG

Push Factors

  • High crime rates in Mexico, especially in the capital. Homicide rates come in at around 10-14 per 100,000 people (world average 10.9 per 100,000) and drug related crimes are a major concern. It is thought that in the past five years, 47,500 people have been killed in crimes relating to drugs.

  • Unemployment and poverty is a major problem in Mexico and has risen exponentially in recent years. In 2017, unemployment rates in Mexico 3.3% in 2016.

  • A large portion of the Mexican population are farmers, living in rural areas where extreme temperatures and poor quality land make it difficult to actually farm. 46% of the population living under the poverty line.

  • Mexico is a very arid area which suffers from water shortages even in the more developed areas of Mexico. The country also suffers from natural disasters including volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes & tsunamis. These could force people to migrate if their homes have been destroyed or made uninhabitable. People who live in danger zones could also migrate out of fear for their lives.

Pull Factors

  • 6% of the Mexican population lacking access to “improved” drinking water.

  • Mexico’s infrastructure is severely undeveloped when compared to America’s.

  • America offers significantly better living standards and services, such as health care, people are enticed to move to America for a better life.

  • Existing migrant communities in states such as Texas and California help to pull people towards migration as they make it easier for people to settle. People also move in order to be with their families. Cousins and brothers will often move in with their relatives after they have lived in America for a while in order to be with their family.

  • 86.1% of the Mexican population can read & write versus 99% of the population in America. In addition, the majority of students in Mexico finish school at the age of 14, versus 16 in America. These statistics show that there are significantly better academic opportunities in America than in Mexico.

Homework Task: Your Family as a Case Study of Migration

Many of you will have migrated from one place to another. It may be from one country to another country, one region to another or even from the countryside to the city or city to countryside. These are all examples of migration. Take home a copy of Lee’s model and discuss it with your parents. What were the push and pull factors that affected their decision to move.

The Impacts of Migration:

I love Mexican Food.jpg

National Taco Day.PNG

Mexico to USA Migration advantages and disadvantages.doc

Impacts on US (positive and negative)
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Mexico is the country of origin for the largest numbers of illegal immigrants in the USA with 6,570,000 migrants, which is 57% of all illegal migrants.

  • Illegal migration costs the USA millions of dollars for border patrols and prisons
  • Mexicans are seen as a drain on the USA economy
  • Migrant workers keep wages low which affects Americans
  • They cause problems in cities due cultural and racial issues
  • Mexican migrants benefit the US economy by working for low wages
  • Mexican culture has enriched the US border states with food, language and music
  • The incidents of TB has been increasing greatly due to the increased migration
  • Illegal Mexican immigrants have long met a significant portion of the demand for cheap labour in the United States. The majority of the employed men are restaurant workers, janitors, truck drivers, gardeners, construction labourers, material moving workers, or perform other types of manual or other blue collar labour.
  • The illegal entry to the US, via its southern border, of an estimated 500,000 people each year, has led the US government to start building a security fence along the most sensitive areas.
    Occasionally, tensions have risen between Mexican immigrants and other ethnic groups because of increasing concerns over the availability of working-class jobs to Americans and immigrants from other ethnic groups.
    Opposition to illegal immigration has been reflected in the emergence of Minutemen groups – citizens who have taken it upon themselves to patrol the US borders and to confront illegal workers in cities around the US.
    Money sent back to Mexico by the immigrants is money that is lost from the American Economy. In 2003 $13bn was sent to Mexico.

Impacts on Mexico (positive and negative)
More than half of the estimated 11 million Mexicans residing in the US are there illegally, according to a report by the Mexican government.
There are more Zacatecans now living in Los Angeles than in the city of Zacatecas.

  • The Mexican countryside has a shortage of economically active people
  • Many men emigrate leaving a majority of women who have trouble finding marriage partners
  • Young people tend to migrate leaving the old and the very young
  • Legal and illegal immigrants together send some $6 billion a year back to Mexico
  • Certain villages such as Santa Ines have lost 2/3 of its inhabitants
  • The average weekly wage in parts of Mexico is about 600 pesos, or $60. That’s about one-sixth of what most immigrants can make in the States. A lot of which will be sent back to Mexico as remittances.
  • Despite the relative stagnation of the US economy, the flow of money keeps growing, according to recent data. In 2003 it increased by 35% – the total amount sent that year to Mexico was more than $13bn.
  • Remittances from Mexicans in the US have become one of Mexico’s most important sources of income – second only to oil and surpassing the traditional tourism industry.
  • In Axochiapan, the lure of American money has created a town where fathers and husbands are absent for years on end, women are left alone to raise the children, and the community is growing increasingly dependent on money made elsewhere.
  • In the village of Jomulquillo, a couple of hours from the city of Zacatecas, what hits you as soon as you arrive is the silence. One of the few locals remaining there says that at the moment there are 80 people living in the village – 300 live in Los Angeles. With the empty houses, the closed windows and locked doors, this feels like a ghost town. But the pain of families being separated is somewhat compensated by these remittances that, in the case of Zacatecas, not only help the relatives but also their villages of origin.
  • Critics argue that dependence on remittances can impair local initiative and create no incentives for people to move forward.
  • Women now outnumber men in rural areas and the women have problems finding suitable marriage partners.
  • Young adults tend to migrate, leaving ageing communities behind. With fewer children these communities will gradually die out.
  • Hundreds of illegal immigrants who cross into the US from Mexico have died in the scorching heat of the Arizona desert.

Exam Questions:

Describe and explain the impacts of migration the country of origin (Mexico) and the destination country (USA). (5)

Migration Push and Pull Questions.PNG

Current Example:

Rohingya Crisis: Forced Migration from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Rohingya Refugees.jpg
Rohingya Refugees fleeing ‘clearance operations’ by Myanmar’s army and Buddhist mobs.

UN report details brutal Myanmar effort to drive out half a million Rohingya

Starved out of Myanmar: hunger drives thousands more Rohingya to flee

Local Example: Migration in Switzerland

Swiss Immigration Data.PNG

Expats praised as driving force of innovation

One of Switzerland’s biggest assets is its capacity to innovate which goes hand in hand with increasing international mobility according to Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

Swiss limit immigration from some EU states

The Swiss government will re-introduce quotas for immigration from eight eastern European countries as part of a labour accord with the European Union.

Minister calls for open dialogue on immigration

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has warned against downplaying the negative consequences of Europe’s liberal immigration regulations for Switzerland, while at the same time pointing out that the country owes its prosperity in part to foreign labour.

Why Portuguese seek work in Switzerland

More than 230,000 Portuguese citizens live in Switzerland. And the financial crises means the number is growing. Immigration expert Rosita Fibbi tells swissinfo.ch about the people who “don’t make many demands and who know their place”.


Swiss citizens live in all corners of the world - via swissinfo.ch

One in ten Swiss lives abroad

Almost 716,000 Swiss citizens live outside Switzerland. The trend observed for several years continued in 2012.