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Migration to the United States
H2A & H2B Programs
Since the mid 1800's, Mexican nationals have been coming to the US and providing labor. The 1940's saw the creation of the US guest worker program that came to be known as the "Bracero" program. In the 1980's the guest workers program was revised and the H2 program was created - the US guest worker programs for non-professional workers, which is a form of documented migration on the basis of granting temporary worker visas.
The US guest worker program grants H-2 visas for temporary workers under either the H-2A or H-2B designation - the H-2A visa is granted for agricultural work, and H-2B visa for non-agricultural work.See also Temporary Guestworkers (H-2 Visas)
Below is the number of Temporary Worker Admissions in the H-2 program, showing the ever-increasing demand by the US for foreign labor.
Mexican guest workers to the United States under H-2 visas from 2000-2009:
The other form of Mexican migration to the United States is seen in the undocumented migrants crossing the Mexican/American border illegally. It is difficult to assign fixed numbers on the flow of undocumented Mexicans migrating to the US yearly, particularly in terms of participation in the workforce.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that as of January 1, 2006, there were a total of 11,500,00 undocumented immigrants in the United States, and of those 6,570,000 of them are undocumented Mexican immigrants.10