Silvia Giorguli PhD ’04 speaks at a forum.
We are entering a new stage in U.S.-Mexico migration notes Silvia Giorguli PhD ’04.Photo: Frank Mullin
Politics & Law

Border Reversal
Silvia Giorguli PhD ’04 explores new U.S.-Mexico dynamics

By Michael Blanding / July/August 2018
July 15th, 2018

“We are seeing people returning to Mexico now after living in the U.S. for 10 or 15 years,” said migration expert Silvia Giorguli PhD ’04, who led “The Other Side of the Migration Story,” a Commencement forum. “It’s very difficult in terms of integrating them back into Mexican society.”

As president of El Colegio de México in Mexico City, Giorguli studies the effects of migration on both Mexico, where she was born, and the U.S., to which she migrated as a PhD student at Brown. “The question,” she asked, “is how can we capitalize on the benefits of migration for both countries, and how can we minimize the cost?”

Currently, she said, we are entering a new stage in U.S.-Mexico migration. Fewer Mexicans are crossing the border and more are returning, as a result of both deportation and a voluntary desire to return. That’s caused overall migration to the U.S. to slow to zero or even become negative over the past few years. Giorguli says that a  drop in the Mexican fertility rate and improvements in the country’s educational system are changing the makeup of the next generation.

“There will be fewer Mexicans to migrate, but those who do will be better educated,” she said.  Heated rhetoric aside, she believes these trends will benefit both countries.

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