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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coping with the crisis : migration and settlement decisions of Yucateco migrants to the United States

  • Author(s): Hartman, Georgia Lynne
  • et al.

This thesis explores the effect of the recent economic crisis on the migration and settlement decisions of the transnational community of Tunkás. News reports early into the crisis hypothesized that stripped of employment in the United States, unauthorized Mexican immigrants would return to their hometowns en masse. In fact, a mass return migration has failed to materialize. How and why are migrants deciding to stay in the United States? Also, how is the crisis affecting Tunkasen̋os decisions about new migration? By utilizing migrants' narratives, this paper aims to explain the complexities of migration and settlement decisions in the context of this current crisis. The author finds that despite job loss and reductions in wages, most migrants conclude that remaining in the U.S. is the best way to ensure the economic survival of their families. It is evident that these decisions are influenced by a myriad of economic, social, and personal factors that transcend the Tunkasen̋o community in the United States and Mexico. Throughout the paper, the author contextualizes migrants' narratives within various frameworks offered by migration theory. Rather than allowing these theories to guide an analysis of migrant narratives, the author uses these narratives to steer an interpretation of major theories of migration

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