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Border & Immigration

Local Group Studying Return Migration To Mexico

Screenshot of MATT.org

A local nonprofit is seeking to understand the process of return immigration, when immigrants in the U.S. return to Mexico.

From 2005 to 2010, 1.4 million Mexican migrants returned to Mexico -- only about 11 percent of those were deportees according to the Pew Research Center. Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT) is bi-national -- it has offices in San Antonio and Mexico -- and uses its program Yo Soy Mexico to assist migrants once they crossover.

Aracely Garcia-Granados, executive director of MATT,  said through this program they’re learning the other half of the immigration  story.

"We know why they came to the United States and the reasons, and how they came, but this is actually the first initiative that is looking to understand why they’re going back and most importantly how can we make that return a successful one," Garcia-Granados said.

The goal of Yo Soy Mexico is to find jobs for migrants in Mexico using skills they already possess or learned while in the United States. They approach migrants at repatriation centers and also use the Catholic Church to find them.

"The system that we have matches them with real job opportunities in Mexico, sometimes in their home state, sometimes in their hometown," Garcia-Granados said. "Or sometimes if they want to or have better opportunities they will go to another place inside of Mexico."

Through the information collected through interviews, people have said they left the U.S. due to a down economy, nostalgia, and family concerns. A full report on the findings will be released before Thanksgiving.