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Study Compiles Data On Why Immigrants Leave The United States

An in-depth study into why immigrants are leaving the United States and returning to Mexico is being released by a binational nonprofit based in San Antonio.

The study finds the majority are returning home by their own choice.

The study called End of an Era, which was done by Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT), interviewed 600 people in the Mexican state of Jalisco last fall. The requirements: They had to have been in the U.S. at least one year and back in Mexico for three months.

Of those surveyed, 89 percent returned to Mexico on their own, 11 percent were deported, and 68 percent had no intention of making the U.S. a permanent home.

MATT Executive Director Aracely Garcia-Granados said the top reason migrants returned to Mexico, with 36 percent of responses, was family issues.

"The number two reason, at 29 percent, is nostalgia, and the third reason, at 11.3 percent, is the economy," Garcia-Granados said.

Only 1.7 percent returned due to anti-immigrant sentiment. At least 76 percent were undocumented at the time they lived in the United States.

The study was a component of MATT's project Yo Soy Mexico. MATT hopes to continue the study with other Mexican states, and hopes that the results will be used in deciding U.S. immigration policy.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules