The Great Flight: Political Corruption as a Trigger for Mexican Emigration

No Thumbnail Available
Little, Dimend
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Political corruption is a phenomenon that has plagued most societies. However, its contribution as a push factor in modern Mexican and Central American migration research must be addressed. Despite public opinion data such as LAPOP's Americas Barometer illustrating the frequency and disdain of civilians' interaction with petty corruption and gross distrust in the executive and legislative branches of government, research in the field remains relatively unexplored. The Migration Policy Institute has added to limited cross-sectional research in the field by demonstrating that corruption contributes at least to some extent to emigration desires. This study utilized structured interviews to measure the extent to which political corruption influenced emigration for ten immigrants from Mexico and Central America. It found that US foreign policy serves as a significant pull factor by encouraging migrants to immigrate and permanently settle in the US. Additionally, the study found that although corruption was not the primary factor motivating emigration, it was an underlying factor in migrants' search for safety and security in the United States.