Recession slows migration to U.S., EU

Hungarian border guard checks his binoculars during his patrol at the Hungarian and Slovakian border.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

BILL RADKE: There's a new study out of Washington shows
how the Great Recession is shaping immigration worldwide. Marketplace's Eve Troeh is in our studio live to tell us more. Hi Eve.

EVE TROEH: Hi.

RADKE: How has the recession affected the flow of people across borders?

TROEH: Well immigration has slowed dramatically in the last two years, that's according to the Migration Policy Institute. They even call it a virtual halt. They did this study for the BBC. And it's mostly about people moving to the U.S. and the EU from less-developed, poorer parts of the world. For example, the number of people from Mexico stopped at the U.S. border fell by about 40 percent last year. And the number of workers caught trying to enter the EU illegally fell by about the same.

RADKE: And what's happening to immigrants already living in the U.S. and the EU?

TROEH: Overall, tend to have a higher unemployment rates than native citizens. And that's because a lot of the jobs they came to do were boom-time jobs, building new homes for example. Those jobs were the first to disappear when the economy sank, they're not coming back any time soon. In Spain, the study says immigrants are at 30 percent unemployment and that's the highest in the EU.

RADKE: Marketplace's Eve Troeh. Eve, thank you.

TROEH: Thank you.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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