Changing Patterns of Mexican Migration to Nevada
An outcome of Mexico’s economic crisis of 1982 was migration from the interior Mexican states of Morelos, Hidalgo, Durango, Zacatecas, and the Federal District, which in the past were not known for supplying migrants to the United States.
Increasingly, Mexican migrants are bypassing traditional entry points in Texas and California and heading straight for Nevada. In fact, the southernmost county of the state, Clark County, has become the hub for Latino migration in general and Mexican migration in particular. The construction of migration streams between specific source areas in Mexico and specific receiving areas in Nevada depends upon the presence of established workers in Nevada from previous waves of migration, or migration networks. These networks include ties of kinship and friendship. Like gatekeepers, relatives and friends assist a recent arrival in the quest for work, housing, transportation, food, and social opportunities. Migration networks evolve gradually as a few workers return to Mexico with cash and material goods after working in the United States. These returnees describe the booming economy and the job opportunities in Nevada, which encourages others to migrate.