New Migration Patterns: High-Skilled Entrepreneurial Migration from Mexico to the United States
Pacheco, Elizabeth Salamanca
The number of high-skilled Mexican entrepreneurs working and living in the United States has increased during the last years. Texas is one of the states that illustrate this. A recurrent explanation of this entrepreneurial migration is the insecurity caused by the extended presence of organized crime in Mexico. But, is insecurity the only or most influential factor leading Mexican entrepreneurs to migrate? Are there additional factors contributing to this migration? To what extent do the push factors of the Mexican institutional context influence entrepreneurs’ decision to migrate? Do the pull factors of the U.S. institutional context influence the migration decision as well, or do they only perpetuate the decision to stay in the United States? The paper addresses these questions through qualitative research based on 20 in-depth interviews with Mexican entrepreneurs working and living in Houston. The theoretical framework considered for the design of the interview is a mixed-embeddedness approach. Findings show that push and pull factors have changed during recent years. Insecurity is one but not the only or most important factor. Instead, the perception of a friendly U.S. fiscal system, the search for a better quality of life, and the appeal of a more transparent business environment are powerful initial and staying factors of Mexican entrepreneurial migration to the United States.