Self-Deporting to Mexico

U.S. unemployment and a strong Mexican economy push some former residents back home.
2:04 | 05/02/13

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Transcript for Self-Deporting to Mexico
And now we turn to a reality check on immigration in america. Is america still the lure it once was? President obama arriving in mexico city to talk immigration reform tonight, as we confirm a surprising number, how many undocument the immigrants in america have decided to return to mexico. Abc's white house correspondent jim avila in mexico. Reporter: Footsteps echo through a nearly empty, northern mexico village. Expensive homes bolted shut. Block after block of shuttered doors in el cargadero, their absentee owners working hundreds of miles away in the united states. So where is everybody? Mostly they're in california. I would say 2/3 of the people from here, they reside in southern california. Reporter: But now many mexicans who desperately crossed the northern br for work are coming home, chased away not by the fear of deportation, but by u.S. Unemployment. When the economy started going down, it was hard, especially my work. Reporter: Erika felix, coming home after working illegally for nine years in the u.S., Hiding in the shadows. You're always in fear, you know? Reporter: A surprising trend so strong, yet often lost in the border security debate -- now, migration between the u.S. And mexico is at net zero. About 1.4 million mexicans each year into the united states, and the same number out. Some lured by an improving economy at home. Soon the streets of these villages could be filled with its citizens again. Reporter: Might as well live in mexico -- yeah. You have more rights, more freedom, you know, you're not hiding. Reporter: All of this begging the question for advocates whether or not too much is being spent on border security. Those against immigration reform say more money should be spent.

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