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"They enter the United States legally from Mexico with the proper
papers and visas, but then they cannot go home. So they overstay their
visas. They are surgeons, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, members of
Mexico’s wealthy middle and upper middle-class educated population. The
expansion of drug cartels into larger organized crime operations that
carry out extortion and kidnappings has driven these Mexicans to cross
legally into the U.S. But the threat of what might happen to them, if
they go back, keeps them in the U.S longer than the law allows. Melissa del Bosque profiled such a family in her recent article “No Safe Place” in the Texas Observer.
The father is a successful businessman who was kidnapped for a large
ransom. He was rescued; but the authorities told him they could not
guarantee his safety, and he would be better off in the U.S. Del Bosque says the number of Mexicans who flee for this reason is
not clear, but as many as 230,000 may have left Mexico, and about half
of that group is likely living in the U.S. Estimates have put the number
in San Antonio at around 50,000. This immigrant population is actually helping the economic situation
in some Texas border cities. KUT’s Jennifer Stayton talked with Melissa
del Bosque about that and more." - KUT, Oct. 28, 2011.