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Debates on border control increased in Europe, especially since the refugee movement in 2015. But to what extent does cross-border migration has its own momentum, independently of labor market conditions and of migration policies? Taking the example of the long-term migration dynamics between Mexico and the USA the article argues that the existence of transnational social spaces is an influencing factor in its own. Therefore, first we review some basic approaches of migration theory that could explain cross-border migration dynamics (section 1). Then, for the second half of the twentieth century the migration regime between Mexico and the USA is analyzed (section 2). Considering the related labor market conditions and the aggregated flows and stocks of migration there remains an explanation gap (section 3). Therefore, based on analysis of individual cross-border mobility and on remittances dynamics, the factor and momentum of transnational social spaces is stressed as crucial intervening factor (section 4). This has consequences on the degree to which cross-border migration could actually be managed (section 5).
Pries, L. (2019). The momentum of transnational social spaces in Mexico-US-migration. Comparative Migration Studies, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40878-019-0135-5