The Mexico-to-U.S. link is the most popular bilateral migration path in the entire world. The poorest countries are the ones with the least emigration, that is people leaving the country to live abroad. Although the percentage of the world’s people living outside of their birth countries has remained the same in recent decades, the sheer number of international migrants has never been higher. Obviously, one main cause is the worldwide population growth from 2.5 billions in 1950 to nearly 7.5 billions people living on our planet nowadays.
Throughout human history, migration has been a courageous expression of the individual’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Today, globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places.
The total number of international migrants has increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 232 million persons today.
On 4 December 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day (A/RES/55/93). On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (A/RES/45/158).
This new era has created challenges and opportunities for societies throughout the world. It also has served to underscore the clear linkage between migration and development, as well as the opportunities it provides for co-development, that is, the concerted improvement of economic and social conditions at both origin and destination.