Background and Objective

Background of the surveys

The Survey of Migration at Mexico´s Northern Border (EMIF Norte) began in 1993 as a collaboration project between El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), the National Population Council, and the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, to measure the size and characteristics of the flows of migrant workers between Mexico and the United States.

Later, the survey became a fundamental statistical observatory for the study of Mexican migration and the most important conceptual and methodological precedent for another similar survey on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, The Survey of Migration at Mexico´s Southern Border (EMIF Sur) carried out since 2004.

Both surveys are managed by the following institutions: El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), the Secretariat of Government, the National Population Council, the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare, Migration Policy Bureau of Secretariat of Government, the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, and the National Council to Prevent Discrimination. And in 2015 the Secretariat of Social Development joined the project.

General Objectives

The Survey of Migration at Mexico´s Northern Border: Increase understanding of the phenomena of labor migration flows at Mexico’s northern border with the United States, highlighting its characteristics, volume, and trends, and its effects on the labor market and its impact on both neighboring societies.

The Survey of Migration at Mexico´s Southern Border: Increase understanding of the flows of migrants who cross between Mexico and Guatemala in order to work in Mexico or the United States, along with the undocumented migrants that cross Mexican territory and are returned to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador by Mexican and U.S. immigration officials. Also, quantify the volume of migration flows and discover its main economic, social and demographic makeup, as well as the conditions and labor characteristics of the people who migrate.