The Associated Press: Some Mexicans leaving US, planning never to return Some Mexicans leaving US, planning never to return
By IVAN MORENO— 8 hours ago
DENVER (AP) — After going months without a full-time job, Daniel Ramirez has decided it's time to return to family in Mexico.
Vicenta Rodriguez Lopez says she can't afford to live in Colorado any more because her husband was deported.
Roberto Espinoza is going back, too. After 18 years as a mechanic for a General Motors dealership in Denver, his work permit wasn't renewed and he didn't want to remain in the country illegally.
All are leaving Colorado in time for Christmas — joining a traditional holiday migration that will number almost 1 million people, says Mexico's interior ministry. But they have no intention of returning to Colorado, a place that promised prosperity.
Layoffs, dwindling job opportunities, anti-immigrant sentiment and the crackdown on illegal immigrants are forcing hard choices on many Mexican nationals in Colorado. Though not an exodus, some are returning to a nation they haven't seen in years.
"You despair. You think, 'I used to earn $600 a week and now I'm getting half of that a week?'" said Ramirez, 38, who lost his Denver construction job in August. He left last week, driving to San Luis Potosi in central Mexico.
Mexico's consul general in Denver, Eduardo Arnal, said more people like Ramirez are going home for good.
He cites a rise in applications for import tax exemptions by Mexican nationals bringing home their belongings. The consulate hasn't compiled statistics for 2008 but says it receives about three applications a day, compared to one per week in 2007.