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Mexican Mobile Consulate Survey

Washington State University

May 18, 2007

The following report demonstrates how the Mexican population in New Orleans increased after Hurricane Katrina as new demand for construction workers surged and wages were comparatively high. The survey shows that the majority of Mexicans in the New Orleans area and the region are unaccompanied men, many having wives and children in Mexico. Most migrants came to New Orleans from other parts of the U.S. in search of work, and found work through their connections with friends, paisanos, and family members. Most Mexicans (71.6%) arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, with a median duration in the U.S. of less than 3 years. Few expressed intentions to stay in New Orleans permanently; most intended to stay less than 2 years or they didn’t know. This underlines their tenuous legal status in the U.S.: 88.5% reported that they were unauthorized migrants. These workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse by employers, police and are often crime victims. Furthermore, many work in dangerous jobs and 1 in 5 reported experiencing an injury on the job. The report gives a sense of the scale of the change in the Mexican population after Katrina and their living and working conditions.


WSU TUSPH Mexican Mobile Consulate Study