More college-educated migrants are coming to Texas

by | May 10, 2019 | Education

A new study says a higher share of Mexican migrants arriving in Texas have college degrees.

The number of college-educated Mexican migrants moving to the U.S. jumped from 269,000 in 2000 to 678,000 in 2017.

The data shows that roughly one in six Mexican migrants moving to the U.S. have a college degree, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

Of those 678,000 new college-educated arrivals, one quarter of them reside in Texas.

“Among the Texas metropolitan areas with the most college-educated Mexican immigrants, educational attainment increased faster in El Paso, McAllen, and San Antonio than in Dallas and Houston, potentially indicating a movement of Mexican professionals to cities on and near the U.S.-Mexico border,” detailed the report.

Researchers said that due to the lack of Spanish-friendly jobs, issues with legal status, or problems getting recognition for their professional credentials, many migrants are not getting the most out of their college degrees and find themselves working in jobs below their skill level.

“As the profile of Mexican immigrants to the United States continues to change and U.S. policymakers seek to attract talent to be competitive on a global scale, addressing these barriers will be important,” researchers said. “In this, Texas can lead the way.”

The study suggested policies like language training and the streamlining of migrant access to professional degrees and skill certifications in order for the Texas and U.S. economy to take full advantage of the skills of new college-educated arrivals.

Houston currently leads the way the highest number of college-educated Mexican migrants (39,000) followed by Dallas (33,000) and El Paso (24,000). | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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