LAS VEGAS -- For the first time since the Great Depression, more Mexicans are leaving the than arriving in the United States.
A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center is saying the "Mexican immigration boom" to the U.S. is essentially over. Many Hispanics are now leaving the country instead of entering and it's mostly because they can't find work in the U.S.
For decades, millions of Mexicans have crossed the border, legally or illegally, hoping for a better life in America. Now, it appears the trend is reversing.
"Most of them are going home, especially if they are from Mexico," said immigrant America Reyes.
She's unemployed and says many immigrants are in her situation. She says they have given up the hope of finding the American Dream.
"What's the point to be here if you don't have money to pay your rent or your bills?"
"When the economy booms, the country attracts more immigrants. When the economy stalls, we repel immigrants," said Robert Lang with Brookings Mountain West, an arm of the Brookings Institution in Washington.
He said the change in the immigration pattern is especially striking in southern Nevada because so many Mexicans come here for construction jobs. Those were the jobs that dried up the quickest during the recession.
"There's not much attraction if you come and are likely to be unemployed," Lang said.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, other reasons for fewer Mexicans coming to the U.S. include tougher border enforcement and a rise in deportations.
According to the report, another interesting factor for the slowdown in immigration is the falling birthrate in Mexico. Fewer Mexicans are having kids and that lowers the number of people in that country who want to come to the U.S.