Skip to comments.Shrinking Problem: Illegal Immigration From Mexico
Posted on 04/26/2012 3:55:04 AM PDT by Kaslin
The illegal immigration problem is going away.
That's the conclusion I draw from the latest report of the Pew Hispanic Center on Mexican immigration to the United States.
Pew's demographers have carefully combed through statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security and the Mexican government, and have come up with estimates of the flow of migrants from and back to Mexico. Their work seems to be as close to definitive as possible.
They conclude that from 2005 to 2010 some 1.39 million people came from Mexico to the United States and 1.37 million went from the U.S. to Mexico. "The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States," they write, "has come to a standstill."
The turning point seems to have come with the collapse of housing prices and the onset of recession in 2007. Annual immigration from Mexico dropped from peaks of 770,000 in 2000 and 670,000 in 2004 to 140,000 in 2010.
As a result, the Mexican-born population in the United States decreased from 12.6 million in 2007 to 12.0 million in 2010. That decrease consisted entirely of Mexican-born illegal immigrants, whose numbers decreased from 7 million in 2007 to 6.1 million in 2010.
Mitt Romney has been ridiculed for saying that illegal immigrants should "self-deport." But that seems to be exactly what many of them have been doing. The U.S. government has been sending back more illegals lately, but most of the flow to Mexico has been voluntary.
The Pew analysts hesitate to say so, but their numbers make a strong case that we will never again see the flow of Mexicans into this country that we saw between 1970, when there were fewer than 1 million Mexican-born people in the U.S., and 2007, when there were 12.7 million.
One reason is that Mexico's population growth has slowed way down. Its fertility rate fell from 7.3 children per woman in 1970 to 2.4 in 2009, which is just above replacement level.
Meanwhile, Mexico's economy has grown. Despite sharp currency devaluations in 1982 and 1994, its per capita gross domestic product rose 22 percent from 1980 to 2010.
Mexico, like the United States, experienced a recession from 2007 to 2009. But since then, Mexico's GDP has grown far faster than ours -- 5.5 percent in 2010 and 3.9 percent in 2011.
Mexico seemed yoked to the U.S. growth rate after passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. But since the recession it seems yoked to the more robust growth rate of the state with the biggest cross-border trade, Texas.
An end to the huge flow of immigrants from Mexico has huge implications for U.S. immigration policy.
Because of our long land border with Mexico (the Rio Grande is a trickle most of the year), it has been far easier to emigrate illegally from Mexico than from any other country.
As a result, Mexican immigrants tend to be younger, poorer, less educated and less fluent in English than immigrants from other countries. They are also more likely to be illegal -- Mexicans are 30 percent of all immigrants but 58 percent of illegals -- and less likely to become U.S. citizens.
A continued standstill in Mexican immigration means that the number of illegals in the United States will probably continue to decline, even in an economic recovery. Children of illegals born in the U.S., who are automatically U.S. citizens, don't add to the illegal numbers.
And no other country has produced or is likely to produce anything close to the number or share of illegals.
The central focus of the debate over the so-called comprehensive immigration bills that came to the floor of the Senate in 2006 and 2007 was their provisions for legalization of those illegally here -- amnesty, to opponents. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama is promising to push for such legislation just as he promised in 2008.
But he didn't deliver when Democrats had supermajorities in both houses and is unlikely to get anywhere on this project in a second term.
It may not matter much. With the Mexican reservoir of potential illegals dried up, and with better border enforcement and increased use of the much improved e-Verify system in workplaces, the illegal population seems likely to decline.
The key immigration issue for the future is whether America, like our Anglosphere cousins Canada and Australia, will let in more high-skill immigrants.
That's never been the issue. The issue has always been people who are here illegally, not whether we let in highly skilled "immigrants". Legal,"highly skilled" immigrants have always been welcomed. At least by me and everyone I associate with.
All the sudden we're seeing pieces like this in the news. If I were the cynical type. I'd say it was the amen corner of the media trying to give 0bama credit for something he didn't do.
I tend to look at this statistic the same way I look at the "we're using less oil in the US than we have since 2001" type statements I've also seen cropping up lately. We're using less oil , and attracting fewer illegals BECAUSE OUR ECONOMY IS IN THE CRAPPER!!! So while that is a result of 0bama, it's hardly something he should rush to take credit for.
12.6 down to 12 million. whoooohoooo!
Sorry folks but that’s still a buttload of people.
These “self deportation” figures look promising, but when the economy REALLY starts to improve (won’t happen under Comrade 0bama) they will switch back to the way it was before. And this ignores the 12 million illegals still here! In case the idiots in DC haven’t noticed, we’re broke - $15 TRILLION in debt! We can’t afford to educate and support these invaders.
Which is to say, in my lifetime, and I'm 45.
A pro-Hispanic outfit trying to minimize the problem, even make it sound like it is going away. No way. 12 million plus illegal immigrants. That is 12M that need to get sent back over the border ASAP, and charge them for the bus ticket. I don't care who they are, what they do, where their family is, or what skills they have. Illegal is illegal, doesn't belong here, shouldn't be here. Get out.
So that’s the key to illegal immigration, we need to suck economically more than Mexico.
And this ignores the 12 million illegals still here!
I’ve seen whole towns overrun with illegals that are nowhere near the Southwest.
I can buy these numbers and the economic reasons for them.
Also, the tough stance on immigration by some border states has had an impact. Although SCOTUS may strike down some of the laws passed by those states, some laws may stand. When states and localities have more power to stop illegal immigration, that will have an effect.
CA is still a sieve, but their budget woes will force them to cut the generous benefits they extend to illegals. It’s either that or lay off a huge chunk of state employees. When push comes to shove, unions will side with their members, not illegals.
I've even been hearing from conservative sources about Comprehensive Immigration Reform. What I don't hear is anything specific about what is wrong with the current law. I hear nothing about enforcing current law.
To quote Mitt Romney: "We're not stupid."
So, RINO GOP, before you go into that dark night of non-existence, try saving yourself, by getting on the right side of the American People and stop being Democrats Lite.
Seems to be real-time evidence of : self-deportation.
Deporting 20 million illegal immigrants isn’t necessary.
Simply remove the economic incentive through tougher identification requirements, and laws like Arizona’s.
I wonder over the last few years how many Freepers correctly posted that if the country shut off the magnets attracting illegal trespassers they would stop coming here. I am sure most have posted such thoughts/opinions.
Well thanks to a completely inept Marxist Kenyan community organizer the US economy sucks so bad that the jobs magnet was shut off.
Arizona, made their magnet conditional on being here legally.
Shazzzam, shut off just a few magnets and the flow reverses itself. Once again liberals are wrong. Maybe some day that will be the dictionary definition of liberal, WRONG.
Imagine what would happen if the food, housing, medical, school magnets were shut off for illegal trespassers. A few of our entitlement people might have to get off their welfare couch and pick some vegetables and fruits or mow some lawns etc as there will be many job openings.
Not completely. It is difficult to get a green card, but then the lottery system for citizenship is a farce. What is needed is something like what Canada has -- a points-based citizenship
It took my wife about ten years to become a citizen, she’s from South Korea. I wouldn’t consider her highly skilled but she does work her ass off at a couple of jobs lol. It was probably easier for her to go through the process because she married me while I was in the service. First getting her temp Visa, and then the ten year (permanent designation) and finally tested for citizenship. But I agree with you re: Canada. They even take people’s health into consideration. While I don’t want to through out the usual platitudes, we really do want the hardworking, best and brightest etc et al. ;)
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