Once again, the xenophobes are proven wrong: despite the hysteria, illegal immigration to the U.S. is the direct result of U.S. labor shortages, and when the jobs stop coming...so do the illegal migrants.
The Associated Press reported today that, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington think tank, the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has slowed significantly the past few years, falling below the number of those entering the country legally. The report estimates there were 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. as of March. That would be a decline of 500,000 from the center's estimate a year ago.
Speculation by most experts is that this is due to the nation's struggling economy and stepped up enforcement of immigration laws. One expert:
"The decline in job prospects in construction, service and other low-skilled jobs are communicated through extended networks of would-be movers from Mexico and Latin America," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, another Washington think tank. "It also may propel more return migration."
The way things are going, maybe we won't be needing that fence after all, eh?