Study indicates sharp fall in annual inflow of illegal immigrants to U.S.
A study showed recently that the annual inflow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. fell to almost two-thirds less from March 2007 to 2009 than what it had been from March 2000 to 2005.
The Pew Hispanic Center published a report which indicated that after hitting its highest at 12 million in 2007, within just two years at 2009 a clear decline, the first in 20 years, was seen at some 11.1 million, The New York Times said.
The decrease mainly came from illegal immigrants from Latin American countries apart from Mexico. However, the number if Mexican illegal immigrants living in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 remains at seven million, comprising 60 percent of all illegal aliens in the U.S., the New York Times said.
The report was based on data culled from the 2009 Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and decennial census. The estimated number of illegal aliens was determined by the residual method, which is widely accepted practice, the Pew Hispanic Center said.
Under this method, the demographic of the legal, foreign born populace is deducted from the total population that is foreign born. The difference becomes the base to determine the size and characteristics of the illegal immigrant population, the Pew Hispanic Center said.
The 900,000 decrease in illegal aliens is likely due to the U.S. recession and stronger enforcement of immigration laws, both at workplaces nationwide and along the Southwest border, The New York Times said.
Some 11 million illegal immigrants still remain in the U. S., and the study does not indicate any surge of aliens leaving the U.S. to return to their countries of origin, The New York Times said.
The Pew study confirms earlier findings made by Mexican and American demographers who also noted a sharp decline in the number of Mexicans who entered the U.S. illegally to find work, The New York Times said.
Despite Arizona’s recent immigration controversy, the states where illegal entry decreased the most were elsewhere—in Nevada, Florida and Virginia, most likely due to the downfall in home construction in these three states. Many illegal immigrants find employment in construction, The New York Times said.
Texas remains a destination state for illegal immigrants, most likely because it was not hit as badly by recession as other states, and it continues to experience among the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Newsopi.com said.
The Pew report encompassed the first year and a half of the recession which economists believe started in late 2007. In this period immigration operations were intensified and enforced, first under the Bush administration and continued, with some changes, by President Obama, The New York Times said.
Jeffrey Passel of Pew noted that as it becomes harder to cross the border, the cost of hiring smugglers has peaked, and there are diminished job opportunities. Passel said, “The cost of getting in compared to the payoff from employment is changing the decisions of many potential migrants,” The New York Times said.
The presence of drug traffickers along the borders also makes it more dangerous to enter the U.S. illegally, with some 72 bodies of migrants found in northern Mexico who Mexican authorities say were killed by these traffickers, The New York Times said.