FLORIDA, May 9, 2012 — For the first time since the dark and dreary days of the Great Depression, the number of immigrants entering the United States from Mexico has decreased.
A new report conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that more Mexicans are actually leaving this country rather than entering it. The rate of immigration started to taper off in 2005, apparently, then reversed itself within the span of five years. The sharp economic downturn was a huge contributing factor to this, but other reasons cannot be overlooked. More effective border patrols, more deportations, and perhaps most importantly, a declining Mexican birthrate have either sent millions back to their homeland or created little incentive for them to leave it in the first place.
Many of those making the trek back to Mexico are taking their American-born children along with them. The report indicated that roughly 100,000 boys and girls who are technically citizens of the United States have nonetheless been whisked away to whichever locale their parents came from.
Considering that America has faced a surge of Mexican immigrants since 1970, and this became the largest wave of immigration that the nation has yet to experience, its relatively sudden reversal is all the more surprising. In 2007, the tally of Mexicans living inside of the U.S. reached the record high of 12.6 million. Just half a decade later, this is already down by an estimated 600,000.
Contrary to popular belief, most undocumented Mexican immigrants do not take up permanent residence in America; most ultimately return home. Unlike the situation for other immigrant groups, this is an easy, viable option due to the fact that the U.S. and Mexico share an extended border. Given the ease with which immigrants can move both ways, what can be done to keep the the flow from reversing once more?
A fence cannot efficiently change illegal immigration patterns. Aside from bringing military personnel back from overseas and stationing them in an unbroken line extending from San Diego to Brownsville, very few steps can be taken to totally seal off the border to people who want to cross it illegally.
Regardless of one’s opinion on this sensitive subject, preventing unlawful immigration from soaring back to the levels of just a few years ago is a matter of domestic security. Is there a chance that this will be an issue about which Congress and the Oval Office can reach a reasonable, i.e., not amnesty-oriented, agreement?
If other important issues of the day are examples for how negotiations might take place, I strongly doubt it.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.