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Illegal Immigration Debate Is So 1990s


The debate over immigration is heating up just as immigration itself is slowing down. According to the NYT,

[a]ll across Mexico’s ruddy central plains, most of the people who could go north already have. In a region long regarded as a bellwether of illegal immigration — where the flow of migrants has often seemed never-ending — the streets are wind-whipped and silent.

So there are far fewer people left to immigrate than there were the last time immigration reform was passed, and those who remain aren’t interested in moving. The piece digs into some reasons why:

The American economy is no longer flush with jobs. The border is more secure than ever. And in Mexico the birthrate has fallen precipitously, while the people who left years ago have already sent their immediate relatives across, or started American families of their own.

These are all good points, but another big reason for staying is that Mexico itself is experiencing an economic boom. And they have the political leadership to match: Under the leadership of reform-minded President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s economic prospects look sunnier than they have in recent decades. The combination of an American recession, a Mexican boom, falling birthrates, assimilation, and stabilized family structures all suggest that Mexican immigration will slow to a trickle for the foreseeable future.

It’s too bad, then, that the current debate over illegal immigration sounds much the same as it did in the 1990s.

[Image of Mexican Flag Courtesy of Wikipedia]

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  • Ethan Rosen

    To be fair, many of the other debates going on this country are 20-30 years behind the times…

  • Luke Lea

    Addendum: I should have said “until we can restore the real hourly take-home pay of low-skilled Americans to what it used to be” since that, not total compensation, is the best measure of a worker’s standard of living. The rise in the cost of health insurance should not be allowed to obscure this reality anymore than the rise in the number of hours on the job now required to earn an equal amount of real disposable income.

  • SyeismicheskieShchenok

    You’re missing the point. It’s not just about Mexico but all of Latin America, especially in this day of easy air travel. And there are also lots of Chinese and then Africans whose populations are exploding. If we let amnesty to pass through, it will send a message all over the world that if people arrive in America illegally, they will eventually be amnestied and put on the pathway to citizenship.

    And if Mead really cares about the GOP, he should know that most non-white immigrants, legal and illegal, tend to vote Democratic.
    Does Mead in tune with the majority of Americans, or is he a shill for corporate interests and neocon globalists. And if Mead wants open borders for US and Europe, why is he supportive of Israel’s closed border policy?

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