Mexican Immigration Falls to Net Zero
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  • Kenny

    Net Zero is a start but it is not nearly good enough.

    Deportations need to be stepped up, especially among the huge criminal class of illegals.

  • Brett

    I agree that we’ll see a rebound, but it probably won’t be as strong as migration was in the 1990s and 2000s. Mexico is going through its own Demographic Transition, and the economy down there has been solid even in spite of the drug violence.

    I don’t really care about whether the rest of the illegal population stays or not. They’ll eventually be integrated, either on their own or through their American-born children. In the mean-time, they raise American’s birth rate, and keep us for accelerating towards a society with a top-heavy elderly population as fast as the Europeans and Japanese.

  • Pincher Martin

    “But in the medium to long term, Mexican immigration to the US is on a downward path.”

    This is simply not true, and it’s irresponsible to report the Pew’s findings as suggesting it’s true. You have no idea what the future of Mexico’s immigration to the U.S. will be like, but in all likelihood when the U.S. economy picks up steam, so will immigration. You say this yourself in another part of your post, but then contradict it with your prediction above.

    Look at the five-year divisions Pew chose. If you break them down according to how well the U.S. economy was performing in that period, you see a more economical explanation behind the decline in the number of Mexicans coming to the U.S.

    1995-2000 — Tech boom explodes; U.S. productivity picks up; Stock market is at an all-time high; governments are awash in wealth, budgets are being balanced, and confidence in the economy is near the heights last seen in the twenties. The people managing the economy (Greenspan, Summers, Rubin) are rock stars. Unemployment is at near-record lows.

    2000-2005 — The tech bubble pops, causing a mild economic recession but a huge dip in stock market values. Interest rates drop to record lows. Investors and homeowners start chasing wealth in the housing market, causing a huge bubble in real estate to replace the previous bubble in dot.coms. Confidence is significantly lower than in the late 90s, but still high enough to support a sector bubble. Unemployment is low, but not as low as the late 90s.

    2005-2010 — The real estate bubble begins deflating in late 2006. This time there is no other bubble to take its place. A recession begins in late 2007. The financial crisis follows soon afterwards in early 2008 (Bear Stearns), which in turn causes a much deeper recession. Growth picks up slightly in late 2010, but the U.S. is still living with the consequences of the two huge bubbles today in the form of high unemployment rates and low labor force participation rates.

    *****

    So what explains the drop in Mexican immigration? A demographic collapse in Mexico that was already going on in the late 90s when Mexican immigration to the U.S. was still going strong? Or the performance of the U.S. economy? I think the latter is the stronger explanation.

    When the U.S. economy picks up, so will Mexican immigration. When jobs return, so will illegal aliens. So rather than take a “deep breath and calm down,” immigration hawks would be better advised to use this lull to pass measures like E-Verify and other Arizona-style legislation to ensure it never happens again.

  • joe

    “Nonetheless, those who think a fragile America is about to be overwhelmed by a human tsunami from Mexico need to take a deep breath and calm down.”

    I could not agree more. This is a localized problem in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. I’m sorry that this illegal activity places an undue burden on school districts, hospitals and shrinks the employment market. It’s unfortunate that you have to pay for incarcerated illegals and attempt to regulate a shadow economy.

    I live in New England. This is your problem. All y’all should move and if you can’t, you only have yourself to blame.

  • Pincher Martin

    “I don’t really care about whether the rest of the illegal population stays or not. They’ll eventually be integrated, either on their own or through their American-born children. In the mean-time, they raise American’s birth rate, and keep us for accelerating towards a society with a top-heavy elderly population as fast as the Europeans and Japanese.”

    You focus too much on quantity and not enough on quality. Studies on Mexican-Americans show that they do not assimilate to American norms even after several generations in the United States. For a good scholarly book on this subject, see Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race. Mexican-Americans simply do not fit into the traditional assimilation models assigned to them.

  • thibaud

    All due respect to WRM – and I appreciate his willingness to tolerate opposing viewpoints so as to prevent this blog from devolving into yet another dreary echo chamber as nearly every political blog has done – Pincher above is correct. It’s false and intellectually dishonest to pretend that “Mexican immigration to the US is on a downward path.”

    There is nothing to suggest that the one-off effects of the 2008-11 collapse in construction employment will continue.

    In the meantime, despite the author’s rather uncharacteristically petulant (“calm down”) response to critics of our foolish and failed immigration policy, the facts remain: bringing millions of illiterates and semiliterates – in their native tongue, mind you, let alone in English – into a cutting edge information economy has been a disaster for community provision in moderate and low-income communities in the border states.

    The devastation of the public sphere is most visible in the schools. In California, it is the extraordinary increase in Mexican immigrants’ share of the school population – from the 10% range to 51% in 2011 – that accounts for the collapse in school achievement during the last 30 years.

    Neither party will face this issue directly. One side pretends that the schools’ collapse is because of Prop 13; the other pretends that the schools have been done in by greedy teachers.

    Both are wrong. California’s curriculum remains sound (though it could be improved) and its schools continue to be well-funded. White and Asian students continue to perform in line with their peers in Europe and Asia – note that the international test scores for Korean-American kids are almost exactly equal to those for Korean students in Korea.

    The view from the border states is quite different from the view in New York. We in California used to have the best public schools in the country. Now they are the worst – pardon me, we’re still above Mississippi.

    And the share of the school population – already 51% – for this indifferent and failing population is increasing by one percentage point each year. The data are all out in the public domain, in excruciating detail: see http://star.cde.ca.gov/.

    It is heartbreaking, and it is utterly mendacious and irresponsible to try to blame this own goal on the millions of hardworking California teachers, principals, parents and schoolchildren whose schools and communities have been devastated by literally millions of fourth-world families that do not give a damn about education.

    Brought in for god only knows what reason, on behalf of policy ends no one can articulate.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “As the US economy improves, immigration is likely to pick up again.”

    This is the key sentence in the above article. If illegal immigration can only be stopped and not even reversed by a depression level economy, then something is very wrong with the Rule of Law. American citizens are having their rights violated when they have to compete for jobs with illegal aliens, and have their wages depressed by illegal alien competition for American jobs. It shouldn’t be possible for illegal aliens to work in this country, and until the law is rigorously enforced, both employed and unemployed Americans will be justly outraged.

  • Otiose

    This lull in the wave of illegal immigration gives us an opportunity to get it under control before it does even more harm.

    The legal net needs to be tightened to encourage self deportation rates and laws strengthened to accelerate the active deportation of any illegal that falls into the legal system.

    For those that remain with deep familial roots – marriage, children, jobs – then I recommend granting a permenant legal status short of citizenship with no pathway to full citizenship (i.e. the vote or the right to sponsor other immigrants).

  • Brett

    @Pincher Martin

    You focus too much on quantity and not enough on quality. Studies on Mexican-Americans show that they do not assimilate to American norms even after several generations in the United States.

    I’m just taking the long perspective. The last giant wave of immigration in the late 19th century created ethnic enclaves that resisted assimilation for decades, too. They eventually assimilated anyways.

  • “But in the medium to long term, Mexican immigration to the US is on a downward path. . . .”

    Didn’t you mean to write “in the short term?”

    As for whether it is good or bad over the long to medium term, the state of California seems like a good test case. Let’s see how that works out.

  • “Brought in for god only knows what reason, on behalf of policy ends no one can articulate.”

    Brought in for low wages and because certain segments of our elites thought that a poor and racially-divided working class would be easier to control. Mexican Americans are also more docile than African Americans, so they make better mannered servants for the upper- upper-class (and upper middle-class too for that matter).

    Bottom line: class interest and class war

  • As for how political correctness can make it possible to discuss immigration policies rationally look at this article on anti-Semitism in Sweden, especially the first couple of comments at the bottom:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/96146/swedens-damn-jew-problem/

  • Sorry. As for how political correctness can make it IMPOSSIBLE to discuss immigration policies rationally look at this article on anti-Semitism in Sweden, especially the first couple of comments at the bottom:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/96146/swedens-damn-jew-problem/

  • thibaud

    @9 Brett – in the long run, we’re all dead. And California will go the way of Greece before assimilation occurs.

    Already, there are predictions of a shortage of college graduates – yes, you read that right – in California. Do the math: when a majority of CA students come from a demographic that is failing at a 65%-70% rate, there is no way that you will get enough college graduates to sustain an advanced information economy such as ours. Not possible without a vast increase in immigration by families that care deeply about education.

    Why we put sharp curbs on the latter and welcome into California hundreds of 000s of the former is a mystery that can be explained only by reference to the cowardice and cynicism of our political class.

  • thibaud

    @joe #4: not sure where you get your “y’all” locution, but you are incorrect: border security is a federal responsibility.

    In any case, a huge percentage of this nation’s GDP growth hence federal tax revenues is coming from technology and other companies located in Texas and California. As the border states go, so goes America.

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