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immigration trends
Border Crossings Surge as 2016 Winds Down

One common liberal response to Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration stance is that the President-elect has been speaking to a problem that no longer exists—that mass border crossings from Latin America are a thing of the past. And there is some truth to this: The heyday of illegal Mexican immigration came in the 1990s and early 2000s; since the Great Recession, illegal immigration has declined precipitously without a major border security push.

But immigration trends can change dramatically as economic and political conditions fluctuate in the United States and Latin America. In the last few years, as U.S. hiring has accelerated, illegal immigration has picked up as well, including from Central American countries whose economic prospects remain dismal. Most of these immigrants enter Mexico from the south before attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. And according to the Pew Research Center, U.S. border apprehensions increased dramatically in recent months:

The number of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border rose by 42% in October and November of 2016 compared with the same two-month period in 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. The 93,405 apprehensions were the most in any October-November period in at least five years. […]

Also in fiscal 2016, apprehensions of Central Americans exceeded that of Mexicans for just the second time. This first occurred in 2014, when there was a record surge in apprehensions of unaccompanied children and families, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Apprehensions dropped in 2015 due in part to increased immigration enforcement by the Mexican government at its southern border and internally, which made it more difficult for Central Americans to travel through Mexico to reach the U.S.

The new data, which cut against the prevailing narrative that illegal immigration is decreasing, underscore the fact that the border question won’t simply be taken off the table of its own accord by demographic and economic trends. The demand for passage from poor countries to rich countries will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future, one with dramatic implications for economic growth and political stability. Governments need to find ways to regulate this process in a sustainable way.

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  • ——————————

    Send them all back, no matter how long they have been here. They need to fix their problems in their own countries.

    Because they work so cheap and mainly live in trailers, they just keep wages too low here for our own to work and earn a living wage. They also do shotty work and have to be heavily supervised.
    I know because I am in the construction industry here in Texas and they have taken over 99% of the labor here.

  • ljgude

    For their own reasons the two parties have failed in one of the basic responsibilities of government – to secure the borders and created an artificially deregulated labor market to the detriment of our own citizens. They both deserve to be turned out of office for this betrayal of trust – and to some extent have been. We shall see what our orange haired President can accomplish, but it can be done. Here in Australia the orange haired Pauline Hanson – as deplorable a person as can be imagined – has managed to catalyze both of our major parties to stop uncontrolled immigration. In a era when migratory incontinence is inundating Europe and the US, Australia has gotten a grip.

  • Boritz

    “One common liberal response to Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration
    stance is that the President-elect has been speaking to a problem that
    no longer exists”

    Just as they said Reagan unnecessarily opposed the Soviet Union with too much vigor when it was falling anyway.

  • Jim__L

    A few points:

    The cited article says nothing about which direction the apprehended migrants (not “immigrants”, but “migrants”) were going.

    There’s been a surge in solar panel purchases in 2016 as well, because we’re seeing the last of an administration that supported that policy.

    Guys, “help wanted” signs are going up in franchise retail outlets all over Silicon Valley. And now, they’re in English. The language you hear coming out of the kitchens is more likely to be English, and the faces you see are more likely to be white.

    Things are indeed changing.

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