11 August 2012

Mexicans solving U.S. immigraton dilemma

Mexican immigration has been a hot political issue in the U.S. for some time resulting in, among other unpleasant phenomena, Arizona's controversial Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act which was fought all the way up to the Supreme Court with mixed success. Now it seems the immigrants are solving the problem themselves.

Although the number of Mexicans entering the U.S. has continued to grow, it is now being matched by the number leaving. The reasons for the departures are many, including the weakened U.S. job market, stronger border enforcement, more deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, improvements in the Mexican economy and the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rate. The rate has fallen from an average 7.3 children per woman in 1960 to 2.4 in 2009.

The magnitude of the migration is impressive. Today the U.S. has more immigrants from Mexico alone—12.0 million—than any other country has from all source countries combined. Most arrived illegally. The new balance of immigration and emigration should help stabilize the population and, most importantly, bring more light and less heat to the issue.

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