38 million Mexicans want to migrate to US
One argument often heard in the debate over comprehensive immigration reform is that the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico to the United States, once measured in the hundreds of thousands per year, has slowed dramatically and is not likely to pick up again.
"All across Mexico's ruddy central plains, most of the people who could go north already have," reported the New York Times in early April. "[P]ast experience and current trends in both Mexico and the United States suggest that legalization would not lead to a sudden flood of illegal immigration on the scale of what occurred after 1986."
Some reformers have cited stories like the Times' to suggest there's no need for sweeping new border security or workplace enforcement measures; illegal immigration is on the decline anyway.
It is true that net migration from Mexico fell to virtually nothing during the depths of the Great Recession. That did not mean Mexicans stopped coming to the U.S., but rather that the number of Mexicans entering the U.S. and the number leaving were about the same. But in the last year or so, there have been signs of an increase, and now a new poll suggests many Mexicans would come to the U.S. if they had the chance. And many of them would come illegally if necessary.
The Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project released a survey Monday to help set the stage for President Obama's visit to Mexico later this week. In 1,000 in-person interviews conducted across Mexico last month, Pew researchers asked, in Spanish, "If at this moment, you had the means and opportunity to go to live in the United States, would you go?" Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said yes.
The population of Mexico is about 110 million. If the Pew numbers are correct, that means about 38 million would like to live in the U.S.
Going into a little more detail, Pew found 20 percent of all Mexicans would be "inclined to go work and live in the U.S. without authorization." That's about 22 million people who might come to the U.S. illegally, if they had the chance.
...That is just the tip if the problem. Migrants from Central America make up the bulk of the current crop coming here illegally. The proposed immigration "reform" does little to stem that flow of illegals. Until we do something to stop the flow we only make the problem worse by legalizing those who came here illegally.