Illegal population declines

The Hill:

A new report estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has dropped nearly 14 percent in two years, a trend that mirrors the deflation of the once-fiery immigration debate.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan think tank that favors reduced illegal immigration but does not advocate mass deportations, estimates that since summer 2007 the illegal-immigrant population has dropped from 12.5 million -- its peak -- to 10.8 million in the first quarter of 2009.

The CIS report also said there is evidence that the number of new illegal immigrants arriving has fallen by about one-third in the past two years compared to earlier this decade.

The drops have corresponded with a decrease in the number of illegal immigrants apprehended trying to cross into the U.S. and with a decline in the remittances sent back by immigrants to their home countries.

The figures also correspond with the deflation of the hot-button immigration issue, which reached a frenzy with the Sensenbrenner bill in 2005 and the mass immigration protests of 2006, faded into the background during the 2008 presidential campaign, and has taken a decided legislative back seat to issues such as healthcare and climate change in this Congress.

So will this hurt their chances for becoming a citizen under "comprehensive" immigration reform. Ironically, no. Most of those plans had a requirement that they go back to their country of origin and apply for citizenship. I do think that increased enforcement of immigration laws, and border protection had as much or more to do with the decrease as the drop in the economy.

An interesting question to ask is how many of those who left had been given a sub prime mortgage and did the drop in the price of their home also lead to their departure?


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