April 25th, 2012
07:45 PM ET

Letters to the President #1192: 'The new immigration truth'

Reporter's Note: I write to the president every single day. That is more often than I walk the dog. And yet, my dog responds every time I say her name, and the president never does. Go figure.

Dear Mr. President,

So the Supreme Court has finally got around to looking at that Arizona immigration law, and I must say it does not look particularly good for your team. Judging from the justices’ questions, it sounds like they are somewhat in agreement with the local sentiment; to wit, if the Feds are not going to stop visitors from coming in illegally, local police may have a right to get involved.

It’s not a done deal, of course. The black robe crew can take months to decide on something, (heaven knows how long it take them to order lunch!) so who knows what other thoughts they may have in the meantime. Still, like I said, it doesn’t look good for your side.

It’s all pretty interesting to me, because I have been looking pretty closely at this new report from the Pew Hispanic Center. In a nutshell, it says that illegal immigration into the U.S. has nosedived over the past ten years. It says “After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants – most of whom came illegally – the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed…”

Who knew? Essentially, it suggests that a variety of factors have forced the turnaround including the depressed job market in the U.S., lower birthrates in Mexico, and yes…stronger border protection measures in the U.S., both at the federal and local level.

I realize this is a hugely explosive subject, and that people on both sides of the debate have dug deep trenches around the “facts” as they see them. They have every right. But while I have no independent knowledge of the veracity of this study, it looks pretty solid, and the Pew folks are excellent researchers in my experience. So it may be worth a lot of people giving it a look to make sure the “facts” that we are arguing over…are also the truth.

Hope all is well.


soundoff (One Response)
  1. hacimo

    The data from Pew refers only to illegals coming across from Mexico and not to all illegals in general. Mexico is a special case for illegal immigration because they are a neighboring country and the migration tends to happen by overland routs. If we are really interested in the general problem then we must remember that at least 50% of illegals arrive here using tourist or student visas and then simply refuse to leave when they expire. There is no evidence that this kind of immigration is slowing down. Maybe it will but there are no hard numbers and in any case we still have the problem of 12 million illegal aliens who arrived in the past. We need a government that will really try to apprehend and deport these people.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:21 am |