Pew Hispanic Center researchers have issued a new report on Mexican migration to the United States in which they say there has been virtually no increase since 2007. They explain this change from Mexico’s previous role of dominating the annual average increase in the foreign-born population in these terms:
“The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.”
While it is clear that those factors all have contributed to a decrease in Mexican illegal migration, a further factor is the series of laws adopted in a number of states across the country that collectively send the message to Mexico and other illegal alien sending states that the illegal arrival of their nationals looking for work will not be tolerated from now on. This is a message that will either be reinforced or weakened by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court when it decides the constitutionality of Arizona’s SB 1070 law. Unless the law discouraging illegal immigration is found to be Constitutional by the Court and that ruling encourages similar measures to be adopted more widely, we would expect the policy of the Obama administration of accommodating non-criminal illegal aliens to result in a resurgence in Mexican illegal immigration if and when jobs in construction and services rebound.