Illegal Immigration Drastically Declines from Mexico

What has caused the drastic decline in illegal immigration from Mexico?
In the past year, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the U.S. has reached the lowest level of the past ten years.

With the tough economic environment continuing in the U.S., it comes as no surprise to see that fewer immigrants are taking the risk of illegally crossing the border into the U.S. in order to find work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) placed the unemployment rate for June at 9.5 percent or 14.7 million unemployed people with the prediction of ending the year at an estimated 10.5 percent. Many of the sectors that have been hardest hit tend to employ a large percentage of undocumented workers such as construction and landscaping.

Declining Numbers
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, from March 2008 to March 2009 the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico fell to 175,000. This is a significant drop from the peak influx of immigrants in 2005 of 653,000 crossing the border. In addition to the economic downturn, the U.S. has cracked down on illegal immigration not only at the border but also within the U.S. through immigration audits at certain businesses and through community arrests such as operation “Community Shield”. Operation Community Shield is a coordinated effort between ICE and other customs and immigration agencies as well as state and local law enforcement which work together in an effort to target criminal street gangs.

Additional Deterrents
Not only has the U.S. stepped up security at the border and cracked down on illegal immigrant gang activity, other deterrents aiding in the decline of illegal immigration from Mexico is the new E-Verify system. The verification program, run by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Social Security Department, allows businesses to check a job applicants legal status by comparing a worker’s I-9 form against a database at the federal government in order to ensure a legal workforce. E-Verify is a web-based program free to businesses that wish to participate. Three states have already legislated the mandatory use of E-Verify; Arizona, effective January 2008, Mississippi businesses must comply by 2011 and South Carolina by July of 2010 with more states to come.


Eliana Phelps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *