Monday, October 6, 2008

UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION SLOWS

Hispanic Market Weekly - New research from the Pew Hispanic Center indicates that the flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. has slowed since 2004. It also found that the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country fell below that of the number of immigrants who are legal, permanent residents.

The Pew Center estimates that the size of the undocumented population is 11.9 million as of March 2008, an increase of 40 percent from 8.4 million in 2000. However, that's down from an estimated 12.4 million in 2007.

The center notes that its study was not designed to explain why the growth rate has declined.It does cite several possible causes: "a slowdown in U.S. economic growth that has had a disproportionate impact on foreign-born Latino workers, at the same time that economic growth in Mexico and other Latin American countries has been stable. Another factor could be a heightened focus on enforcement of immigration laws."

The Immigration Policy Center, in a separate statement, commented that the flow of undocumented immigration is inextricably tied to the state of the U.S. economy and not driven by enforcement issues.

"Migrants would not leave behind families, friends, and homelands to embark upon potentially deadly journeys to the United States if there weren't a good chance they could find jobs once they got here. Conversely, few immigrants would go back to countries that lack job opportunities unless there simply were no more available jobs in the United States," the IPC said, citing its own July 2008 report.

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