actually works despite Barack Obama and Democrats insistence that reform is needed and their consistent attempts to undermine state's right in enforcing the laws against illegal immigrants. (Example: Arizona's Senate Bill 1070 is being heard by the Supreme Court)
This report comes at a time when the Obama administration is arguing, in court, against immigration laws passed by states to address the problems the individual states have had over the years with illegal immigration.
Note- Pew's usage of the words "unauthorized" and "authorized" is what is usually referred to as "illegal" and "legal". Those here illegally are unauthorized and those that are in the U.S. legally are authorized.
The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.
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.
Among Pew's key findings:
• This sharp downward trend in net migration has led to the first significant decrease in at least two decades in the number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.—to 6.1 million in 2011, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007. Over the same period the number of authorized Mexican immigrants rose modestly, from 5.6 million in 2007 to 5.8 million in 2011.
• Apprehensions of Mexicans trying to cross the border illegally have plummeted by more than 70% in recent years, from more than 1 million in 2005 to 286,000 in 2011—a likely indication that fewer unauthorized immigrants are trying to cross. This decline has occurred at a time when funding in the U.S. for border enforcement—including more agents and more fencing—has risen sharply.
• As apprehensions at the border have declined, deportations of unauthorized Mexican immigrants—some of them picked up at work or after being arrested for other criminal violations—have risen to record levels. In 2010, nearly 400,000 unauthorized immigrants—73% of them Mexicans—were deported by U.S. authorities.
The complete Pew report can be found and downloaded here.
Utah, Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, have all passed laws that mirror or go beyond Arizona's SB 1070 law, and it is likely that additional states will attempt to pass similar anti-immigrant legislation during the 2012 legislative session.
Arizona's SB 1070 was the latest in a long line of measures put in place to deal with their illegal immigration problem, such as legislation in 2007 that imposed heavy sanctions on employers hiring illegal immigrants. Measures similar to SB 1070 had been passed by the legislature in 2006 and 2008, only to be vetoed by Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano who was then made Secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. Republican Secretary of State of Arizona, Jan Brewer, was then made Governor. who signed SB 1070 into law on April 23, 2010
A recent report released by the Department of Homeland Security, based on 2010 census data, estimated there were 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona as of January 2011.
That is down 110,000 from a year earlier. It also is down 200,000 from the peak in 2008, when an estimated 560,000 illegal immigrants lived in Arizona. Those estimates are based on 2000 census data.(Source- The Arizona Republic news outlet- March 2012)
Police chiefs in Arizona cities say their crime rates are low and are falling, along with the numbers and costs of illegal immigrants coming through their jails. (Source- NYT)
Alabama's tough immigration law caused news article after news article to report how illegal immigrants were packing up and leaving for fear of deportation.
Georgia’s illegal immigration population as of January 2011 stood at 440,000 souls, according to a just-issued U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Last year, the DHS put Georgia’s “unauthorized immigrant population” — the agency’s term for illegal immigrants — at 460,000. Which would mean a decrease of 20,000, or 4 percent. (Source- AJC)
With the data available for states that which have been allowed to enact portions of their tough laws to fight against illegal immigration, it is quite clear that border security, state laws and enforcement actually works.
It makes the question of why the Obama administration has been challenging states that are enacting immigration laws with Obama's stated position being, he won't accept "a patchwork of 50 different states" acting on their own, despite the success individual states are having with their laws, more relevant.
It also gives more credence to his critics' accusations that Obama is putting his reelection bid ahead of what is best for the country.
The Department of Homeland Security report: "Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2011," found here. (PDF)