New study says US illegal immigrant population...declining??

There’s a new study by the Center for Migration Studies which suggests the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. is going down. The report found almost 1M fewer illegal immigrants are in the country, compared to 2008.

The total US undocumented population continued to decline in 2014 and has fallen by more than a million since 2008;

The undocumented population of the majority of US states declined after 2008; however, 11 states reached their maximum population in 2014, including Texas;

With the exception of Alabama and possibly Georgia, restrictive state immigration laws in 2010-2011 had little impact on undocumented population trends;

The Mexican-born undocumented population was about 600,000 smaller in 2014 than it was in 2010;

About 250,000 fewer undocumented immigrants from Mexico lived in California in 2014 compared to 2010; and,

From 1980 to 2014, the legally resident population from Mexico grew faster than the Mexican undocumented population.

This is more than a little surprising, and it isn’t known if CMS included the illegal immigrant surges of 2014 and 2015 into their figures. I admit to being a little suspect about the data because it’s mostly coming from Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. This is the same government which tends to ignore the fact more people have stopped looking for work when they report unemployment numbers. It’s also possible CMS rounded down, instead of rounded up when it came to some numbers. Stats can always be manipulated and for all we know CMS is doing this as well. But let’s say this is true and illegal immigrants are leaving the U.S. more than they’re coming is. Isn’t this a good thing? Doesn’t this show the so-called “invasion” from the southern border is just a lie? It could be the decline is because of tougher immigration laws passed by several southern states. But CMS isn’t sure.

Based on the trends in the undocumented population in Georgia and Arizona (Figure 3), it does not appear that the legislation in those two states had a lasting impact on the size of either population. Population decline had already begun in both states before the laws were passed, and the population could have fallen to the 2014 levels even if the legislation had not been enacted.

The decline in the undocumented population in Arizona in recent years has been accompanied by a steady increase in the number of naturalized citizens (Figure 4). From 2008 to 2014, the undocumented population in Arizona dropped by 65,000, and the naturalized citizen population increased by 85,000.

That’s a pretty interesting statistic, again, if it’s true. The same goes for a table showing 6M illegal immigrants are Mexican, down almost 600K from 2010. It’s very interesting to see which countries are seeing an increase of illegals sneaking into the U.S.

The population from many of the areas and countries shown in Table 5 declined from 2010 to 2014, but other areas showed small increases. As noted, the population from Mexico declined by 9 percent. The largest declines, by area, were for the Caribbean (-9%), South America (-22%), Europe (-18%), and Oceania (-10%). The population from Central America increased by 5 percent. Populations from Africa and Asia showed smaller increases, of 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Sixteen of the countries shown in Table 5 lost undocumented population from 2010 to 2014, and the population from 10 countries increased. In addition to Mexico, the five countries (four of them in South America) that declined the most were Brazil (-47,000), Ecuador (-41,000), Colombia (-38,000), Korea (-37,000), and Peru (-24,000). The population from four countries grew by 20,000 or more from 2010 to 2014: Honduras (36,000), Guatemala (32,000), India (26,000), and China (21,000).

It’d be curious to find out where the illegal immigrants are going. Mexican are probably going back to Mexico, but are the Far East and European illegal immigrants going there too or trying to skip to Canada? That’s a law enforcement question, which no one is answering. One thing the CMS study doesn’t address is the fact DHS reported half a million people came to the U.S. legally, then just decided to overstay their visas. That’s disgusting and is just a failure of the federal government to enforce the actual laws on the books. People here know I’m a fan of changing the laws to encourage more legal immigration, but illegal immigration is intolerable. The federal government needs to follow their own rules (tall order, I know) and be willing to follow up on foreigners who come to the U.S. on a visa and just decide to stick around. Jazz certainly feels the same way, and expressed his opinion last week. All this does is convince me there’s a systemwide problem with the federal government, pretty much dating all the way back to the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The government just wants to seize more power, without any of the responsibility. It’s almost like they were the first ones to come up with the phrase, “with great power, comes great irresponsibility,” instead of the upcoming movie Deadpool. The failure of the U.S. government to follow even the smallest of its own rules shows why it needs to be cut back and back, and more power needs to be given to the states and (even better) the individual. Perhaps a federal government which didn’t have its fingers in every pie possible could focus on more important things like making sure people on student visas don’t just hang around, without having to rely on dystopian ideas like biometric tracking.

Update (Ed), 1/25/16: The headline was a bit clumsy, so I edited it for better clarity.

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