As the Republicans compete with one another to see who can come up with the most draconian solution to the immigration problem — especially when it comes to Mexican immigrants; you never hear complaints about too many British, do you? — a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center finds that the problem is virtually non-existent.
A four-decade tidal wave of Mexican immigration to the United States has receded, causing a historic shift in migration patterns as more Mexicans appear to be leaving the United States for Mexico than the other way around, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.
It looks to be the first reversal in the trend since the Depression, and experts say that a declining Mexican birthrate and other factors may make it permanent.
“I think the massive boom in Mexican immigration is over and I don’t think it will ever return to the numbers we saw in the 1990s and 2000s,” said Douglas Massey, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University and co-director of the Mexican Migration Project, which has been gathering data on the subject for 30 years.
Nearly 1.4 million Mexicans moved from the United States to Mexico between 2005 and 2010, double the number who did so a decade earlier. The number of Mexicans who moved to the United States during that period fell to less than half of the 3 million who came between 1995 and 2000.
The great political comedian Jimmy Tingle jokes years ago about why people get so upset about too many Mexicans coming to America: “It has nothing to do with taking our jobs. It’s because they’re short, dark-skinned Catholic people who reproduce at a faster rate than the people who work at the mall. If it was 10,000 Scandinavian women with their tubes tied, the Senate would be at the airport to welcome them here.”
But there’s more to it than that. What it’s really about is the right wing stoking the fires of fear and division for political gain. It’s political business as usual.