Cross-Post: Mexicans No Longer Immigrating to US? (What Will Xenophobes Freak Out About Now?)

Imagine 2050 Staff • Jul 24, 2011
It appears that a large wave of immigration to the U.S. which began in the 1990s has now come to an end. The share of the population represented by non-citizens dropped by 5 percent between 2005 and 2009 (the last year for which data are available).

The fall-off in unauthorized immigration is even more pronounced. Last year, the Washington Post reported that while “an average of 850,000 people a year entered the United States without authorization” in the first half of the decade, “as the economy plunged into recession between 2007 and 2009, that number fell to 300,000.”

Others are returning home; according to the Pew Hispanic Trust, we saw “an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.” between early 2007 and early 2009.

Worldwide, Gallup finds that “people’s desire to migrate permanently to another country is showing signs of cooling.”

Immigration from Mexico – which provided the largest number of immigrants to the U.S. during this latest wave – has all but dried up. Douglas S. Massey, co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, told the New York Times that fewer Mexicans want to migrate northward today than at any time since at least the 1950s. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,”

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