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Immigration Downturn By: Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 10, 2009

World trade more or less quadrupled in the years 1982-2008. Most economists either did not foresee the universal array of economic calamity which dramatically manifested itself in the fourth quarter of 2008 or chose to remain mum.

The immediate consequences are sadly manifest. Among those which could have been predicted is multinational reverse immigration. In other words, in the aggregate hundreds of thousands - well en route to millions - of people who left their homeland to find employment elsewhere are returning jobless to their homeland.

Some of these consequences empirically and greatly impact our United States of America. Unemployment is up; air traffic is down; major seaport traffic has fallen - for example, by double digit in the strong seaports of Long Beach, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia. A World Bank estimate projects an additional more than 53 million people in the “developing” (a politically acceptable aphorism for “poor”) countries soon will be ensnared in poverty.

The United States Department of Homeland Security estimates that in a 12-month period concluding January 2009 the number of unlawful immigrants - mostly, of course, Mexican - in this country has declined by about 200,000 from a peak of some 11.8 million people. A recent article in Foreign Policy magazine estimates that as many as three million Mexicans in our USA within the short and foreseeable future will return to Mexico. Somewhat irrelevantly - unless one lives, visits or does business there - approximately 11 percent of the State of Nevada population is comprised of unlawful immigrants, some 9 percent of the Arizona population.

The return of Mexicans to Mexico is of immense material significance to Los Estados Unidos de Mexico - that is, the real Mexico; not the Mexico which to some Mexican politicians includes 33+ million people in the United States of America. This is so for two reasons:
  1. The number of Mexican families receiving money from relatives in USA has dropped precipitously, almost 12 percent, still dropping; and
  2. The number of unemployed within Mexico has risen exponentially, still rising.
These developments, of course, are sad for the millions who suffer, aggravated by a country in which the government is attempting, with limited success, to curb extraordinary quantities and violent qualities of crime - including drug-gang warfare along the Mexican border.

There is little we Norteamericanos can or should do to slow this outward migration. We must consider our national self-interest. As a country which lives by law, while welcoming incremental and lawful immigration, we can and should continue vigorously to build effective control of our inbound Mexican border. Regardless of which economists’ projections we accept as to the duration of the recession, possibly depression, eventually a measure of economic normalcy will return. Well before then we should have perfected border control efficacy to the point where very few unlawful immigrants can invade.

According the benefit of the doubt, one must note that there appears to be no major presidential or Congressional attention to this subject. The newly installed Secretary of Homeland Security is the popular former Governor of Arizona. She has imminent familiarity with Border problems. She should take a lead in planning for a future of resurgent unlawful immigration.

Marion Edwyn Harrison is President of, and Counsel to, the Free Congress Foundation.

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