Parting the Red Sea of Illegal Immigration
In 2008 and 2009, immigrants flocked across our borders (and not legally either). Drawn by the dream of living in the wonderful land of America, where jobs were plentiful and paid well compared to their hometowns, migrants came from all over the world. Then the economy crashed, the job market crashed, and the dream turned into a nightmare. Where does illegal immigration stand now?
Recent information from the Pew Hispanic Research Center voices the verdict about illegal border crossings from Mexico: the great wave of crossings has dwindled to a complete standstill. It links the change in migration to the poor job market primarily. Since these immigrants typically end up working the construction jobs, the housing market decline has influenced the incentive change significantly. With less of those jobs available, residents of Mexico are much less likely to want to cross illegally.
The Research Center speculates that following a rise of the economy, undocumented immigrants are likely to be drawn back across our borders. Current statistics, however, reveal a surprising shift in direction. According to the Pew’s numbers, 1.4 million people migrated to Mexico from the United States, reversing the flow of immigration. There is some discrepancy over how many of these were deported versus leaving voluntarily, but nonetheless, the data is thought-provoking.
Since migration from Mexico is now at zero, it comes as no small surprise that China has surpassed that nation in numbers of migrating citizens to the U.S. The Seattle Times reports on the subject noting that in 2010 alone, approximately 430,000 Asians arrived in the U.S. Of the illegal immigrants who came to America in 2010, the Pew Hispanic Center reports that Asians made up about 11% of the total. Although numbers have not yet been released on the subject, it is expected that the percentage will increase dramatically this year.
Most of the immigration from China is a result of asylum — from 2001 to 2010, Asians accounted for nearly half of all granted asylum cases. The U.S. Census Bureau found that the main countries contributing to Asian Immigration were the Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, and Korea.
What is the primary impact to Americans with the influx of undocumented citizens? With the job market being tougher than ever, the immigrants who are here are still putting quite a strain on Americans looking for employment. Reuters shed more light on the subject last year in an article about the impact immigration was having on the jobs.
The primary incentive for employers to hire the unlawful residents is that they don’t have to pay for health benefits, payroll taxes, or minimum wages. The most common jobs that are taken by illegals include hotel maids, dishwashers, and construction workers. Despite ramped up disincentives for employers who hire them, employment of illegal immigrants has continued to climb. A spokesperson for the Associated General Contractors of America claimed that 16,000 people were laid off in December of last year, yet analysis showed that 86,000 foreign-born citizens were hired in the construction sector alone.
President Barack Obama recently announced a policy change towards illegal immigration that would provide immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought over here before they were 16 to be granted amnesty from deportation. Although the Latino activists and immigrant advocates praised the move, others were not so motivated to approve. The policy would affect an estimated 800,000 young illegals according to the Los Angeles Times, but apparently it provides no way to pursue citizenship.