Remember That One Time We Argued Loudly About Immigration Reform But Overlooked The Fact That More Mexicans Were Leaving Than Coming? Good Times.

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With all this really fun, interesting, non-hyperbolic talk of the Arizona immigration bill, a pretty signifcant piece of info continues to be buried. A slim slice of statistics you may be able to surmise from the title of this article.

A nugget of knowledge so tasty, some would say, ‘hmm, interesting, quite unexpected and ultimately a morsel of datum that is indeed quite tasty’.

That juicy goss that has no one talking; more Mexicans are returning to Mexico than coming here these days.

What? I thought we had Mexicans catapulting over the boarder, tunneling under it, getting in cahoots with some dubious Americans who would plant a trail of tacos northwest while those wily Mexicans headed northeast across the boarder.

As it turns out, net immigration from Mexico to the United States has fallen to zero, perhaps less (read: reversing) according to a study released by the Pew Hispanic Center. Not surprisingly, Mexicans represent over half (about 58%) of all illegal immigrants, but even those numbers are dropping a bit.

‘The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill’.

What gives?

Well for starters, it helps that deportations are at an all time high, nearly 400,000 a year under Obama, up 30% from Bush. Bit of that scare factor perhaps. In addition, vitriolic rhetoric aside, the southern border has just generally become tighter and better controlled over the years. Border Patrol agents at the Mexican border have doubled since 2004, up from ~10,500 to 21,370 agents budgeted for 2012. The amount of agents down south has seemingly increased exponentially since 1992, when the number stood at 3,555.

More importantly, why should they bother coming here? We don’t seem to very openly welcome the tired, poor or huddle masses yearning to breathe free anymore. Plus, the economy at present, though supposedly in ‘recovery’ provides no jobs for citizens, let alone aliens. In fact the unemployment rate in Mexico in 2011 was 5.4% compared to our appalling 9.1%.

Those coming north of the border are finding that the economy south of the border grew by 3.8% last year, compared to the anemic 1.5% GDP growth here.

As it turns out, they have a better shot at the American Dream down in Mexico.

More at The Daily Beast, Pew Hispanic Center (x2), CNN and The Washington Post

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