POSTED: Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 9:17pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 3:34pm
What’s good news for the country, is continuing bad news for our state. A new study shows that illegal immigration is down considerably all along the border, except for Texas.
It’s yet another case of one step forward, two steps back. The study shows that probably due to the recession, illegal immigration has been declining by over 70% in the last 10 years.
But in Texas, it’s still going up.
The Pew Center for Hispanic Studies has just published a report showing illegal immigration rates have been falling steadily over the last decade.
“There’s surveys in Mexico that tells us the number of people thinking about trying to get into the US has dropped by about half,” says Jeff Passel with the Center.
In 2000, we were seeing 800,000 illegals a year coming over the border. By 2009 it was 150,000. Overall, the illegal population in the US is down about 1 million…
“The illegal immigrant population peaked in the summer of 2007, when the amnesty debate happened in the Senate. And when it collapsed, the illegal immigrant population started dropping,” says Mark Krikorian with the center for immigration studies.
Except in Texas.
The good news for us is that the state economy has fared better during the recession. Because of that, the bad news is, the immigrants come here, in even greater numbers.
6.5% of our population is illegal, but 9% of the workforce is.
In Texas 1 out of every 3 students under 8 has immigrant parents. Nationally it is 1 in 4.
“Immigrants go where the jobs are,” Krikorian says. “With Texas doing better in this sort of downturn, immigrants would be more likely to go there.”
“It’s a little hard to say that it’s only the economy,” Passel told us, “because we’ve ramped up the border patrol substantially over the last 10-15 years, and a lot in the last 2."
As the recovery continues, no doubt other states will see immigration numbers creep up.
Proving that for every silver lining, there is a cloud.