Illegal immigration: Where did all the Mexicans go?

Mexicans have stopped coming to the United States. This story quotes a number of sources who say immigration from the south is at its lowest point since 1950, and that the U.S. actually is losing some of its Mexican-born population, year over year.

So, does this mean immigration will stop sucking up so much of the oxygen at state legislatures nationwide? Does this mean the Utah Legislature will just leave well enough alone?

Are you laughing yet? A new report available on the National Conference of State Legislatures web site says, “State legislatures continue to grapple with immigration issues at an unprecedented rate. In the first quarter of 2011, state legislators in the 50 states and Puerto Rico introduced 1,538 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees.”

That’s about 30 bills in each state plus Puerto Rico.

The immigration figures prove that illegal immigration in this country is primarily an economic issue. Yes, there are drug-runners and other criminals who come up here to do mischief. But the bulk of the immigrants were economic refugees. Not only are there no jobs here any more, wages and other living conditions are improving down there.

You had better hope this is a temporary situation, otherwise the economic outlook in this country will be bleak, indeed. In the meantime, this lull would be an opportune moment for some rational and calm immigration reform in Washington, complete with guest-worker provisions.

But with 1,538 state bills on the docket, it will take awhile before people start looking around and wondering where all the Mexicans went.

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About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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