This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Migration as the Sign Post of the Economy

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, announced recently that the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants along the border with Mexico dropped by 17 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. She noted that the poor economy was a factor, as was the Obama administration's stepped-up level of enforcement against employers hiring undocumented immigrants. But she seemed mainly to credit the beefed-up patrols along the border, "including bringing the Border Patrol to an all-time high of 20,500 agents and dispatching 1,200 National Guard troops."
"The manpower, the technology, the infrastructure all has enabled us to be able to really slow that flow of illegal immigrant traffic," she said at a news conference at the San Ysidro border crossing with Tijuana, Mexico.
Now, maybe I'm missing something here, but it seems that more border patrol agents and the National Group would lead to an increase in arrests, not a decline. Napolitano's theory will be put to the test over the next couple of years as the economy slowly improves. The Migration Information Source notes that American Community Survey data point to a slight increase last year in the number of immigrants living in the United States, and there is preliminary evidence that remittances from Mexicans in the US back to Mexico have stopped declining and may be on the verge of going up again.

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