The flow of illegal immigrants into the country appears to have declined over the last year:
The study by the Center for Immigration Studies based its findings on Census data indicating that the number of less-educated, working-aged Hispanic immigrants--defined as 18- to 40-year-olds with a high school diploma or less--has dropped by more than 10 percent, or about 830,000 people since last August.Good news indeed.
There is a debate as to how much the recent crackdown on illegal immigrants contributed to the drop in the number of illegals:
"The evidence is consistent with the idea that at least initially more robust enforcement caused the number of illegal immigrants to decline significantly," said Steven A. Camarota, one of the study's authors. "Some people seem to think illegals are so permanently anchored in the United States that there is no possibility of them leaving. . . . This suggests they're not correct. Some significant share might respond to changing incentives and leave."
Several demographers who specialize in estimating the illegal immigrant population expressed concern about the limits of the study's methodology, but said they found the possibility that the illegal immigrant population is decreasing plausible.
Determining the actual amount of that decline, however, is a far more controversial matter.
Recently the Washington Post reported immigration prosecutions have hit new highs:
Federal law enforcement agencies have increased criminal prosecutions of immigration violators to record levels, in part by filing minor charges against virtually every person caught illegally crossing some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new U.S. data.
Officials say the threat of prison and a criminal record is a powerful deterrent, one that is helping drive down illegal immigration along the nearly 2,000-mile frontier between the United States and Mexico. Skeptics say that the government lacks the resources to sustain the strategy on the border and that the effort is diverting resources from more serious crimes such as drug and human smuggling.
Federal officials say there was a 20 percent drop in apprehensions of illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2007, to 859,000.
There has also been a decrease in financial remittances from illegal immigrants in the United States to families in Mexico.
States are also cracking down on illegal immigrants and that is also having an impact.
Fred was right. Attrition by enforcement works. When illegal aliens don't have jobs, they don't stick around: