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WSJ Says Illegals Are Staying—Time For A Deportation Push?
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January 14, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Via the National Center for Policy Analysis, there`s a Migration Policy Institute study, and a WSJ story that say that illegals are staying, despite the recession:
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS STAY IN U.S. DESPITE RECESSION Illegal immigration to the United States may be slowing, but undocumented migrants who are already here aren`t likely to return home en masse barring a more severe economic downturn, according to a study [PDF] by the Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

Other findings:

  • The recession hasn`t limited legal immigration, because most of those people come to the United States on family-based visas that take years to secure.
  • Since last year, the growth of the foreign-born population in the United States began slowing when the recession started at the end of 2007.
  • Net illegal immigration is dropping to near zero, according to the institute and other groups.
The researchers conclude that it is premature to expect a wave of returnees to home countries, even in Latin America. They looked at current and historical data, finding "there is no definitive trend so far that can be tied in a significant way to the U.S. economic conditions."

Instead, they found that even in the toughest economic times, illegal immigrants are likely to search for lower-paying work, then move within the United States to find other work, before considering a return home. Economic conditions in their native countries compared with those inside the United States also weigh more heavily in decisions about whether to return, the study`s lead author, Dimitrios Papademetriou, said.

Source: Cam Simpson, "Illegal Immigrants Stay in U.S. Despite Recession," Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2008.

Actually, the WSJ has Papademetriou`s first name wrong, it`s Demetrios.  [Send him mail] Papademetriou is an immigration enthusiast, see here for Joe Guzzardi on his testimony on the Temporary Worker Bill, and the Wall Street Journal is worse. But if what they`re saying is true, it just means that we need more enforcement and better border security.