Posted by Brad @ 3:53 pm on December 2nd 2011

Things You Won’t Hear About Illegal Immigration

Exhibit 1: Fewer than 100,000 Mexicans long-term illegal immigrants border-jump or visa violate a year, the lowest levels since the 1950s.

Douglas S. Massey, co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, an extensive, long-term survey in Mexican emigration hubs, said his research showed that interest in heading to the United States for the first time had fallen to its lowest level since at least the 1950s. “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,” Mr. Massey said, referring to illegal traffic. “For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”[…]

American census figures analyzed by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center also show that the illegal Mexican population in the United States has shrunk and that fewer than 100,000 illegal border-crossers and visa-violators from Mexico settled in the United States in 2010, down from about 525,000 annually from 2000 to 2004. Although some advocates for more limited immigration argue that the Pew studies offer estimates that do not include short-term migrants, most experts agree that far fewer illegal immigrants have been arriving in recent years.

Exhibit 2:

Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

This reminds me of the War on Terror detainee profile, which is so remarkably persistent despite being so persistently, empirically, provably wrong. Quick, picture a terrorism suspect in an American War on Terror military detention. Was it an Afghani militant with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder who either fired on Americans or has strong, known connections to a terrorist organization? If so, you’re wrong. Over 95% of them never used force against Americans, more than 2/3s we have no record of specific wrong-doing for, and over 90% we let go — just plain let go — because even in kangaroo courts, we can’t produce a shred of evidence with which to justify holding them, let alone charging them. A 61-year-old Tunisian cabdriver who some distant relative had a grudge against is a lot closer to the actual profile. And yet, whenever we have the detainee discussion, the idea is that we’re talking about a group consisting 99% of Schwarzenegger movie villains and maybe – maybe 1% that don’t fit that profile. That’s just plain incorrect (hell, more than 1% were under 13 years old at the time of capture) – not a difference of opinion, not an “agree to disagree” situation, just demonstrably wrong.

So to with illegal immigrants, where I think we tend to have this idea of a bunch of untethered, dirty young men who don’t speak English and live crammed 30 to a house somewhere in El Paso where they then go hang out at Home Depots looking for work.

So, when you hear the GOP candidates or commentators talking about that huge influx of border-crossers every year degrading society, just remember: 1. It’s about 100,000 new ones a year, 2. Nearly 2/3s of them have been here for more than ten years, and over half have families (likely American ones, at that).

Or, just think of this guy, and remember that he is by far the rule, not the exception.

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