The Pew Hispanic Center has a new report out today that crystallizes what U.S. Border Patrol arrest statistics have been indicating for the past few years: The number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States has dropped off sharply, reduced by nearly two-thirds over the past decade.
The recession, which began at the roughly the same time as a federal campaign to boost border enforcement, is a factor. From the report:
The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.
This sharp decline has contributed to an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.-to 11.1 million in March 2009 from a peak of 12 million in March 2007, according to the estimates. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades.
For those who do keep attempting the trip, though, conditions have become increasingly dangerous, as evidenced by a recent spike in border-crossing deaths and the massacre of 72 kidnapped migrants near the Texas border in Mexico.