Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Big News from CIS on our success with HSM!

Great news on a reduction in Illegals!

The following note came directly from our friends at the CIS (Center for Immigration Studies).
The information on their new report is fact based as opposed to an emotional discussion; highly refreshing these days! For those seeking background on CIS, this link will take you to our coverage of their Director, Mark Krikorian, and his new book, simply click here


Illegal Immigrant Population Dropping

New Report Estimates 1.3 Million Decline Since Last Summer

WASHINGTON (July 30, 2008) — A new analysis of monthly Census Bureau data shows a significant decline in the number of less-educated Hispanic immigrants. The report is the first to show systematic evidence that the illegal population is decreasing. There is good evidence that recent immigration enforcement efforts are a key factor causing the decline.

The report, entitled “Homeward Bound: Recent Immigration Enforcement and the

Among the findings:

Decline in the Illegal Alien Population,” is available at the Center for Immigration Studies web site www.cis.org

• Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May of this year after hitting a peak in August 2007.

• The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 in August 2007 to 11.2 million in May 2008.

• The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least 7 times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.

• One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be effected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow. • Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.

• The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession.

• While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slowdown is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.

• There is good evidence that the illegal population rose last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.

Discussion: These findings are consistent with anecdotal evidence. They are also consistent with data showing a fall off in remittances sent home by immigrants. And they are in line with a drop in border apprehensions. While the evidence indicates that stepped-up immigration enforcement has played an important role in causing the decline, the economic downturn is also likely to be encouraging illegal immigrants to return home. The decline in the illegal population, whatever the cause, seems to directly challenge the argument that illegal aliens are so firmly attached to their lives in this country that it is not possible to induce many of them to return home. If the current trend were sustained, it could cut the illegal population in half within five years. There is no way to know whether the current trend will continue. Future enforcement efforts as well as the state of the economy will likely determine if the number of illegal immigrants continues to drop. Both presidential candidates have recently stated their strong commitment to legalizing those in the country illegally. Pronouncements of this kind may have consequences. When Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants last summer, there is evidence that the illegal population grew. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to decline rapidly. It may be that the repeated promises of legalization by both candidates in recent weeks will encourage more illegal immigrants to enter the country or encourage those already in the country, who might otherwise leave, to stay in the hopes of being awarded legal status. Methodology: This study uses monthly data from the Current Population Survey collected by the Census Bureau. The Department of Homeland Security, the former INS and other outside research organizations have used Census Bureau data to estimate the illegal immigrant population. We examine trends in the number of foreign-born less-educated young Hispanics. Prior research indicates that 80 percent of these individuals are in the country illegally. We estimate the range for the decline in the illegal immigrant population is 9 to 14 percent, with 11 percent as the most likely value.

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Contact: Steven Camarota
(202) 466-8185 • sac@cis.org
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.


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