As I predicted over a year ago on LRC the increase in illegal immigration from Mexico was caused by the housing bubble and that when the bubble burst that some illegals would return home. It appears from recent statistics that this is already happening.
The amount of money sent home by Mexican workers (remittances) peaked in spring of 2006 and has declined 17% by the winter quarter of this year. The size of the average remittance actually peaked between the bursting of the home building stock bubble in July 2005 and the initial recognition of the housing bubble by the MSM in early 2006 and has declined by 30%. The steep decline in remittances indicates that Mexican workers are earning less money, have fewer jobs, and maybe starting to return to Mexico.
Statistics from the U.S. Border Patrol indicate that despite increased enforcement efforts that the number of illegal Mexican that have been detained has decreased by 50% between 2005 and 2007. The number of non-Mexicans (most Central Americans) that have been detained has decreased by almost 60%.
How many illegal immigrants actually return home is anyone’s guess, but as the US sinks deeper and deeper into recession (esp. in industries that supplied the most jobs to illegals), the less likely that Mexicans will cross into the US and the more likely to illegals will go home.
In any case, it helps us understand that the “fence” is less of a national priority and more just another giant unworkable public works project wasting the taxpayers money.1:59 pm on April 30, 2008 Email Mark Thornton