The Fulford File | Pew Declares “Victory” Over Illegal Immigration—Does That Mean Illegals Are Going Home?
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The latest Main Stream Media immigration meme: immigration has stalled, as a result of

a) Immigration enforcement ( Obama tends to get credit, in spite of his Administrative Amnesty)
b) The U.S. economic situation
c) Slightly better economic times in Mexico

This is all based on a recent report from the Pew Hispanic Center: Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less, by Jeffrey Passel, D’Vera Cohn and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera.

Note: That’s immigration from Mexico—not the entire Third World. And legal immigration from Mexico is still continuing. Pew says:

These estimates of immigration flows from Mexico represent new arrivals of both legal immigrants and unauthorized immigrants. For most of the period, the bulk of the flow was unauthorized but for the last several years, it appears that most of the new arrivals are likely to be legal residents. Legal admissions from Mexico averaged about 170,000 per year for 2000-2009 and 140,000 per year for 2010-2011. These legal admissions do not represent all newly arrived immigrants, as a significant share are people who are living in the U.S. but are “adjusting their status” from temporary to legal permanent resident.

But this meme is getting a lot of Main Stream Media play. A lot of MSM Big Feet really, really want the immigration issue to go away:

I don’t know how reliable this Pew study is—’s Linda Thom distrusts figures coming from Jeffrey Passel, the lead author (Passel's Pattern, June 28, 2005). And the whole Pew Hispanic Institute has suspect motives, even though both Reuters and Eugene Robinson like call them “non-partisan.”

But immigration ebbs and flows, so let’s accept that it’s currently ebbing. But note that Tamar Jacoby says it will start up again when the economy revives.

And David Frum, a reliable follower of the zeitgeist, Twitters

if Pew is correct, net migration to US from Mexico has almost completely ceased. Seismic, if true

When I say that Frum is a reliable follower of the zeitgeist, I mean that he’s reliable on figuring out what the zeitgeist is, and following it.

He also retweets a comment from a Californian:

RT @gem3wood: @davidfrum You can see that being a lifelong Cali resident. Most Hispanic neighborhoods haven't grown that much the last 5yrs.

Well, yes, if you mean by “lifelong” twenty-something. Victor Davis Hanson, born 1953, remembers when California was American, and American kids picked the crops in the summer.

(Peter Brimelow says he remembers David Frum telling him that immigration was no longer an issue because the 1990-1991 recession was ending. Hmmm).

You can see what’s going in this column by Michael Barone, who is reliably wrong on the subject of immigration: Barone: The Shrinking Immigration Problem, National Review Online, April 26, 2012

The illegal-immigration problem is going away.

That’s the conclusion I draw from the latest report of the Pew Hispanic Center on Mexican immigration to the United States.

This reminds me of the politician who suggested during the Vietnam War that the US should say it had won. This entered the popular culture as “Declare victory and go home.” [Aiken Suggests U.S. Say It Has Won War, New York Times, October 20, 1966,]

Except in this case, nobody is going home. Just as the invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnam ended in 1975, the occupation continues—as does the Mexican occupation of large parts of the United States. (Those “Hispanic neighborhoods” mentioned above used to be American.)

Barone has been trying to “declare victory” over immigration for years—not that he’s actually been interested in stopping it, but in the sense that he’s kept saying Not To Worry, It’s Going Away. I noted this in Michael Barone’s Immigration Enthusiasm Means Never Having To Say He’s Sorry.

I also noted that Barone was saying the same thing in 2001. And I pointed out that he’s been saying for years that net migration from Puerto Rico stopped in 1961 when incomes rose on the island, but that it’s simply not true. (See my August 8, 2001 Wall Street (Journal) Story?—a West Side Story popular culture reference—which used data from the CIA World Factbook.)

However, even if immigration from Mexico is in temporary equilibrium, there are a large number of things wrong with Barone’s article.

Barone writes

An end to the huge flow of immigrants from Mexico has huge implications for U.S. immigration policy.

Because of our long land border with Mexico (the Rio Grande is a trickle most of the year), it has been relatively easy to emigrate illegally from that country. As a result, Mexican immigrants tend to be younger, poorer, less educated, and less fluent in English than immigrants from other countries. They are also more likely to be illegal—Mexicans are 30 percent of all immigrants but 58 percent of illegals—and less likely to become U.S. citizens.

A continued standstill in Mexican immigration means that the number of illegals in the United States will probably continue to decline, even in an economic recovery. Children of illegals born in the U.S., who are automatically U.S. citizens, don’t add to the illegal numbers.

No—but they’ll add to the Mexican numbers. While children born to Mexicans living in the United States are considered Americans by the American government, they consider themselves Mexicans. The Government of Mexico is of the same opinion.

So even if immigration stopped in toto, the mass immigration of the last few years would still have severely damaged the United States, as well as endangering its sovereignty.

The Treason Lobby Immigration Policy Center puts it like this:

Fewer Mexicans are Entering the U.S., Fewer Are Leaving, and Mexican American Births Now Outpace Immigration from Mexico

And, for all the talk of a lower Mexican birthrate, Steve Sailer has pointed out that Mexicans living in America have more children than Mexicans at home. That’s why they come here—so that they can afford to have more children.

There is no report like this that can’t be twisted to serve the Treason Lobby’s purposes. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post says it’s an opportunity for “real solutions” i.e. amnesty. The President of Mexico, speaking to 200 Mexican immigrants in Houston said that “this was good news for Mexico as the drop showed that more immigrants are choosing to return home”. [Mexico President Felipe Calderon Says State Immigration Laws in US Are Unfair, Fox News Latino, April 26, 2012]

Mickey Kaus has been calling the return to Mexico the “Gran Salida” [Great Exit] for years. In his latest piece on the subject [Don’t call it “self-deportation” | The Daily Caller] he is declaring a little victory of his own on the pundit front, saying the “Gran Salida” is finally the “Gran Conventional Wisdom”.

He is, however, a little suspicious of Jeffrey Passel and the Pew Study:

Old pro-amnesty line: Illegal immigrants ain’t leaving. They’re here to stay. Deal with it!

New pro-amnesty line: Illegal immigrants are leaving! No more problem! Can we reverse the policies that worked now?...

It was only a year ago that Jeffrey Passel, one of the author’s of the new Pew report, was assuring us that Mexicans weren’t returning home, despite the contention of various reporters and others who had for years said that was what was happening. (See this Power Pointish Passel presentation, declaring “No evidence of increased out-flows,” “Return flows have NOT increased.”**) Did the stats for a five-year period (“new data from the 2010 Mexican census“) really change that dramatically in the past year?*** Or did something else change, like the party line the limits of acceptable scholarship. … sorry, it’s hard not to be paranoid here. … Pew has its defenders …. Maybe this is just an illustration of the rule that “the academics are always the last to know.”

Go read the whole thing at the Daily Caller, where you’ll find out what those asterisks are about.

In reality this latest development is a result of a combination of things that we, at have either warned of, or supported.

  • Some of the Gran Salida was caused by the failure of Bush’s amnesty drives, some by E-Verify and state immigration laws, and by police enforcement of immigration laws.
  • A large part of it was caused by the failure of the Housing Bubble, and the economic crash. The bubble was partly fueled by illegal immigration, (cheap construction labor and overextended illegal buyers) partly by George W. Bush’s Minority Mortgage Meltdown.
  •  Some of it is caused by the fact that the economy under Obama is absolutely in terrible shape. That’s why Fareed Zakaria on CNN is worrying Are Mexicans giving up on U.S?, [April 27, 2012] ‘

As Steve Sailer keeps pointing out, if you have to be unemployed, it’s cheaper to be unemployed in Mexico.

So, if anyone should be entitled to declare victory, it’s us.

 In spite of that, all kinds of pundits are likely to declare that

  • ·        the problem is solved, and
  • ·        they’re going to abandon all the policies that solved it.

Don’t be fooled!

As for Michael Barone, he’s decided to ignore the 12/20 million illegals in residence, and their potential descendants, and move on to the important kind of immigration—displacing Americans from every white collar job but his:

“The key immigration issue for the future is whether America, like our Anglosphere cousins Canada and Australia, will let in more high-skilled immigrants.”

This at a time of record unemployment/ underemployment among American college graduates.[Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed, Associated Press, April 22, 2012]

Perhaps the skilled immigrants who have taken over many American jobs and depressed their wages aren’t creating new ghettos and barrios. And they may even pay taxes, net. But they’re just displacing a better class of American.

Maybe one them can displace Michael Barone.

James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor for

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