Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Illegal Mexican immigration virtually halted

Two key figures indicate net migration into the U.S. has slowed from at trickle to a halt.

Population figures inside Mexico are at a stasis point, showing no increase and no decrease. Coupled with that factor, there is a dramatic decrease in the number of arrests made by the Border Patrol.

The number of people arrested while trying to cross without papers tumbled to 304,755 during the 11 months ended in August, extending a nearly steady drop since a peak of 1.6 million in 2000.

Experts believe the bottom line is a lack of work available on this side of the border. Informal networks of Mexican nationals send word back home that there is little point in making the arduous journey. There is no work to be had. Labor contractors operating in the Mexican interior agree with them. They have nothing to offer.

"Our country is not experiencing the population loss due to migration that was seen for nearly 50 years," Rene Zenteno, a deputy Mexico interior secretary for migration matters, has said.

Aside from a lack of work opportunities and the constant factor of I-9 audits by Immigration and Customs (ICE) auditors who check the legal status of employers' work forces by checking the personnel files and the form of identification provided by those hired, there is the very real threat of violence by drug cartels who lurk along Mexico's northern frontier.

Nearly 200 people, many of them U.S.-bound Mexican migrants, were killed in the northern state of Tamaulipas last spring after being seized from buses by gunmen believed to be tied to the Zetas drug gang. A year earlier, 72 migrants from Central and South America were massacred in the same area.

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