FW: Keeping Migrants Here: The Uninteded Consequences of Border Enforcement
- Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2009 16:02:57 -0400
Subject: Keeping Migrants Here: The Uninteded Consequences of Border Enforcement
For Immediate Release
Keeping Migrants Here:
Recent Research Shows Unintended Consequences of U.S. Border Enforcement
Washington D.C. - The Department of Homeland Security released a report this week showing that apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border are at their lowest level since 1973, leaving many observers contemplating the factors responsible for this decline. Is it the recession-plagued U.S. economy or beefed-up enforcement efforts? New data from a research team led by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, sheds light on the decline in apprehensions and reveals the surprising, unintended consequences of border enforcement.
According to 4,012 interviews conducted with migrants and prospective migrants in Mexico, California, and Oklahoma between 2005 and 2009, the drying up of the U.S. job market, coupled with the high personal and financial costs of migration, are slowing the pace of undocumented migration from Mexico. At the same time, undocumented immigrants already here are staying put due to the high costs and physical risks of being smuggled back into the United States, fear of losing their U.S. jobs, and lack of economic opportunities in Mexico. The data reveals that, ironically, enhanced border security has created "reduced circularity in migration"- essentially locking migrants in the United States as the prospect of going home and returning later has become increasingly expensive and dangerous.The new research conducted by Cornelius' team indicates that the condition of the U.S. economy is far more significant in explaining the recent decline in border apprehensions than any of the enforcement-only measures that have been implemented to date. Border-enforcement efforts will continue to be largely ineffectual until the U.S. immigration system is brought into line with the ups and downs of U.S. labor demand, which drives so much of undocumented immigration in the first place. Enforcement is not a substitute for reform.
The complete findings of the Cornelius team's research can be found in this IPC Fact Check:
For media inquiries, contact Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7524 or wsefsaf@...
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), established in 2003, is the policy arm of the American Immigration Law Foundation. IPC's mission is to shape a rational national conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office
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