Updated 09:01 AM EST, Mon, Jan 25, 2021

Illegal Immigrants in the U.S. Declining: Is ICE Finally Doing Its Job?

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Illegal immigration in the United States has reached its all time low. A study made by the Center for Migration Studies said that today, only about 10.9 million illegal immigrants are in the country. This is the lowest number since 2003, and the first time that the number dropped to below 11 million since 2004.

The Los Angeles Times said that the decline has been ongoing since 2008, which means that despite GOP frontrunner Donald Trump's claims, illegal immigration rates are not "beyond belief."

Since 2010, the number of Mexicans living in the US without authorization has declined by nine percent or about 612,000 individuals. In California alone, the number of illegal Mexicans shrunk by about 250,000.

Unfortunately, due to rising violence and falling economies, more and more illegal immigrants are crossing from Central America.

USC Sociology professor Manuel Pastor said that the decline in the numbers of illegal immigrants has less to do with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement than the decline of the US economy, among other factors.

For example, lower birth rates in Mexico could mean less competition for jobs in their own country, therefore giving off less pressure to find work in greener pastures in the similarly struggling US.

The Pew Research Center said that in 2014, there were 11.3 million illegal unauthorized immigrants in the US, and about half of them were made up of Mexicans. These numbers have been steadily declining.

However, these immigrants are partial to some states, as only six states account for most of these numbers. Pew Research noted that these six states are California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.

While some see them as potentially problematic, illegal immigrants in the US make up about 5.1 percent of its labor force, with about 8.1 million either working or looking for work as of just a few years ago. Still, there are states that are more forgiving about their citizen status, with Nevada, California, Texas, and New Jersey among those with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants in their labor forces.

Pastor said that Trump's anger towards illegal immigration is "detached from reality," and is primarily a product of the upcoming elections, where he has to appeal to the Republican party's conservative, and mostly white, voters. He said that the "growing demographic anxieties" of Americans is what's scaring them into the anti-immigrant rhetoric.

In simple terms, Pastor noted that "This is a very racialized debate."

What do you think about the apparent decline in illegal immigration in the US?

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