Donald Trump and his trusted assistant Stephen Miller would have you believe that Mexicans are storming the US Southern Border….
They may be coming across….
But the numbers have dropped by about 7% for both illegal and legals….
The number of legals has dropped by about 9%….
As Mexico’s economy has gotten better?
Less of their people head to America….
Of course a good many are sent back and some actually go back voluntarily….
Despite some of its regions being mired in a horrifically violent drug war, Mexico’s economy has grown robustly — the country’s per capita gross domestic product, valued at purchasing power parity, is now about $19,500, higher than China’s. Mexico’s fertility rate has also fallen to 2.24 children per woman, just slightly more than the replacement rate of 2.1 — that means people need to stay home to take care of aging parents and take over family businesses, instead of going north to work.
Because of the end of mass Mexican migration, the illegal immigration Trump is upset about is coming almost entirely from Central America. Because of violence, political instability and unpromising economic prospects, an increasing number of people from the so-called Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been making the perilous trek north through Mexico, seeking refuge and work in the U.S.
Central America, and the Northern Triangle in particular, has picked up where Mexico left off. As the Mexican-born population has fallen, the Central American-born population has risen by almost the exact same amount…
…..both El Salvador and Guatemala have passed the $8,000 per person level, at which point higher GDP tends to reduce emigration. In other words, continued economic growth will make migration from El Salvador and Guatemala shrink from now on. Honduras still has a way to go, but is making steady progress.
So there is every reason to believe that the Central American immigration wave has peaked, and will now start to decline, just like Mexico’s did a decade earlier. Meanwhile, even now the number coming in is small compared to the number of Mexicans who came to the U.S. in the 1990s and 2000s.
In other words, although the issue of children at the border presents a moral crisis, Central American immigration is not at a crisis level overall, nor likely to become so. Trump is spreading alarm over a phenomenon that will probably dwindle away from now on. The problem of unaccompanied children at the border is a problem, and one that Trump will hopefully handle better in the future. But the U.S. isn’t in danger of being inundated by Central Americans….