MEXICALI, Mexico — Statistics from both the Mexican authorities have shown a steep decline of up to 25% of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States during the last year. There has been a steady rise of the Mexican population in America since the 1990s, save for a slowdown in the period immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Pollsters from both countries are in agreement that the lull in illegal border crossings may be as a result of the tottering of the American economy denying would be immigrants the motivation for taking the risks. It may appear now that jobs were the main attraction for most of the illegal entrants from Mexico who have since stayed away.

According to Jeffrey S. Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, people come for jobs and will stay away if those jobs are not available. The figures displaying this tendency were compiled by the Mexican census agency – the national Institute of Statistics and Geography. Actually shelters for illegal immigrants on the Mexican side of the border are almost empty. Comparatively American border patrol vans on the lookout for illegal immigrants return empty to their bases.

The spread of swine flu in Mexico caused the government to shut down public places further affecting migration, though this may last just as long as the pandemic. The population of Mexican immigrants in America – 32% of all immigrants– has fallen greatly due to the fact most Mexicans are staying in their home villages.

Most of the 11 million illegal immigrants have stayed put even amidst job losses in construction and similar jobs. The numbers returning to Mexico in 2007 and 2008 remain constant at about 450,000. With regular border patrols and stringent law enforcement at work places, illegal immigration can be curtailed.

The evidence adduced proves that the trend of illegal immigration can actually be reversed. The Center for Cooperative Immigration Studies at University of California predicts that once the United States economy improves, we are likely to see a resurgence of illegal immigrants from Mexico once again.

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