First, a report from the Wall Street Journal:
Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.
After four decades that brought 12 million Mexican immigrants—more than half of them illegally—to the U.S., the curtain has come down on the biggest immigration wave in modern times.
“The net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed,” says the report, which is based on an analysis of U.S. and Mexican government data by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center…
There are three reasons this is happening:
1. The Mexican economy, relative to the United States economy, is doing pretty well. There simply isn’t as much economic need to migrate as their used to be.
2. The United States economy – especially in home construction – is not as vibrant as it once was, and so there is less need for a pool of cheap labor.
3. The Mexican fertility rate has cratered – going from about 7 children per woman 50 years ago to just over 2 children per woman today, and continuing to rapidly fall. Mexico’s fertility rate will probably drop below replacement level in just a few years. Long term, this means fewer young Mexicans and thus a simply smaller pool of people who would even want to move to the United States.
Of course, once we get rid of Obama, the United States economy could well take off in to boom times and that would act as a magnet for immigrants – but it would also benefit the Mexican economy, thus providing yet more reason for Mexicans to stay home. Additionally, the trends in Mexican migration are not exactly duplicated in non-Mexican migration, but the fact of the matter is that all south of the border is growing economically and all of those nations are undergoing rapidly declining fertility rates…there might be a little over hang of Salvadorans coming after the Mexicans stop, but it won’t last long. If anything, our next illegal immigrant problem will come from Africa as people there get wealthy enough to flee nations which are basket cases or likely to become such in the future…but its a long trip from Africa to the United States and we’ll never again have a situation where a large population of potential illegals is separated from us by a mere walk.
My point here is that the illegal immigrant problem, as such, is over or will be very soon. The problem we have is what to do with those who came in the past 20 years – and in that, my fellow Republicans/conservatives we have a choice: we can welcome them per Rubio’s plan or we can provide one, last insult which will ensure Democrats getting 70% of their votes for the next 50 years. What will it be? You know my answer – I have favored amnesty since 2007 (even back then I knew that the realities were changing – I wasn’t thinking in terms of electoral math but just hard facts: birth rates declining, economy improving = less and less Mexicans coming across the border; so, why make a gigantic, heart ache issue out of it?). I’m with Rubio; secure the border (which, at any rate, is mostly about protecting us from cross-border drug/slavery gangs and possible terrorist incursions) and provide a path to legality for those already here. Issue ended. Yes, as these people become citizens over the next ten years, they will give a majority of their votes to the Democrats – poor, immigrant groups have always voted for whomever showed willing to pass out some government assistance (and this goes all the way back to when my Irish Great-great-grandfather arrived in the 1850′s…Irish Catholics became dedicated Democrats for more than 100 years because the Republicans didn’t welcome them or offer them any aid); we can break that by welcoming them, providing some aid and while we’ll initially only win 35-40% of their votes, we’ll get their grand-children voting for us at least 50/50 (additionally, we’ll have made Americans out of them because that is what will come along with our welcome and our aid – teaching them of the greatness of America: right now they are being taught to despise this nation by liberal Democrats…you want that to continue?).
The issue is over – our choice is to decide how we want to wind it up? I go with welcoming and helping and turning them in to conservative, pro-life, gun-toting, patriotic American TEA Party fanatics…what do you want to do with them?
UPDATE: Rubio has received some kudos out there for his reform proposal, but he’s also getting some stern pushback from some conservatives. Allahpundit has the run-down.
The objections seem to revolve mostly around the fact that the 1986 immigration reform act was a complete failure on the enforcement end and, so, a lot of people are worried that Rubio will get rolled by the Democrats – leaving us with toothless enforcement mechanisms while a whole lotta amnesty is going on. That is a legitimate worry, but Rubio has said he’s firm: no strong enforcement, no Rubio vote…and if Rubio votes against, I can’t see the proposal getting the necessary 60 votes for cloture in the Senate (a Rubio “no” would give a lot of GOPers cover to go along with the “no”…just as a Rubio “yes” gives a lot of cover for going along with the “yes”). I can definitely see scenarios where Obama and his Democrats poison-pill immigration reform just so they can race-bait on it going in to the 2014 mid-terms…we’ll see if that eventuates; but it is risky for them…honest Latinos who are not race-baiters (ie, almost all of them) simply want to ensure that family members can’t be deported…Democrats killing the bill by inserting enforcement-destroying provisions might get themselves a bit of a backlash. At all events, having a prominent, Latino GOP Senator being out front on this issue and essentially giving any honest Latino what he wants vis a vis immigration is already doing well by the GOP.
Another objection is that doing this won’t win the GOP a huge number of Latino voters. To me, this is a big “no kidding” objection…of course it won’t. Its not designed to. It is because we want to be merciful (seriously, I doubt that too many GOPers have to stomach to round up millions of people and send them home…there’s just something un-American in such a concept) and we need to deal with the problem that we move on this…and, in purely political terms, it gets a monkey off our back. We no longer have to carry around this issue, trying to court Latinos while Democrats are telling them, “those GOPers are going to deport your uncle Jose”. It clears the field and allows us to compete…and, remember, a crushing victory against liberalism means getting not all of the liberal voters, but just 10 or 15% of them…this will allow us to start doing that.