There is an article today in the local newspaper that I often malign with a certain suffix. This is a news article though that is so good and so competent, that it has caused me to, for now, to drop said suffix. Therefore, you must report directly to The Washington Post to read this article by Edward Schumacher-Matos.
Schumacher-Matos’ article just parses the numbers regarding immigration. He concludes what I’ve been saying for a while, that the fact is that immigration ain’t really that big a problem, that it’s just been fluffed up by “conservatives” to scare the hell out of grandma.
Just the facts, man:
Forget the hyperventilated furor over the new Arizona immigration law and consider this overlooked fact: The number of illegal immigrants getting into the country has slowed to a relative trickle.
And more have left than are coming in. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the country has gone from an estimated high of 12.5 million in 2007 to 10.8 million in this year’s first quarter and is still dropping, according to experts in the Census Bureau, the Department
Despite repeated claims that the federal government “isn’t doing anything,” Schumacher-Matos says that enforcement efforts are significantly up from a decade ago.
Remember: The United States historically has had few immigration controls. In 1979, when as a reporter I snuck across the border with a group of Mexicans, there was a laughably small force of fewer than 2,000 Border Patrol agents covering the 2,000-mile frontier with Mexico.
Today, the Border Patrol is 20,000 strong, supplemented by high-tech gadgetry and hundreds of miles of barriers. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that the number of Mexicans who managed to get through in the year ending in March 2009 was 175,000, the lowest number since 1970 and down from roughly 650,000 in 2005. The Border Patrol reports that apprehensions, a rough measure of traffic, were down nearly 70 percent last year from 2000.
So, hi. Can we please start talking about like, a real problem in these US of A for a change? Is the Bay Area ready for The Big One? Are our chemical plants well-secured? And would they please stop mowing those god-damned highway medians for chrissake?