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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 334 -- Immigration.

The Mexican Economy & Inmigración-

Courtesy of The Heritage Foundation, we have this chart showing the national origin of America's illegal immigrants:


Indeed, Mexico is responsible for a large proportion of illegal immigration to the United States:

One-third of all foreign-born persons in the U.S. are Mexican. Overall, the number of Mexicans in the U.S. has increased from 760,000 in 1970 to 10.6 million in 2004. Nine percent of all Mexicans now reside in the U.S. Over half of all Mexicans in the U.S. are illegal immigrants, and in the last decade 80 to 85 percent of the inflow of Mexicans into the U.S. has been illegal.

If the Mexican economy had been booming over the past few decades, how many of those 5.9 million illegal aliens from Mexico would have stayed in Mexico? What about the illegals from elsewhere?

We'd likely still have some illegals in America, but it's hard to imagine so many. Mexico certainly has the resources for the kind of economic growth that would keep people content enough not to sneak into the United States.

How is the Mexican economy doing these days, anyway?

Not great by American standards, but it's getting better:

...from 2000 to 2005:

* Mexico’s annual inflation declined by two-thirds;
* The public deficit dropped to zero;
* Foreign investment grew 74 percent.
* Mexico’s non-oil exports increased 60 percent over the last decade;
* Tourism is up 40 percent;
* Investment in roads and highways has grown 144 percent since the last administration;
* Six million scholarships now help keep poor children in class through high school;
* Real wages rose 7 percent;
* Nearly 577,000 new jobs were created [annually]; and
* The number of Mexicans living under one poverty index dropped 23 percent.

Still, nearly a million youths enter the Mexican labor force each year. A half million new jobs per year are simply not enough. Mexico’s minimum wage is US$4.50 per day, far below the minimum US$5.15 per hour stateside. While more Mexican children are attending school, the system is still heavily centralized under an inefficient national ministry and subject to nationwide strikes. Rural facilities and attendance are poor.

So, it's hit or miss. A lot of hits, though.

Unfortunately, socialists are gaining momentum in all of Latin America, even Mexico. What Mexican Marxism would mean for immigration, who really knows. But I doubt it could be much of a good thing.

Interestingly, one of the arguments against illegal (and sometimes legal) immigration is that poor immigrants come to America and go on welfare, drain educational resources, waste prison space, and so on. So here are the numbers on welfare use:


Interesting. There is a very real need for immigration reform in this country. The President's plan may be our last, best opportunity for substantive reform, including serious border security, before it's too late.

And isn't this post what an immigration debate should look like? [As opposed to this.]


Previous Trivia Tidbit: The Internets.

Posted by Will Franklin · 17 May 2006 04:12 PM


Even Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an ultra-leftist, has come to the conclusion that illegal immigration is 'Mexico's disgrace'.

So true.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at May 17, 2006 05:08 PM

Minimum wage varies from state down here. I don't know if that's an average they are quoting but in Tobasco the minimum wage is 25 pesos (about $2.50US), or was a year ago.I heard it's even lower in Chiapas but here in Quintana Roo it's 75 pesos for non-farm workers.

Posted by: bullwinkle at May 17, 2006 08:17 PM

One reason for the lower usage by illegals is that they may fear (somewhat) deportation or arrest.

Posted by: Chief RZ at May 18, 2006 01:10 PM