Tanking Economy Thwarts Illegal Immigration

Economic woes stem tide of illegal immigration
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Mar 8, 2009 3:02 PM CDT
A Mexican soldier walks near a U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Friday, March 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar)
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(Newser) – Arrests are headed south at the US-Mexico border, as fewer and fewer are making the risky trek over just to run smack into the US' grim economic prospects, reports the LA Times. The number of arrests hit its lowest level since the 1970s, with only 195,000 apprehended since October 2008—a 24% drop since last year. "We were in shock," said a border patrol spokesman of a two-day stretch free of arrests.

Border arrests, considered a strong measure of illegal migration, has been on the wane since the Bush administration beefed up security several years ago. But the economy is definitely a factor in the steep dropoff. "A lot of people who would have come here illegally and stayed illegally are not bothering to come to the US," said one think tank official. "The information that they are getting basically says there are no opportunities here."