Undocumented immigration from Mexico is decreasing

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/07/06/world/americas/immigration.html

For anyone interested in Mexican immigration into the U.S., this is a very fascinating and informative update on how levels of undocumented immigration have been dropping over the last decade:

The extraordinary Mexican migration that delivered millions of illegal immigrants to the United States over the past 30 years has sputtered to a trickle, and research points to a surprising cause: unheralded changes in Mexico that have made staying home more attractive. A growing body of evidence suggests that a mix of developments — expanding economic and educational opportunities, rising border crime and shrinking families — are suppressing illegal traffic as much as economic slowdowns or immigrant crackdowns in the United States.

This is the argument that economists have made for a long time, that immigration is predominantly an economic phenomenon. In other words, people move when the benefits outweigh the costs of doing so, and the highest fence in the world won’t stop it from happening. This article argues that after many decades, the costs are finally starting to outweigh the benefits in the decision to migrate north.

My main question, then, is whether or not this phenomenon will reverse itself once the economy starts growing again. Will the costs outweigh the benefits if thousands of construction and agricultural jobs suddenly open here in the U.S.?

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