According to statistics, the number of illegal immigrants relocating to the US is down for the first time in ten years. There were 6.1 million illegal immigrants living in the US last year from Mexico; this number was reduced from the seven million recorded in 2007.
This shift has provided relief for some US citizens because it means jobs are available that were otherwise being given to illegal residents. It turns out that many of the relocating immigrants have left the US for Mexico because job opportunities are down. In other words, they are not able to get jobs and thus they have to return. There is also a debate going on in the Supreme Court right now with regards to the immigration laws. Arizona is one state that has made it almost impossible for residents of Mexico to live in the US without first going through the proper channels.
The weak economy has certainly been a factor in the lower numbers of illegal individuals relocating to the US. With the number of construction and other service jobs decreased, it is tougher to find a position. Furthermore the US has changed its deportation laws, increasing the number of individuals relocated back to Mexico. US patrols have been increased, making certain to protect the border. The number of births, both legal and illegal, in the US is also lowered to 12 million. It was at a peak of 12.6 million in 2007.
Another reason for the current number change is in the repeat offender bracket. For those who tend to come to the US even after they have been sent back, the laws making certain to penalize them have become tougher. Unfortunately there are still many problems in Mexico for those who wish to relocate. It is not that they want to move to the USA or because they are unhappy with their family life. It is the conditions they live in. Many suffer greatly in Mexico and hope for a better life in ‘free America’. In these difficult conditions there are those who will be desperate enough to try crossing the border time and time again. The drug cartels are also threatening the other side of the border, meaning the Mexican side. They state that if no one pays they will kill them. This makes it tougher to get into the US unless the individuals have the funds to bribe the cartels.
Christian Ballesteros is a repeat offender who spoke out about the conditions on both sides. He stated that he fears he will spend more time in jail if he is caught trying to cross. It sounds as though if he is caught again he will be in jail for six months rather than 2.5 months; yet, it also sounds as though he would willingly come back to the States even with that hanging over his head. He may not have learned the ‘lesson’ the American courts are trying to teach him about staying in his own country or crossing over legally.