It's Too Late to Build That Wall

And so the immigration debate continues to hold governrnment and the mainstream media hostage. Let’s continue our analysis of the situation that we started last Monday…

In our March 2017 Boom and Bust newsletter on “The Truth About Immigration,” I showed that the total population of illegal Mexican immigrants had peaked in 2007 at 6.9 million and had fallen to 5.6 million by 2015.  

That’s a net decrease of 150,000 a year over nine years.  

In other words, more illegals were going home than coming in. They were self-deporting! 

The thing is, it turnrns out this trend isn’t isolated to illegal Mexicans. We saw a similar development when we looked at the annual rate of new arrivals since the peak of 2000 in this chart. 

If we look at the annual legal and illegal we see that Mexico was the dominant force into the last peak in 2000. About half of that was illegals.  

But then that dropped from about 570,000 to 115,000 in 2011.  

Since then the rise has been minimal, moving back to just 124,000 in 2016, about the same as the 122,000 immigrants from all of the Middle East and Africa. 

East and South Asia immigration to the U.S. has been accelerating the most since 2003… but I don’t hear many complaints about these people.  

Since 2011, immigration from the rest of Latin America has been accelerating and they tend to come in more through Miami and Florida than through the Mexican border states. 

The exceptions are El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Some of those immigrants sneak into Mexico and then into the U.S. But many of the El Salvador immigrants, the largest group, were let in as refugees. No wall would have stopped much of that! 

The first major peak for all new immigrants was 2000 at 1.66 million. After a major drop into 2011, 2016 looks to finally be a new high at around 1.80 million. 

The total immigrant population is now 43.7 million, or about 13% of the total.  

Only 2.8 million are from predominantly Muslim countries. 

The top 10 countries from which (legal and illegal) immigrants have poured in are:  

  • Mexico, at 11.6 million  
  • China, at 2.7 million 
  • India, 2.4 million 
  • Philippines, at 1.9 million 
  • El Salvador, at 1.4 million 
  • Vietnam, at 1.4 million
  • Cuba, at 1.3 million 
  • Dominican Republic, at 1.1 
  • Guatemala, at 0.9 million 
  • And Columbia, at 0.7 million

Numbers are only part of this puzzle though. Quality of immigrant plays a major role in their impact on the U.S.  

Guess which immigrants from those top 10 countries has the highest average income? 


And the only one barely growing its legal immigration to the U.S. is, of course, Mexico, with its number of net illegal immigrants still shrinking. 

There are so many things we could do to stop illegal immigration that would be less costly and more effective than building a big-ass and costly wall which will take forever to build. 



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