Data indicate there is no immigration crisis

Data indicate there is no immigration crisis
Credit: University

Is there an "immigration crisis" on the U.S.-Mexico border? Not according to an examination of historical immigration data, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

"'Illegal' Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Is it Really a Crisis?" was co-authored by William Gruben, a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute, and Tony Payan, the Baker Institute's Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the institute's Mexico Center. The paper examines historical immigration data, the "push" and "pull" factors currently motivating Mexicans and Central Americans to migrate to the U.S. and attempts to explain why current undocumented immigration across the U.S.–Mexico has been perceived as a crisis.

"In recent months, print and television journalists have presented the American public with a 'crisis' of illegal immigration on the U.S.–Mexico border," Payan said. "Much of this recent discussion has centered on Central American children traveling alone and on allegations that they are responding to motivations created by the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival policy. The word 'crisis,' however, can have alternative meanings. If a 'crisis' of undocumented immigration means a historically large or very rapidly growing flow of undocumented immigrations, the overall national evidence shows today that there is no such crisis. Border Patrol apprehensions of undocumented immigrants attempting to cross the U.S.–Mexico border have in fact plummeted and remain far below levels a decade earlier."

According to the authors, the overall number of unauthorized immigrants apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in 2013 was about 64 percent below that of 2004. Overall apprehensions had increased 26.5 percent between 2011 and 2013. Apprehensions were declining consistently before then, with 2011 being the trough year, the authors said. Principal determinants of this decline likely include the almost doubling of Border Patrol personnel over 2004-2013 and the Great Recession of 2007-2009, together with its lagged effects.

The authors acknowledge that apprehensions of Central American children traveling alone have indeed surged. However, while references to a record of apprehensions of unaccompanied child immigrants are correct, publicly available data for this category only go back to 2010, the authors said. "Thus, it may be preliminary to draw definitive conclusions about record numbers of unaccompanied children based on four full-fiscal-year observations plus monthly observations into a fifth year," they said. "Other data, including total apprehensions for any undocumented child immigrants, accompanied or otherwise, extend more than a decade. Preliminary estimates for fiscal year 2014 suggest that these apprehensions have remained below levels a decade earlier."

There are many dynamics, economic and social, that seem to have motivated additional unauthorized travel across the U.S.–Mexico border in the last few years, the authors conclude. "Finally, there is always the ' ongoing calculation of the constantly changing probabilities of apprehension, remuneration and survival," they said. "The key with all of these variables, however, is to understand which tug in what direction and weigh them accordingly in order to understand the overall effect on migration wave—this is true for both push and pull factors. But given the statistics story we have presented, we can conclude that there is hardly an immigration crisis—something that would have been a different story around 2005."

Explore further

Most temporary workers from Mexico no better off than undocumented workers

More information: Paper: … ben_Payan-101714.pdf
Provided by Rice University
Citation: Data indicate there is no immigration crisis (2014, October 22) retrieved 21 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Oct 22, 2014
This is liberal bs! Of course the number of illegals they have apprehended at the border has decreased because obama won't allow them to close the borders and apprehend them. He has an open border policy and they just walk in with no problem. I have seen videos of border agents just letting them cross over. They say they're not allowed to do anything. It's criminal. And these guys putting out this information is criminal. Go down to the border and see what's going on before you write crap like this.

Oct 22, 2014
What BS.
The Border Patrol has essentially given up apprehending anyone as they are either babysitting or when they do catch some, they are just let go.
Illegal immigrants are committing crimes and using all the welfare the 'liberals' will give them.
And, the MA Attorney General running for gov just encouraged non-citizens to vote for her.
As mentioned elsewhere, illegal immigrants are abused because some fear being deported (fools).
Illegal immigrants are taking jobs and bring in many diseases: TB, enterovirus, and soon, likely Ebola as there are no border controls.

Oct 22, 2014

The Panic has been cancelled.

once again:

The Panic has been cancelled.

Oct 22, 2014
There is no crisis because

1) Western culture has successfully reduced the repro rate of western people to essentially zero, thereby allowing for a large influx of refugees to add to the mix.

2) The cartels are effectively preventing all but the most ambitious, resourceful, and determined from getting here. Which is exactly what we want.

-It has never been easy to get to this country. By Design. Applied demographics is an Art and an Imperative.

Oct 23, 2014
. . . committing crimes and using all the welfare . . .

. . . taking jobs and bring in many diseases . . .

You forgot to mention how they will rape your wives and daughters, invade your schools with their huge families, destroy your language and culture, etc. Sheesh. I understand you're just ranting to the choir. But you should understand how ridiculous you appear to the rest of us - like some crazy guy on a street corner, frothing at the mouth, screaming invectives at passersby, spittle flying.

You neglected to mention the biggest threat to you - once citizens, they tend to vote against your political views.

Seeing that even the Republican party, belatedly and awkwardly, is trying to improve its image among Latinos (and women and gays), I'm left wondering what political party is left (or right) for you?

Oct 23, 2014
Surveys show women prefer republicans and a large majority are opposed to amnesty.

"And a new AP poll released late yesterday shows more women are interested in voting for Republicans, not Democrats. "

"Voters Strongly Oppose Obama's Amnesty Plan for Illegal Immigrants"


Oct 23, 2014
"With the North Carolina U.S. Senate race in a dead heat, state election officials say they have discovered 145 names on the voting rolls who are ineligible to vote because they are illegal immigrants who have been granted President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. "

'Liberals' need to violate the law, promote fraud to win.

"Could Illegal Unaccompanied Minors Be Spreading New Mystery Virus to U.S.?"

Oct 23, 2014
why current undocumented immigration across the U.S.–Mexico border has been perceived as a crisis.

Fear? Fear is a powerful way to make money off of the populace. It allows no-bid contracts (military, security, homeland-whatever) for services that are basically designed not to be used. I.e you can charge whatever you want for products that can be as crappy as you like - and no one will ever know.

Oct 23, 2014
And once again inane commentary from AA. Do you have some evidence for this demented opinion? No. Just more egotistical blabber from you AA? Shut up fool.

Oct 23, 2014
Well, the article exposes that the hyped fear isn't based on anything rational. So the real question is: why is it hyped?
If it were a singular occurence in the US one could put it down to some misunderstanding - but if you look at history then you will find all kinds of parallels starting from 'bomber gap', 'missile gap, 'submarine gap' illusions during the cold war to 'war on drugs' or 'war on terror' based on not much more than fears fabricated out of thin air.

That the US runs on fear isn't a new revelation. That's pretty much standard knowledge for anyone in the world (except for US citizens who are pretty much isolated from reporting and instead immersed in their own propaganda 24/7).

So you have to ask yourself: who is making money off of that fear - and why isn't anyone INSIDE the US noticing it?

Oct 23, 2014
"WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — A Border Patrol agent claims that the federal government is allowing murderers from Central America to be released into the U.S.

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, agent Chris Cabrera stated that these teenage gang members crossing the border are being released to family members in the U.S.

"If they have family in the United States, they'll release them to the family, even if they're admitted gang members," Cabrera explained to Fox News. "We've had a couple that had admitted to murders in their home country. They were 17 years old, 16 years old, and the United States government thought it fit to release them to their parents here in the United States."

Oct 23, 2014
"The Obama administration violated the law when it released thousands of illegal immigrants last February, more than 600 of whom had criminal records, according to an internal audit released Tuesday that blamed the problem on poor planning and bad leadership from Washington.

Compounding matters, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gave bad information to Congress about the releases, initially blaming the looming budget sequester rather than the agency's own budget pressures, the Homeland Security inspector general concluded."
"Friday on "Newsmax TV's "MidPoint," Pinal Co., AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu said President Barack Obama has flat out "lied" to the American public because not only is he not doing anything to secure the border, he is releasing dangerous criminal illegals over and over again."

Oct 23, 2014
"New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide."
USA Today is a 'liberal' rag.

Oct 23, 2014
why current undocumented immigration across the U.S.–Mexico border has been perceived as a crisis.

Fear? Fear is a powerful way to make money off of the populace. It allows no-bid contracts (military, security, homeland-whatever) for services that are basically designed not to be used. I.e you can charge whatever you want for products that can be as crappy as you like - and no one will ever know.
And yet the U.S. military procurement system has produced the most advanced and most effective array of hardware in the world, and has consistently done so for nearly a century. How do you account for this? Happenstance? Luck?
fears fabricated out of thin air
-This would only make sense to someone who refuses to acknowledge the obvious FACT that there are enemies in the world who need to be defeated. Always have been.

Oct 23, 2014
The soviets were every bit as dangerous as ISIS is now. Do you forget what they did to the people of Eastern Europe? They shipped their entire middle class off to gulag.

Your grandparents were fully aware that the same fate awaited them and so they chose to FIGHT rather than succumb. And they were able to save fully half their country, as well as the rest of Western Europe, from a similar fate as a result.

We saw how quickly militaries can be reconstituted, in the generation between the world wars. And we see now the endless stream of new recruits that fuels Islamist aggression in the Middle East.

Same cause. Same threat. And as usual there is NO CHOICE but to fight or be overrun.

The only reason the soviets were not able to recover at the same explosive rate, was because of family planning and over 400M abortions which occurred during the Cold War. And THIS was only made possible by the destruction of the prewar religious cultures which thrived on maximized reproduction.

Oct 23, 2014
And yet the U.S. military procurement system has produced the most advanced and most effective array of hardware in the world

At what cost? Give a company a tenth (heck: a thousandth) of the money that was pumped into military development and you could have gotten way better hardware (that actually would be of some use, too).
Bang for the buck is always better if you're developing something that actually has a use instead of developing everything that anyone can think of just to use up a budget.

Oct 23, 2014
If anyone know anything about fear is should be the Germans.
They murdered millions out of fear and pride.

Oct 23, 2014
"A Rochdale mini-cab business owner who admitted some of his customers show a preference for white drivers after a local child-sex scandal involving predominantly Pakistani men, is being investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The comments of Car 2000 owner Stephen Campbell were reported in the British press yesterday as he discussed the difficulties he had after taking over Eagle cabs, the business that had been at the heart of the scandal. After two of Eagle's drivers were imprisoned for trafficking and exploiting children for sex, customers began asking for specifically "local", or white British drivers, with up to sixty requests a week."

Oct 23, 2014
If anyone know anything about fear is should be the Germans.
They murdered millions out of fear and pride

You betchat. that's why we can now tell when somenone is doing the same thing.

Pride, fear, flag adulation, pledges, ...notice any pattern?

Those who do not learn from history....

Oct 23, 2014
BTW, were the Jews beheading people in Germany in the1920s?

I also expect Germans would appreciate the rule of law and well defined borders. Especially after violating so many borders in the past.

How many towns in Germany allow the Muslim call to prayer be broadcast by loudspeaker?

Oct 23, 2014
Those who do not learn from history
First you have to see history for what it is, not what the propagandists tell you it is.

In the 30s Rot Front cells were breaking out all over germany and were taking orders directly from moscow. Comintern had clearly stated that its intent was to absorb ALL of western europe, starting with germany. Meanwhile stalin was murdering 1000 people every day.

Fascism was the response. Turning the entire populace into an army was the ONLY WAY to resist communism. Germany, italy, spain, romania, and elsewhere, as well as a few 100,000 volunteers from all the other euro countries, joined the cause.

The result was a communist-free europe. A pyrrhic victory is still a victory. And the alternative would have been far far worse, and you all know it.

Scrape away all the propaganda foisted by winners and you are left with one undeniable conclusion - germany saved europe and perhaps the entire free world from another dark age. Total war is hell.

Oct 23, 2014
People like antialias enjoy blaming winners. They enjoy making up history as much as they enjoy making up science. Denying that communism was a threat is idiocy. Its like trying to blame the existence of al quaida and ISIS on their enemies.

The ottoman empire and its caliphate were not the fault of the west. It was the result of rampant religionism with nothing to oppose it. And a new caliphate would be the desire of middle eastern sunnis regardless of whether we were here to oppose it or not.

You like parallels aa? Islamist cells are breaking out worldwide, especially in europe, and they are taking orders directly from al quaida and ISIS. Their stated intent is to establish sharia law over the entire world.

And like stalin they are already methodically murdering at similar percentages in conquered lands. And whether or not you convert they will murder you too, just as pol pot murdered all the intellectuals he could get his hands on.

Are you too timid to resist?

Oct 23, 2014
even the Republican party, belatedly and awkwardly, is trying to improve its image among Latinos (and women and gays),

"Joyce, an 82 year old lifelong black Democrat called C-Span to express her dismay with her party and announce that she voted straight Republican this year. She is dismayed with the Democrats stance on religion, abortion, and the poor effects of Obama's policies on the black community and the country"

Looks like the democrats are losing the old black democrat lady vote.

Oct 24, 2014
"In spite of substantial public controversy, very little reliable data exists concerning the frequency with which non-citizen immigrants participate in United States elections. Although such participation is a violation of election laws in most parts of the United States, enforcement depends principally on disclosure of citizenship status at the time of voter registration. This study examines participation rates by non-citizens using a nationally representative sample that includes non-citizen immigrants. We find that some non-citizens participate in U.S. elections, and that this participation has been large enough to change meaningful election outcomes including Electoral College votes, and Congressional elections. Non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress."

Oct 25, 2014
"U.S. Border Patrol agents were involved in a shooting incident with armed suspects near southwest Tucson at around 10:23 a.m. One suspect died in the crossfire. No agents were injured."

Oct 26, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Oct 26, 2014
"Marcelo Marquez allegedly shot and killed a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy and a Placer County Sheriff's Deputy, and also allegedly shot and wounded a second Placer County deputy and a civilian on Friday. On Saturday, authorities revealed that the suspect -- real name, Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte -- had already been deported twice from the United States."

Oct 26, 2014
"Though there is a surplus of American high-tech workers, companies like Microsoft are laying off 18,000 American workers--while pushing for more foreign workers.

Massive increases in guest-worker visas would only cut off opportunities for Americans to enter the middle class. Liberals, such as Vice President Joe Biden, conservatives, like Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, and nonpartisan scholars, including Professor Ron Hira, have all agreed on this point."

Oct 27, 2014
"Monroy-Bracamonte apparently showed no regard for human life, and should face the death penalty for destroying so many families.

But what do we do with the politicians who were his accomplices before the fact in this terrible crime?

Under Jerry Brown and a supermajority of illegal alien enablers, whose welcome-mat policies have encouraged more illegals come to California than any other state, should be held responsible. President Obama has been no better: by executive order, he has effectively nullified all enforcement of immigration laws in the United States."

Oct 27, 2014
"immigration crisis gets a little better"

"hurr durr there is no crisis!!"

Gotta love this biased reporting. US immigration enforcement is still a joke. You let anyone into your country.

Oct 27, 2014
You let anyone into your country.

Except those who want to follow the legal process.

Oct 28, 2014
"In a message to the American people, the president of the union representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) adjudicators and personnel is warning about President Obama's plans for executive amnesty."

Oct 30, 2014
"71 Percent of New Jobs Go to Foreign Born Legal, Illegal Immigrants in NH"

Oct 30, 2014
I came across an article adds some context.

Oct 31, 2014
I came across an article adds some context.

What context?
Do any of these countries support illegal immigration?
I support letting ALL who want to work in the USA to enter LEGALLY and work for whomever, LEGALLY. This would enable Indians, Filipinos, and many others who speak English and have education and skills to enter, work and start businesses.
No one entering would be eligible for any federal welfare and after working here for 5 years must apply for citizen or go home.
Black markets in drug, illegal aliens, etc. only benefit the politicians in power.

And NO politician publicly supports EXPANDING legal immigration. Only rewarding those who entered illegally.

Oct 31, 2014
", Sweden typically grants access to only few immigrants — but the access comes with comprehensive rights and support. The strategy is called mainstreaming,"

It's not working out very well in Sweden as most Muslims don't want to mainstream. Swedish police won't patrol certain parts of Malmo.

What other countries ignore their immigration laws?

Nov 01, 2014
" But the real reason is that European countries cannot tolerate Italy opening this "back door" to migrants. Most do not stay in Italy, but make their way illegally north to Germany and Britain where jobs are easier to find.

Germany has seen migrant inflows rise by a third in the past two years. Europe is literally a continent on the move. "
Why do 'liberals' keep perpetuating the need for so many to leave their turd world countries?
Could it be these turd world states are led by their 'liberal'/socialist cousins?
The Pope recently state it is not communistic to help the poor. It IS Communist/socialistic when the state plunders the wealth of others for 'charity'.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more