Escape from L.A.


Are illegal aliens leaving Los Angeles? "This month the Urban Institute, a think-tank, estimated that the county lost some 15,000 illicit residents between 2002 and 2004," The Economist reports. "In the same period America as a whole added more than 1m." The magazine cites several reasons for the shift, of which the most notable are the most normal:

Maria, who moved out before she became a permanent resident and is now studying for a citizenship test in a San Bernardino shopping mall, provides three. Housing is much cheaper there than in Los Angeles, she says. The schools are better. And local gangs, although they are growing, are not nearly as entrenched as they are in the big city.

In short, illegal immigrants are leaving Los Angeles for the same reasons most people do.

"The difference," declares The Economist, "is that their new neighbours are unlikely to welcome them with open arms." Well, that and the fact that these newcomers are less likely to blame the border-crossers for the gangs and the state of the schools.

[Via Mariel Garza.]