Data: Arrivals Down, Panic Up


A new report from the Immigration Policy Center reminds us that immigrant arrivals have been down since well before the current eruption of nativist sentiment. The annual flow of immigrants to the United States was at its height in 2000. The Census Bureau and Social Security Administration predict it will continue to decline until at least 2015.

According to the study's author, University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers, "proponents of the negative story of the immigrant future have ignored this recent leveling and decline. Instead, they have averaged data from the last 12 to 14 years and concluded that immigration is continuing at record levels." Myers notes that the flow to gateway states like California is way down. Immigrants are instead heading straight to places such as Missouri and the Carolinas, where they're finding jobs and forming small communities.


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  1. Clearly KerryHowley is a light weight who takes corporate dollars and has SecretTies to the MexicanGovernment.

    Why doesn’t she ask immigrants the tough questions, like this this and this.

    What about the NorthAmericanUnion, the NAFTASuperHighway, and the Reconquista?

  2. Only the WhiteWitch can save us from Aztlan.

  3. Even one IllegalImmigrant is too many! Build a 30 foot high wall from San Diego to Brownsville — Teh Messcin Menace must be stopped!

  4. I say a 200 foot high wall, with a road in the middle with LandMines on either side, than anoter 200 foot wall, followed by a NoMandLand nested with MachineGunners. Then we can put MichelleMalkin in charge of BorderPatrol.

    Oh God, I’m SoExcited now.

  5. Wacko, get outside and play with the children of our maid Junanita! You can’t stay in the basement all day!

  6. Seriously, does anyone else think LoneWacko might be autisitic? Definitely displays some characteristics of Asperger Syndrome

    is one of several autism spectrum disorders (ASD) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted, stereotyped interests and activities. AS is distinguished from the other ASDs in having no general delay in language or cognitive development. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, motor clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.[1][2]

  7. No, Lonewacko! I will not go to the prom with you! Ha ha ha! What could possibly make you think I’d go out with you? It’s going to be so funny when I tell the whole school about this.

  8. ThisThread is SoFunny…

  9. Lonewacko, PleaseStopPostingMessagesWithLargeStretchesOfWordsWithoutSpacesBetweenThem.

  10. d, The open spaces allow the IllegalMexicans to slip into OurCountry.

  11. Reason’s contributors might want to consider how the comments above reflect on this site; clearly this isn’t a site with too many grown-ups.

    Since there really isn’t anything in this post, here’s a couple interesting tidbits:

    1. Guess who the ACLU is working with. They aren’t getting any money from them, but maybe Reason could strike a better deal.

    2. I’ll bet Bryan Caplan wishes he’d thought things through a bit more.

  12. Unless these “Mexicans” can tend bar and speak great English, I’m not worried about the immigrants who “tuk uuur jurbs”.

  13. Reason’s contributors might want to consider how the comments above reflect on this site; clearly this isn’t a site with too many grown-ups.

    LoneWacko, do you really want to go there?

    I know I do! The following are real comments on LoneWackos little site.

    Gravatar why not the world’s people?
    after all are we not all just one big one world people without any countries or laws or borders and soon without any homes or money or rights or life?
    just hand out Green cards by the billions to anyone who wants one.
    maybe Bin Laden will run for President after the last muslim Barack is done with us and all our heads are on some third world stake and maybe we have it coming? and maybe the Haitian gangs can fight the mexican gangs? isn’t that nice?

    after all we can always ask the haitians to fight our war can’t we?
    Fred Dawes | Homepage | 04.20.08 – 4:29 am | #

    Then theres this:

    Gravatar The big news bomb the Dems are holding onto for the fall: New NSA profile reveals McCain brainwashed while POW in VietNam, where he was also allowed the comfort of a “spiritual adviser,” an Iranian Islamo-Marxist Imam. He is currently being watched closely for signs of cracking, as he may still be a deep mole programmed to socialize America if elected President.
    Emmanuel Winner | 04.22.08 – 12:22 pm | #

    Yeah, your site is full of “adults” alright.

  14. I can haz conspiracy theoriez?

  15. 1. characterized by difficulties in social interaction
    2. by restricted, stereotyped interests and activities
    3. atypical use of language are frequently reported

    LoneWacko has Asperger Syndrome hahahaha

  16. I have long suspected that the majority of hate for Hispanics was coming from the nearly all black and white communities of the Midwest who can’t stand to see another minority group that acts different than they do. Can you believe that a nation who once feared the Irish Catholic influence now fears a bunch of hard working Catholic Mestizos? The best is when Black leaders say that they can’t find work because of the illegals. Vincente Fox said it best, “They do the work that Blacks won’t even do.” LOL! Funny how the lazier minority hates the one that works harder.

  17. The graph is confusing. What exactly does “percent change in new immigrant arrivals since 1980” mean? Specifically with the juxtaposition of ‘new’, and ‘arrivals’ I’m not sure if this is a first or second derivative function.

    If they are measuring ‘arrivals’ on a year to year basis, as I first thought when looking at it, then the assertion that ‘immigrant arrivals are down’ is obviosuly incorrect.

    But, it’s more of an ‘immigration index’, that’s measuring the annual arrivals, with a baseline of 1980, right? (So 1980 = 100, and it peaks at 2000 with 100*120%=220?)

    Or is it a measure of total immigrants in the population us currently having about twice as many as in 1980?

  18. if (threadTopic == illegalImmigration)
    threadPollutionFactor = orangeLineSpecial (oneMoreFuckingRant);

  19. Is this why there was so much coverage of the Pope this past weekend? I saw on a news channel that Johnson met with Pope Paul VI in the hotel room of the UN ambassador, and nowwe get 24/7 news coverage of this guy?

  20. Ignoring the Lone Whack-offs; on the topic of the article: I must admit it’s a relatively poorly presented chart. The decline between 2000 and 2010 is apparent, but because you are indexing it to 1980, it still looks quite out of whack, basically saying that in 2010 we’ll see 120% more immigrants than in 1980. While that may be true, if you want to argue with lower immigration rates, it would’ve been a better idea to chart a graph around 0%, with year-over-year data instead of indexing the values. That would put most recent data into negative values, while hiding the spike in immigration between 1980 and 2000.

  21. Isn’t the predictable response that the panic is about “illegal” immigration, not legal immigration?

  22. What kolohe said. What does the number 100 mean on that graph?

  23. Nativist sentiment? What a surprise, Howley is accusing opponents of illegal immigration of being bigots, the latter day equivalent of Know Nothing party members. What a fucking joke. I don’t think it is possible for her, or anyone else that “writes” for Reason, to engage in a debate about illegal immigration without smearing her fucking opponents first.

  24. B,

    Do you have a suggestion for what to call the sentiment that immigration should be tightly restricted?

  25. MikeP: How about calling that sentiment “Respect for the law”?

    I want MORE legal immigrants. Lots more, actually.

    I want EVERY illegal immigrant arrested, fined, deported, and banned from the country for ten years. I am kind enough to grant them an “amnesty” period of three months to get the hell out, without consequence, before we boot them and make them pay for the bother.

  26. How about calling that sentiment “Respect for the law”?

    I want MORE legal immigrants. Lots more, actually.

    I respect laws that are realistic. Our immigration/temporary worker laws are completely unreasonable. Until they are changed you can whistle for the immigrants you want.

  27. How about calling that sentiment “Respect for the law”?

    Hmm. I’d like lots more legal immigrants too. In fact, I’d like the law to be such that there were no quotas or expirations on visas, maximizing the number of legal immigrants. That’s a law I could respect!

    But there is still some significant difference between your sentiment and mine. You would allow illegal immigrants three months to vacate the country. Under my sentiment, the only immigrants who would be illegal would be terrorists or felons or carriers of contagion. As immediate threats to the public safety, it is unlikely that they would be permitted three months of quarter.

    Besides, doesn’t this “respect for the law” sentiment beg the question of what the law is? If you got to make the law, what is the sentiment that would lead you to legislate that people who simply want to live and work in peace are illegal?

  28. B doesn’t seem to be aware that the 19th-century nativists were a mixture of people who opposed immigration out of bigotry, people who opposed immigration for other reasons, and people who opposed immigration for both bigoted and non-bigoted reasons — just like the nativists of today.

  29. Reason’s contributors might want to consider how the comments above reflect on this site; clearly this isn’t a site with too many grown-ups.

    So’s your face!

  30. your article is as well thought out as your graph…
    both stink
    how bout the title should be “the rate of increase is down”

  31. I tracked down the site and read the article.

    Kerry Howley obviously knows nothing about Math.

    according to the report the rate of increase is down – meaning that total arrivals are still increasing, just at a slower pace.

    However, the data used to impute the slowing of the increase is not the same data that identifies the increasing rate of increase. So, there is a pretty obvious flaw – the new data collection methodology is different from the old, so unless it is calibrated using overlapping data collection periods – it is essentially invalid.

    I know it supports Kerry’s prejudices – but it would be nice if she was something other than a complete hack journalist with no regard for the truth.

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