Saturday, September 5, 2009
Phoenix Undocumented Population Drops by a Third
The recession has obviously cut into the undocumented population. But how much? The census bureau hasn't a way to measure it. Yet we know the number of detentions at the border has declined. If the border patrol is catching fewer crossing, there must be fewer undocumented in the States. Still those here already, are they leaving and going back home? The evidence is weaker on this, but the indications are some are returning. Now the Arizona Republic, in a brief survey of the recession's impact on Phoenix, quotes the Center for Immigration Studies that the decline was about 16% nationwide, but for their city almost a third. CIS is no friend of the immigrant, but some of its studies are fairly reliable. The reason for the decline is the slowdown in industries that attract and employ the undocumented -- light manufacturing, domestic service, restaurants and especially construction.