Illegal Immigrant Outflows, What Economic Recovery, & Why Are We Discussing A Wall?
The population of illegal immigrants in America peaked in 2007 and has been declining since while the annual flow of legal immigrants peaked in 2006 and has been decelerating since, based on estimates from the Pew Research Center and US Dept. of Homeland Security (outlined HERE).
- In the seven years since the 2007 peak, the illegal population has declined by a half million or about a 4% decline in the illegal population in the US. This action is more typically associated with recession than a recovery now seven years old.
- Despite BLS claims of full employment and labor shortages, potential illegals are not seeing the opportunity (at least not on a net basis) and voting with their feet as they leave.
- Also noteworthy is if illegals are, on a net basis, leaving…why would the US go to the trouble of building a wall? Is it to keep them out or keep them in?
The chart below shows total illegal population (blue line) and recessions (pink columns). Note the lack of growth among illegals since ’07 vs. previous recoveries.
The chart below details the total immigration (legal + illegal) into the US over like seven year periods back to 1971. The 2008–>14 period was the slowest net growth since 1978–>84.
Below, a breakdown (by period) of the growth in US legal vs. illegal immigrants back to 1985. Note the net outflow of illegal immigrants since ’07 is unlike any previous period.
Global Perspective on Immigration
To add some perspective, below are the immigration rates as a % (per period) of the host nations population. The US is among the lowest immigration rates in the OECD according to the source data available from the OECD.
Total immigrants (by period) per major OECD nations. The US has the largest net inflow but Germany, Spain, and UK are also seeing large total immigrations.