The Center for Immigration Studies is reporting a significant decrease in the nationwide illegal alien population :
Monthly data collected by the Census Bureau through May 2008 shows a significant decline in the number of less-educated, young Hispanic immigrants in the country. The evidence indicates that the illegal immigrant population may have declined by over one million in the last year. There are strong indications immigration enforcement is responsible for at least part of the decline. The economy also is likely playing a role.
Among the findings:
Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May 2008 after hitting a peak in August 2007.
The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million today.
The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least seven times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.
One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be affected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow.
Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.
The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession, and officially the country has not yet entered a recession.
While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slow-down is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.
There is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.
If the decline were sustained, it would reduce the illegal population by one-half in the next five years.
A clear trend is emerging, enforcement works. While Stevens Miller and others on our Board of Supervisors wring their hands over concerns of cancer and racism, a countless number of cities, counties, and states are tackling a difficult problem head on, with demonstrable results.
This also confirms that with enforcement, and a decrease in public benefits, many illegal alien residents will leave of their own accord.
Too bad our BOS refuses to lead on this issue, as has the governing body of Prince William County, and closer to home, Herndon.
We can still hope.