This topic has pretty much disappeared around here lately, which proves my point. What point? Why, Joe’s Maxim On The Illegal Immigration Controversy, of course.

Which is: If there are illegal aliens causing trouble on your street, you are concerned about illegal immigration. If they ain’t there, you ain’t so concerned.

I don’t know about your neighborhood, but I can tell you that thanks to the foreclosure tsunami, lots and lots of illegals have left Sterling. Guess much of that whole streamlined mortgage phenomenon was being conducted in Spanish, eh? Pepe’s closed a couple months ago. As far as I can tell, we may have one or two boarding houses left on our block but they are very discreet and it is a hell of a lot better than when we had five, three of whom were decidedly obnoxious.

Personally, I think a bunch of illegal migrants decided they stand as good a chance economically trying to make a go of it back in their own countries as here. To which I say: Good on ye, mates.

Zogby now reveals that voters in last week’s election were overwhelmingly in favor of immigration enforcement as opposed to amnesty – but the entire issue was not a factor in their vote:

– Only 32% of Obama voters considered his support for amnesty as a factor in their decisions to vote for him. 67% said it was either not a factor at all, or they voted for Obama in spite of his stance on amnesty.
– 60% of voters said reducing illegal immigration and cracking down on employers who hire them is important to them, while only 21% supported “legalizing or creating a pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens.
– 57% of voters stated that amnesty would harm American workers and further strain public resources, while only 26% believe amnesty would aid economic recovery and ease public burdens.

And needless to say, McCain voters concerned about illegal immigration were obliged to take the clothespin-and-vodka route in order to pull the lever.

But many illegals have left. Construction has slowed. Winter is approaching. The issue has become less salient, even for Latinos, according to the research.

What this boils down to, for me, is more positive potential for the incoming Obama administration. The most egregious problem caused by illegal immigration is the negative impact on American workers – the downward pressure on salaries. Problems on our neighborhood streets run a close second, but these are much more difficult to quantify.

As the unemployment percentage creeps upward in this country, it will become more and more evident that allowing illegal workers to take American jobs and drive down American salaries is simply wrong.

Ten years ago Americans could make a living hanging drywall, doing rough carpentry, and a host of other forms of manual labor. When the opportunity to work picks back up, when housing starts are on the upswing, there is no reason that work should be going to illegals.

I have a strong hope – and faith, even – that President Obama will not turn his back on America’s blue collar workers.