Because we’re approaching another presidential election, there’s been a lot of talk about illegal immigration — but far too much of what you’re hearing is simply wrong, even (or especially) when it comes out of the mouth of presidential candidates. What they don’t tell you is that net immigration to the US from Mexico isn’t nearly as high as it was 5-10 years ago. The real number: zero.
To get to the facts, I spoke with Douglas Massey, sociologist in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. He says Donald Trump’s border wall is a moronic idea, because the data show that fences don’t keep migrants out — they just keep them from going home.
Among the questions I asked him:
- Are illegal immigrants taking jobs and being a burden on our resources?
- Why do so many Americans believe that’s true?
- What changed that made fewer Mexicans come here? Increased border security? Recession?
- Is the same true for people from Honduras and other Central American countries?
- What effect would removing every undocumented immigrant from the US have on the price of fruits and vegetables?