Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mexicans say amnesty encourages them to come to US illegally; enforcement discourages them from doing so

A new Zogby poll exposes what amnesty proponents are aiming for. Among the key findings:
• A clear majority of people in Mexico, 56 percent, thought giving legal status to illegal immigrants in the United States would make it more likely that people they know would go to the United States illegally. Just 17 percent thought it would make Mexicans less likely to go illegally. The rest were unsure or thought it would make no difference.

• Of Mexicans with a member of their immediate household in the United States, 65 percent said a legalization program would make people they know more likely to go to America illegally.


• A new Pew Research Center poll also found that about one-third of Mexicans would go to the United States if they could.

• An overwhelming majority (69 percent) of people in Mexico thought that the primary loyalty of Mexican-Americans (Mexico- and U.S.-born) should be to Mexico. Just 20 percent said it should be to the United States. The rest were unsure.

• Also, 69 percent of people in Mexico felt that the Mexican government should represent the interests of Mexican-Americans (Mexico- and U.S.-born) in the United States.


•Both the bad economy and increased immigration enforcement were cited as reasons fewer people were going to America as illegal immigrants and more were coming back to Mexico.

Granting legalization to those currently illegally residing in the US will encourage more Mexicans to come stateside illegally. Tougher internal and border enforcement of existing immigration laws, in contrast, will discourage potential illegal immigrants from coming to the US. Make life easier for illegal immigrants and more of them will show up. Make life more difficult for illegal immigrants and more of them will go home. Simple stuff.

By more than 3 to 1, Mexicans say a McCain-Kennedy redux will lead to an increase in those leaving Mexico to settle in the US illegally.

By 7 to 2, Mexicans believe the loyalty of their compatriots living in the US should primarily be to Mexico. Mexicans currently living in the US were these people until they headed north, so this strongly suggests that an overwhelming majority of Mexicans residing in the US right now feel closer to Mexico than they do to America.

Among the plurality of Mexicans who think the number of Mexicans in the US has decreased in recent years, one-third cite tougher immigration enforcement as the primary reason. A couple of high-profile raids and hollow lip service about being a nation of laws is a formidable deterrent. Imagine the effects that serious enforcement and restrictionist measures would have!

More than one-third of Mexicans living south of the border profess that they would head to the US if they had the "means and opportunity" to do so. That's 41 million aspiring settlers from a country where the purchasing power parity is less then one-third what it is in the US. There is no better way to increase poverty in the US than to import it on such a massive scale.


KingM said...

Most Mexicans don't want to be arrested any more than the typical American would. You wouldn't have to try very hard, just show some encouragement to local law enforcement to arrest illegals and a few million from the government to pay for deportation. The illegals would be gone in about six months.

Stopped Clock said...

In other news: Humans have five fingers on each hand, wheels are shaped like circles, and the sky is blue.

Audacious Epigone said...


There certainly is precedent for such a strategy. During Operation Wetback, it is estimated that for each illegal immigrant forcibly removed, 7 or 8 voluntarily left the country by their own volition.


Still nice to have empirical data to complement rudimentary reason, though!

The Undiscovered Jew said...

This is off topic, but I found this fascinating.

Did you know, AE, that Canada is 44% Roman Catholic and only 30% Protestant?

If found this interesting because Canada - like New Zealand, America, and Australia - is culturally Anglo-Protestant but I had no idea Protestant's were a religious minority in Canada because the Canadians seemed so Protestant in terms of temperment.

Religion in Canada

Audacious Epigone said...


I had absolutely no idea, assuming the same as you'd assumed. The idea that Canada is a Catholic country--even nominally--is one I'd surely have furled my brow upon hearing.

Good to see that both Catholicism and Protestantism are getting bitten at the ankles by Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, all of which doubled in size in the nineties (and are presumably doing again during the current decade)!

Mike Courtman said...

Although, it's not really a surprising finding, one third is a staggering number.

The next step would be to do a global survey and find out what percentage of people in poor countries would move to the West if they could.

if one third of people in poor countries wanted to move to the West that would amount to over 2 billion.

Audacious Epigone said...


The percentage could quite conceivably be even greater than one-third. After all, about 5 billion people live in countries poorer than Mexico.

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