The flow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States has collapsed. The apprehension of illegal immigrants by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the best proxy measurement of the flow of such people, along the Southwest Border is way down (see below).
All Apprehensions on Southwest Border
Source: Customs and Border Protection.
What explains this? A number of factors are at play. Economic conditions in the United States, economic or other conditions in other countries, and immigration enforcement all explain part of the decrease in unauthorized immigration over the years.
Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) gives most of the credit to beefed up immigration enforcement along the border. Krikorian seconds a quote by Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the Migration Policy Institute, who says:
Every month or quarter that the economy continues to improve and unauthorized immigration doesn’t pick up supports the theory that border security is a bigger factor, and it’s less about the economy and we have moved into a new era.
But if immigration enforcement is the main reason why unauthorized immigration collapsed, why are the numbers of unlawful immigrants from countries Other than Mexico (OTMs) increasing? CBP apprehensions don’t discriminate based on country of origin because they can’t tell where the immigrants are from until they’re apprehended.