Despite Trump’s ‘Wall’ Fixation, Latino Immigration to US Has Plummeted

Despite US President Donald Trump’s lurid rhetoric on a “crisis” at the Mexican border, census data reveals the number of new arrivals from Latin America has fallen considerably since 2010, as the rate of immigration from Asia has taken off.

Trump’s hang-up over Latin American immigration across the Mexicanborder reached its apogee with his February 15 announcement of a national emergency in order to circumvent Congress and “build a wall” – the signature promise of his 2016 campaign. This declaration was rejected by the House of Representatives and faces a tight Senate vote.

Although Latino immigration remains the primary focus of Trump’s nativist tendencies, 2017 census data (which is anonymous) analysed by The Brookings Institution shows that, since 2010, immigration from Latin America to the US has declined sharply, while the number of new arrivals from Asia has soared. From 2016 to 2017, 446,000 came from Asia, compared to 130,000 from Latin America. Forty-one percent of new immigrants since the start of the decade have been Asian while 38.9 percent have been Latin Americans. This makes for a stark contrast with the 2000s, during which Asian immigration comprised a mere 28.8 percent of the total – compared to 55.1 percent for Latin Americans.

According to the Pew Research Center, there were 10.7 million illegal immigrants residing in the US in 2016, representing a mere 3.3 percent of the total American population. This marked a 13 percent decline from the 2007 peak of authorised immigrants in the US – 12.2 million; or 4 percent of the US population. Mexicans comprised half of those in the US illegally in 2016, compared to 57 percent in 2007 – a decline of 1.5 million.

By Tom WHEELDON for FRANCE24.COM

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