Is illegal immigration like crime in New York: They said it could never be reduced, until it was? More evidence that even the mild efforts at border control are having an impact.
a) The Gran Salida continues, reports Reuters, although the story offers no hard numbers (just a reported "spike" at a Mexcian consulate). Instapundit notes that one non-enforcement explanation--a shift in exchange rates--doesn't appear to hold water.
b) And they don't keep on coming: Meanwhile, the LAT reports on a decline in incoming illegal immigration, and the paper has some numbers. ... Mexicans who say they plan to seek work abroad: down by a third. ... Border arrests: down by 20%. ... Most significantly:
The growth rate of the U.S. Mexican-born population has dropped by nearly half to 4.2% in 2007 from about 8% in 2005 and 2006, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center. [E.A.]
That seems pretty dramatic. True, there's a debate about how much of the drop is due to stepped-up enforcement and how much to a decline in construction work. The official PC position appears to be that enforcement can't possibly have anything to do with it.** Still, the drop suggests that border control efforts may have at least as much effect on shaping the future electorate in the long run as attempts by Republicans to win over Mexican-Americans by pursuing McCainesque semi-amnesty proposals. [But illegals don't vote-ed. Their U.S.-born children do. Plus, fewer illegals = less demand for semi-amnesty, no? Which makes it less likely that a whole new group of previously illegal Latino immigrants will ever become voters. Pandering to this now-smaller group of potential future voters in turn bcomes less appealing.]
.**--you see "the border buildup has encouraged more illegal immigrants to employ professional smugglers, whose success rate is higher than that of individuals, according to Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego." OK, but doesn't the cost of hiring a professional itself deter illegal immigration? And are the pros getting less successful--and more expensive? ... 7:21 P.M. link
How grudging and testy is Bob Wright's acceptance of the surge's relative success? (And he wasn't even against it.) ... 1:58 P.M.
Undernews Underanalysis: Still impressive, near-total lack of MSM pickup of the National Enquirer's Edwards scandal allegations.** My guess regarding MSM thinking is 1) Nobody wants to hurt Elizabeth Edwards and 2) Everybody figures that if John Edwards loses in Iowa, there's no reason to mention the story. It will go away and nobody will have to cover it. ... If Edwards wins Iowa, however, that calculus would presumably change.