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Bloomberg: immigration could fix the economy

As Fox News and others excoriate President Obama for easing up on deportations, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the gall to say that what this country needs more of is immigration.

From The Hill:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) said Friday that the “single biggest” thing President Obama can do right now to spur job creation in the United States is to allow more immigration.

“Most importantly, we want to get immigrants from around the world to come to America,” Bloomberg said in an interview with the “CBS Early Show.”

“That’s the single biggest thing that the president could do with Congress, is open up the borders to those that will create jobs here.”

He told CBS that immigrants “don’t take away jobs” but rather they create jobs for people already living in the United States.

Of course, the whole question of whether immigration is good for the economy or not comes on the heels of information that immigration to the U.S. from Mexico is falling fast and may soon be more than cancelled by immigration from the U.S. to Mexico.

From The Houston Chronicle’s website, chron.com:

Ironically, this bill (Alabama’s immigration reform bill) (and others like it) comes when illegal immigration from Mexico has “sputtered to a trickle,” according to Douglas S. Massey, co-director of Princeton University’s Mexican Migration Project. Massey, quoted in a New York Times article by Damien Cave, goes on to speculate, “The net traffic [in Mexican illegal immigration] has gone to zero, and is probably a little bit negative.”

In other words, it’s possible that, in part because of Baby Boomers retiring south of the border, there may soon be more U.S. immigration to Mexico than Mexican immigration to the U.S.

This conclusion flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which would likely argue that this decline must be due to the economic slowdown in the U.S. There are far fewer jobs available here now than in previous years, so Mexicans are staying home. If we need another reason, conventional wisdom would perhaps argue that the decline proves that recent U.S. crackdowns on illegal immigration, exemplified by the new Alabama law, have had the desired effect.

Both of these notions have their validity. It appears, however, that the most compelling reasons have more to do with Mexico than with the U.S.

Despite Mexico’s image as being a land of crime and chaos, the country is developing rapidly in terms of both its economy and its citizens’ levels of education.

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