Last week, approximately 50 Ricochet Members gathered in San Francisco to hear a conversation between Chuck Schwab and AEI's Arthur Brooks on the moral case for the free enterprise system. Following the conversation was a Q&A session during which one Member asked Arthur Brooks for his thoughts concerning the illegal immigration crisis at the United States' southern border. Brooks rejected the premise that the U.S. is currently experiencing an illegal immigration crisis, but to the extent that Americans still fret about the problem, he believes that it's likely to work itself out.
As we've seen to be the case for a few years now, a languishing U.S. economy has caused Mexican immigration to slow significantly. Mexicans now have a better shot at finding jobs in Mexico, whose unemployment rate has been in the high 4 to 5 percent range, than they do in the U.S. But looking beyond what we all hope will be a temporary recession, a return to high rates of Mexican immigration is unlikely. Why? Because with plummeting fertility rates, Mexico's demographics are on their way to looking more and more like Europe's. Take a look at this chart:
With fertility rates barely above replacement rate, but still falling sharply (2012's fertility rate, not included in this chart, is 2.27) Brooks predicts that by the time today's children reach voting age, illegal immigration will seem to them a complete non-issue.