Despite Economy, Illegal Immigrants Unlikely to Leave U.S.

Washington Post, 1/14/2009

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Although the economy’s nosedive has probably contributed to a substantial drop in the number of illegal immigrants coming to the United States, those already here will be less motivated to return home, according to a report released today.  Among other reasons, the study by the nonpartisan, Washington-based Migration Policy Institute (read the executive study) cited illegal immigrants’ family and job ties to this country, the difficulty they would face trying to reenter once the U.S. economy improves, the comparatively weaker state of their own countries’ economies, and the strengthening U.S. dollar.

A Reuters article added that the U.S. illegal immigrant population remained steady at around 12 million last year as the economy shed around 2.6 million jobs.

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